Schistosomiasis is listed as one of most important tropical diseases and more than 200 million people are estimated to be infected. Development of a vaccine is thought to be the most effective way to control this disease. Recombinant 26-kDa glutathione S-transferase (rSjGST) has previously been reported to achieve a worm reduction rate of 42–44%. To improve the efficiency of the vaccine against Schistosoma japonicum, we immunized mice with a combination of pcDNA vector-encoded 26-kDa SjGST (pcDNA/SjGST), IL-12 expressing-plasmid (pIL-12), and rSjGST. Co-vaccination with pcDNA/SjGST, pIL-12, and rSjGST led to a reduction in worm burden, hepatic egg burden, and the size of liver tissue granulomas than that in the untreated infection controls. In addition, we detected high levels of specific IgG, IgG1, and IgG2a against the rSjGST antigen in infected mice vaccinated with this combination of pcDNA/SjGST, pIL-12, and rSjGST. Moreover, high expression levels of Th2 cytokines, including IL-4 and IL-10, were also detected in this group, without diminished levels of IL-12, INF-γ, and TNF-α cytokines that are related to parasite killing. In conclusion, we have developed a new vaccination regimen against S. japonicum infection and shown that co-immunization with pcDNA/SjGST vaccine, pIL-12, and rSjGST has significant anti-parasite, anti-hepatic egg and anti-pathology effects in mice. The efficacy of this vaccination method should be further validated in large animals such as water buffalo. This method may help to reduce the transmission of zoonotic schistosomiasis japonica.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases