JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Protection against experimental visceral leishmaniasis infection in dogs immunized with purified excreted secreted antigens of Leishmania infantum promastigotes.

Vaccine 2005 April 23
The capacity of naturally excreted secreted antigens easily purified from culture supernatant of Leishmania infantum promastigotes (LiESAp), successfully cultivated in completely defined medium called CDM/LP [Lemesre JL. Methods for the culture in vitro of different stages of tissue parasites. International publication WO 94/26899, 1994; Merlen T, Sereno D, Brajon N, Rostand F, Lemesre JL. Leishmania spp: completely defined medium without serum and macromolecules (CDM/LP) for the continuous in vitro cultivation of infective promastigote forms. Am J Trop Med Hyg 1999;60(1):41-50] to protect dogs against experimental L. infantum infections is described. Eighteen healthy Beagle dogs were allocated into four groups that received at a 3-week interval either two subcutaneous injections of 50 microg (group 2, n = 3), 100 microg (group3, n = 6) and 200 microg (group 4, n = 3) LiESAp in formulation with muramyl dipeptide (MDP) or similar injections of placebo (group 1, n = 6). Dogs were intravenously infected with 10(8) metacyclic L. infantum promastigotes. Promastigotes of the MHOM/MA/67/ITMAP-263 and MHOM/FR/78/LEM75 strains were, respectively, administered 2 months (at day 84, homologous challenge 1) and 8 months post-immunization (at day 273, heterologous challenge 2). The data indicated that vaccine candidate confers total protection (100%) against challenges 1 and 2 in dogs from groups 3 and 4 and intermediate protection (66.7%) against challenge 1 in dogs from group 2 as determined by parasite detection in bone marrow aspirates during 14 months post-challenge follow-up. All placebo dogs of group 1 were found infected and failed to respond to LiESAp in cell-mediated assays before and after both challenges. Increased levels of total anti-leishmanial antibodies were exclusively detected in infected dogs from group 1. Vaccine-induced protection correlates with an early establishment of a long lasting predominantly Th1-type cellular immune response specifically directed against LiESAp before and after experimental infections, as demonstrated by: (i) anti-LiESAp IgG2 reactivity, and (ii) LiESAp-specific lymphocyte proliferation assays and enhanced NO-mediated anti-leishmanial activity of canine monocyte-derived macrophages (CM-DM) in response to higher IFNgamma production by T-cells, when L. infantum-infected CM-DM were co-cultured with autologous lymphocytes. Overall, our results support the view that a LiESAp vaccine might be useful in a promising vaccination approach against natural L. infantum infection.

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