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- The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene,
Evaluation of the Protective Effect of Deoxyribonucleic Acid Vaccines Encoding Granule Antigen 2 and 5 against Acute Toxoplasmosis in BALB/c Mice
Toxoplasma gondii infects a broad range of warm‐blooded hosts, including humans. Important clinical manifestations include encephalitis in immunocompromised patients as well as miscarriage and fetal damage during early pregnancy. Toxoplasma gondii dense granule antigen 2 and 5 (GRA2 and GRA5) are essential for parasitophorous vacuole development of the parasite. To evaluate the potential of GRA2 and GRA5 as recombinant DNA vaccine candidates, these antigens were cloned into eukaryotic expression vector (pcDNA 3.1C) and evaluated in vaccination experiments. Recombinant DNA vaccines constructed with genes encoding GRAs were validated in Chinese hamster ovary cells before evaluation using lethal challenge of the virulent T. gondii RH strain in BALB/c mice. The DNA vaccines of pcGRA2 and pcGRA5 elicited cellular‐mediated immune response with significantly higher levels of interferon‐gamma, interleukin‐2 (IL‐2), IL‐4, and IL‐10 (P < 0.05) compared with controls. A mixed T‐helper cell 1 (Th1)/Th2 response was associated with slightly prolonged survival. These findings provide evidence that DNA vaccination with GRA2 and GRA5 is associated with Th1‐like cell‐mediated immune responses. It will be worthwhile to construct recombinant multiantigen combining full‐length GRA2 or/and GRA5 with various antigenic proteins such as the surface antigens and rhoptry antigens to improve vaccination efficacy.