Recombinant forms of Leishmania amazonensis excreted/secreted promastigote surface antigen (PSA) induce protective immune responses in dogs

Abstract : Preventive vaccination is a highly promising strategy for interrupting leishmaniasis transmission that can, additionally, contribute to elimination. A vaccine formulation based on naturally excreted secreted (ES) antigens was prepared from L. infantum promastigote culture supernatant. This vaccine achieved successful results in Phase III trials and was licensed and marketed as CaniLeish. We recently showed that newly identified ES promastigote surface antigen (PSA), from both viable promastigotes and axenically-grown amastigotes, represented the major constituent and the highly immunogenic antigen of L. infantum and L. amazonensis ES products. We report here that three immunizations with either the recombi-nant ES LaPSA-38S (rPSA) or its carboxy terminal part LaPSA-12S (Cter-rPSA), combined with QA-21 as adjuvant, confer high levels of protection in naive L. infantum-infected Beagle dogs, as checked by bone marrow parasite absence in respectively 78.8% and 80% of vaccinated dogs at 6 months post-challenge. The parasite burden in infected vaccinated dogs was significantly reduced compared to placebo group, as measured by q-PCR. Moreover, our results reveal humoral and cellular immune response clear-cut differences between vaccinated and control dogs. An early increase in specific IgG2 antibodies was observed in rPSA/QA-21-and Cter-rPSA/QA-21-immunized dogs only. They were found functionally active in vitro and were highly correlated with vaccine protection. In vaccinated protected dogs, IFN-γ and NO productions, as well as anti-leishmanial macrophage activity, were increased. These data strongly suggest that ES PSA or its carboxy-terminal part, in recom-binant forms, induce protection in a canine model of zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis by inducing a Th1-dominant immune response and an appropriate specific antibody response. These data suggest that they could be considered as important active components in vaccine candidates.
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Elodie Petitdidier, Julie Pagniez, Gérard Papierok, Philippe Vincendeau, Jean-Loup Lemesre, et al.. Recombinant forms of Leishmania amazonensis excreted/secreted promastigote surface antigen (PSA) induce protective immune responses in dogs. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Public Library of Science, 2016, ⟨10.1371/journal.pntd.0004614⟩. ⟨ird-01321775⟩

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