Immune Responses Induced by pVAX/TgERK7 against Toxoplasma gondii Infection in BALB/c Mice
AbstractBackground: Toxoplasma gondii can infect all the warm-blooded vertebrates and cause serious toxoplasmosis. Extracellular signal-regulated kinase 7 in T. gondii (TgERK7) mediated the proliferation of this parasite may be a potential vaccine candidate. Thus, immune responses induced by TgERK7 were investigated in this study using a DNA vaccine strategy.Methods: pVAX/TgERK7 plasmid was constructed and used to immunize BALB/c mice for three times with two-week intervals. The challenge and the investigation of humoral and cellular immune responses were performed at two weeks post the last immunization, and the survival times of the infected mice were daily recorded until all of them were dead. Results: The innate immune response with higher concentrations of IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL2 and IL12p70 in sera (P < 0.05), and the adaptive immune responses were evoked by the DNA immunizations, including specific antibody, lymphocyte proliferation, and the CD3e+CD4+ and CD3e+CD8a+ T cell-mediated response effects. Interestingly, no significant difference was detected in their survival times among all the experimental groups of mice that were challenged with GT1 tachyzoites or PRU cysts (P>0.05).Conclusion: The successive immunizations with pVAX/TgERK7 can provoke the innate and adaptive immune responses of BALB/c mice, whereas the DNA vaccine-induced immunological efficacy is not sufficient for complete protection the host against T. gondii infection.
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