Impact of LbSapSal Vaccine in Canine Immunological and Parasitological Features before and after Leishmania chagasi-Challenge.
ABSTRACT: Dogs represent the most important domestic reservoir of L. chagasi (syn. L. infantum). A vaccine against canine visceral leishmaniasis (CVL) would be an important tool for decreasing the anxiety related to possible L. chagasi infection and for controlling human visceral leishmaniasis (VL). Because the sand fly salivary proteins are potent immunogens obligatorily co-deposited during transmission of Leishmania parasites, their inclusion in an anti-Leishmania vaccine has been investigated in past decades. We investigated the immunogenicity of the "LbSapSal" vaccine (L. braziliensis antigens, saponin as adjuvant, and Lutzomyia longipalpis salivary gland extract) in dogs at baseline (T0), during the post-vaccination protocol (T3rd) and after early (T90) and late (T885) times following L. chagasi-challenge. Our major data indicated that immunization with "LbSapSal" is able to induce biomarkers characterized by enhanced amounts of type I (tumor necrosis factor [TNF]-?, interleukin [IL]-12, interferon [IFN]-?) cytokines and reduction in type II cytokines (IL-4 and TGF-?), even after experimental challenge. The establishment of a prominent pro-inflammatory immune response after "LbSapSal" immunization supported the increased levels of nitric oxide production, favoring a reduction in spleen parasitism (78.9%) and indicating long-lasting protection against L. chagasi infection. In conclusion, these results confirmed the hypothesis that the "LbSapSal" vaccination is a potential tool to control the Leishmania chagasi infection.
Project description:Immunity to a sand fly salivary protein protects against visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in hamsters. This protection was associated with the development of cellular immunity in the form of a delayed-type hypersensitivity response and the presence of IFN-gamma at the site of sand fly bites. To date, there are no data available regarding the cellular immune response to sand fly saliva in dogs, the main reservoirs of VL in Latin America, and its role in protection from this fatal disease. Two of 35 salivary proteins from the vector sand fly Lutzomyia longipalpis, identified using a novel approach termed reverse antigen screening, elicited strong cellular immunity in dogs. Immunization with either molecule induced high IgG(2) antibody levels and significant IFN-gamma production following in vitro stimulation of PBMC with salivary gland homogenate (SGH). Upon challenge with uninfected or infected flies, immunized dogs developed a cellular response at the bite site characterized by lymphocytic infiltration and IFN-gamma and IL-12 expression. Additionally, SGH-stimulated lymphocytes from immunized dogs efficiently killed Leishmania infantum chagasi within autologous macrophages. Certain sand fly salivary proteins are potent immunogens obligatorily co-deposited with Leishmania parasites during transmission. Their inclusion in an anti-Leishmania vaccine would exploit anti-saliva immunity following an infective sand fly bite and set the stage for a protective anti-Leishmania immune response.
Project description:Dogs are the main reservoir of zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis. Vaccination is a promising approach to help control leishmaniasis and to interrupt transmission of the Leishmania parasite. The promastigote surface antigen (PSA) is a highly immunogenic component of Leishmania excretory/secretory products. A vaccine based on three peptides derived from the carboxy-terminal part of Leishmania amazonensis PSA and conserved among Leishmania species, formulated with QA-21 as adjuvant, was tested on naive Beagle dogs in a preclinical trial. Four months after the full course of vaccination, dogs were experimentally infected with Leishmania infantum promastigotes. Immunization of dogs with peptide-based vaccine conferred immunity against experimental infection with L. infantum. Evidence for macrophage nitric oxide production and anti-leishmanial activity associated with IFN-? production by lymphocytes was only found in the vaccinated group. An increase in specific IgG2 antibodies was also measured in vaccinated dogs from 2 months after immunization. Additionally, after challenge with L. infantum, the parasite burden was significantly lower in vaccinated dogs than in the control group. These data strongly suggest that this peptide-based vaccine candidate generated cross-protection against zoonotic leishmaniasis by inducing a Th1-type immune response associated with production of specific IgG2 antibodies. This preclinical trial including a peptide-based vaccine against leishmaniasis clearly demonstrates effective protection in a natural host. This approach deserves further investigation to enhance the immunogenicity of the peptides and to consider the possible engineering of a vaccine targeting several Leishmania species.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>A recombinant cysteine proteinase from Leishmania (Leishmania) infantum chagasi (rLdccys1) was previously shown to induce protective immune responses against murine and canine visceral leishmaniasis. These findings encouraged us to use rLdccys1 in the immunotherapy of naturally infected dogs from Teresina, Piauí, a region of high incidence of visceral leishmaniasis in Brazil.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>Thirty naturally infected mongrel dogs displaying clinical signs of visceral leishmaniasis were randomly divided in three groups: one group received three doses of rLdccys1 in combination with the adjuvant Propionibacterium acnes at one month interval between each dose; a second group received three doses of P. acnes alone; a third group received saline. The main findings were: 1) dogs that received rLdccys1 with P. acnes did not display increase of the following clinical signs: weight loss, alopecia, onychogryphosis, cachexia, anorexia, apathy, skin lesions, hyperkeratosis, ocular secretion, and enlarged lymph nodes; they also exhibited a significant reduction in the spleen parasite load in comparison to the control dogs; 2) rLdccys1-treated dogs exhibited a significant delayed type cutaneous hypersensitivity elicited by the recombinant antigen, as well as high IgG2 serum titers and low IgG1 serum titers; sera from rLdccys1-treated dogs also contained high IFN-? and low IL-10 concentrations; 3) control dogs exhibited all of the clinical signs of visceral leishmaniasis and had low serum IgG2 and IFN-? levels and high concentrations of IgG1 and IL-10; 4) all of the dogs treated with rLdccys1 were alive 12 months after treatment, whereas dogs which received either saline or P. acnes alone died within 3 to 7 months.<h4>Conclusions/significance</h4>These findings illustrate the potential use of rLdccys1 as an additional tool for the immunotherapy of canine visceral leishmaniasis and support further studies designed to improve the efficacy of this recombinant antigen for the treatment of this neglected disease.
Project description:Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is endemic in large cities in Brazil, including Natal. We determined the prevalence of asymptomatic human infection with Leishmania infantum chagasi and associated environmental risks around Natal. Infection was detected by Leishmania skin test (LST) and anti-leishmanial antibodies in humans and anti-leishmanial antibodies in dogs. Amongst 345 humans, 24.6% were seropositive, and 38.6% were LST-positive. Prevalence of positive serology was similar in both sexes and across all ages. However, positive LST responses increased with age, suggesting that LST is long-lasting and cumulative. Multinomial logistic analysis showed that LST response varied with location (P = 0.007) and that males were more frequently LST-positive (P = 0.027). Indicators of lower socioeconomic status associated significantly with human infection. Furthermore, there was geographic coincidence of seropositive humans and dogs (r = 0.7926, P = 0.011). These data suggest that dog and human L. i. chagasi infection are intimately interrelated in environmental conditions associated with low income.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Visceral leishmaniasis is a disease with great variability regarding the clinical manifestations in humans and dogs. Chronically infected dogs may develop neurological disorders, however, there are few reports that characterize the lesions and make clear the pathogenesis of the canine cerebral leishmaniasis. Concomitant with Leishmania chagasi, dogs may be infected by opportunistic pathogens, such as Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum, which may contribute to the occurrence of lesions in the central nervous system. Hence, we aimed to compare the T and B lymphocytes population in the brains of infected dogs with seropositivity to L. chagasi, T. gondii and N. caninum concurrently (n?=?24), seropositivity only to L. chagasi (n?=?31), and seropositivity to T. gondii and N. caninum (n?=?16). Uninfected dogs were used as control (n?=?10).<h4>Results</h4>Inflammatory lesions, characterised by mononuclear cell accumulation, composed mainly of CD3+ T lymphocytes predominated in several encephalic regions of the dogs from all the three infected groups, with no difference among them (P?=?0.0004), whereas CD79?+ B lymphocytes were detected in very small intensity and presented no difference among groups (P?=?0.5313). Furthermore, no association among diseases was detected at the serological enquire.<h4>Conclusions</h4>We demonstrate that the peripheral infection by L. chagasi per se can promote the influx of lymphocytes within the nervous milieu as occurs during Toxoplasma and Neospora infections, and the concomitant seropositivity against these pathogens does not exacerbate the inflammatory brain lesions. Therefore, these findings give additional support that the brain should be included in the list of organs affected by visceral leishmaniasis and that even asymptomatic infected dogs may develop brain lesions.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a neglected tropical disease and is fatal if untreated. There is no vaccine available against leishmaniasis. The majority of patients with cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) or VL develop a long-term protective immunity after cure from infection, which indicates that development of an effective vaccine against leishmaniasis is possible. Such protection may also be achieved by immunization with live attenuated parasites that do not cause disease. We have previously reported a protective response in mice, hamsters and dogs with Leishmania donovani centrin gene knock-out parasites (LdCen-/-), a live attenuated parasite with a cell division specific centrin1 gene deletion. In this study we have explored the effects of salivary protein LJM19 as an adjuvant and intradermal (ID) route of immunization on the efficacy of LdCen-/- parasites as a vaccine against virulent L. donovani.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>To explore the potential of a combination of LdCen-/- parasites and salivary protein LJM19 as vaccine antigens, LdCen-/- ID immunization followed by ID challenge with virulent L. donovani were performed in hamsters in a 9-month follow up study. We determined parasite burden (serial dilution), antibody production (ELISA) and cytokine expression (qPCR) in these animals. Compared to controls, animals immunized with LdCen-/- + LJM19 induced a strong antibody response, a reduction in spleen and liver parasite burden and a higher expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines after immunization and one month post-challenge. Additionally, a low parasite load in lymph nodes, spleen and liver, and a non-inflamed spleen was observed in immunized animals 9 months after the challenge infection.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Our results demonstrate that an ID vaccination using LdCen-/-parasites in combination with sand fly salivary protein LJM19 has the capability to confer long lasting protection against visceral leishmaniasis that is comparable to intravenous or intracardial immunization.
Project description:Sand flies deliver Leishmania parasites to a host alongside salivary molecules that affect infection outcomes. Though some proteins are immunogenic and have potential as markers of vector exposure, their identity and vector specificity remain elusive.We screened human, dog, and fox sera from endemic areas of visceral leishmaniasis to identify potential markers of specific exposure to saliva of Lutzomyia longipalpis. Human and dog sera were further tested against additional sand fly species. Recombinant proteins of nine transcripts encoding secreted salivary molecules of Lu. longipalpis were produced, purified, and tested for antigenicity and specificity. Use of recombinant proteins corresponding to immunogenic molecules in Lu. longipalpis saliva identified LJM17 and LJM11 as potential markers of exposure. LJM17 was recognized by human, dog, and fox sera; LJM11 by humans and dogs. Notably, LJM17 and LJM11 were specifically recognized by humans exposed to Lu. longipalpis but not by individuals exposed to Lu. intermedia.Salivary recombinant proteins are of value as markers of vector exposure. In humans, LJM17 and LJM11 emerged as potential markers of specific exposure to Lu. longipalpis, the vector of Leishmania infantum chagasi in Latin America. In dogs, LJM17, LJM11, LJL13, LJL23, and LJL143 emerged as potential markers of sand fly exposure. Testing these recombinant proteins in large scale studies will validate their usefulness as specific markers of Lu. longipalpis exposure in humans and of sand fly exposure in dogs.
Project description:We report the cloning of a Leishmania chagasi antigen gene and an evaluation of leishmaniasis patient antibody responses to the recombinant protein, rK39. rK39 contains a 39-amino acid repeat that is part of a 230-kDa protein predominant in L. chagasi tissue amastigotes. Sequence analyses showed this protein, LcKin, to be related to the kinesin superfamily of motor proteins. Southern blot analyses demonstrated LcKin-related sequences in seven species of Leishmania, with conservation of the repeat between L. chagasi and Leishmania donovani. Serological evaluation revealed that 98% (56 of 57) of Brazilian and 100% (52 of 52) of Sudanese visceral leishmaniasis patients have high antibody levels to the rK39 repeat. Detectable anti-K39 antibody was virtually absent in cutaneous and mucosal leishmaniasis patients and in individuals infected with Trypanosoma cruzi. The data show that rK39 may replace crude parasite antigens as a basis for serological diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis.
Project description:Control of human visceral leishmaniasis in regions where it is endemic is hampered in part by limited accessibility to medical care and emerging drug resistance. There is no available protective vaccine. Leishmania spp. protozoa express multiple antigens recognized by the vertebrate immune system. Since there is not one immunodominant epitope recognized by most hosts, strategies must be developed to optimize selection of antigens for prevention and immunodiagnosis. For this reason, we generated a cDNA library from the intracellular amastigote form of Leishmania chagasi, the cause of South American visceral leishmaniasis. We employed a two-step expression screen of the library to systematically identify T-cell antigens and T-dependent B-cell antigens. The first step was aimed at identifying the largest possible number of clones producing an epitope-containing polypeptide by screening with a pool of sera from Brazilians with documented visceral leishmaniasis. After removal of clones encoding heat shock proteins, positive clones underwent a second-step screen for their ability to cause proliferation and gamma interferon responses in T cells from immune mice. Six unique clones were selected from the second screen for further analysis. The corresponding antigens were derived from glutamine synthetase, a transitional endoplasmic reticulum ATPase, elongation factor 1gamma, kinesin K39, repetitive protein A2, and a hypothetical conserved protein. Humans naturally infected with L. chagasi mounted both cellular and antibody responses to these proteins. Preparations containing multiple antigens may be optimal for immunodiagnosis and protective vaccines.
Project description:Cellular immune mechanisms resulting in gamma interferon production are critical for protection against visceral leishmaniasis. Antigens stimulating T-cell responses are likely present in the intracellular amastigote form of the parasite, since this is the form found in a mammalian host. To identify T-cell antigens of Leishmania chagasi, the parasite causing South American visceral leishmaniasis, we used a double antibody-T-cell technique to screen an amastigote cDNA library. One cDNA selected (Lcr1) encodes an antigen that stimulated proliferation of splenic T lymphocytes from infected mice that were either resistant (C3H.HeJ) or susceptible (BALB/c) to L. chagasi infection. The Lcr1 cDNA contains four highly divergent 201-bp repeats homologous to the 204-bp repeat of a Trypanosoma cruzi flagellar antigen gene. Results are consistent with a single copy of the Lcr1 gene producing an mRNA of > 10 kb and a protein of > 200 kDa. Recombinant Lcr1, cloned adjacent to polyhistidine and purified on a nickel affinity column, stimulated gamma interferon but not interleukin-4 (IL-4), IL-5, or IL-10 secretion by T-cell-enriched splenocytes from either susceptible or resistant mice during L. chagasi infection. Immunization with Lcr1 partially protected BALB/c mice against challenge with L. chagasi, indicating the utility of the double screening approach in selecting relevant T-cell antigens.