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Protective Immune Response in BALB/c Mice Induced by DNA Vaccine of the ROP8 gene of Toxoplasma gondii

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  • TIDREC, Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Illinois Rockford, Rockford, Illinois

Toxoplasmosis in humans and other animals is caused by the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. During the process of host cell invasion and parasitophorous vacuole formation by the tachyzoites, the parasite secretes Rhoptry protein 8 (ROP8), an apical secretory organelle. Thus, ROP8 is an important protein for the pathogenesis of T. gondii. The ROP8 DNA was constructed into a pVAX-1 vaccine vector and used for immunizing BALB/c mice. Immunized mice developed immune response characterized by significant antibody responses, antigen-specific proliferation of spleen cells, and production of high levels of IFN-γ (816 ± 26.3 pg/mL). Challenge experiments showed significant levels of increase in the survival period (29 days compared with 9 days in control) in ROP8 DNA vaccinated mice after a lethal challenge with T. gondii. Results presented in this study suggest that ROP8 DNA is a promising and potential vaccine candidate against toxoplasmosis.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Yee Ling Lau, TIDREC, Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. E-mail: lauyeeling@um.edu.my

Financial support: This work was supported by the University of Malaya IPPP grant (PS194/2009C) and UM High Impact Research Grant UM-MOHE (UM.C/HIR/MOHE/MED/02, E000013-20001) from the Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia.

Authors' addresses: Sonaimuthu Parthasarathy, Mun Yik Fong, and Yee Ling Lau, TIDREC, Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, E-mails: parthawillbe@gmail.com, fongmy@um.edu.my, and lauyeeling@um.edu.my. Kalyanasundaram Ramaswamy, Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Illinois Rockford, Rockford, IL, E-mail: ramswamy@uic.edu.

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