Abstract:

Schistosoma mansoni glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (SG3PDH), peroxiredoxin (TPX), and other larval excretory–secretory products (ESP) essentially induce T helper (Th) 1 and Th17 immune responses during a non-protective natural infection. Such an immune environment promotes production of nitric oxide and hydrogen peroxide by interferon-γ–activated monocytes and interleukin (IL)-17–mediated recruitment and activation of neutrophils; however, it also likely prevents engagement of eosinophils and basophils in the hunt for developing larvae. We reasoned that polarizing ESP-induced immune responses toward a Th2 phenotype, via the use of cysteine proteases or type-2 cytokines, would lead to almost total parasite elimination. Accordingly, outbred mice were immunized with 10 μg recombinant SG3PDH and 15 μg TPX-derived peptide together with 10 μg papain, or 200 ng thymic stromal lymphopoietin, IL-25, or IL-33 as an adjuvant. Two weeks later, untreated mice, adjuvant controls, and immunized mice were challenged with 100 or 125 cercariae. Results of 6 experiments indicated that these formulations elicited IgM, IgG1, and IgA specific antibodies, and an increase in ex vivo spleen cells release of IL-4 and IL-5 correlated with highly significant (up to P < 0.0001) reduction of 62 to 78% in challenge worm burden. Improvement of ESP selection, singly or in a combination, and immunization regimen, namely ESP and type-2 cytokine dose and injection site and schedule, could lead to a sterilizing schistosomiasis vaccine in the foreseeable future.

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