Vaccination with recombinant NcROP2 combined with recombinant NcMIC1 and NcMIC3 reduces cerebral infection and vertical transmission in mice experimentally infected with Neospora caninum tachyzoites

Debache, Karim; Alaeddine, Ferial; Guionaud, Christophe; Monney, Thierry; Müller, Joachim; Strohbusch, Maria; Leib, Stephen L.; Grandgirard, Denis; Hemphill, Andrew (2009). Vaccination with recombinant NcROP2 combined with recombinant NcMIC1 and NcMIC3 reduces cerebral infection and vertical transmission in mice experimentally infected with Neospora caninum tachyzoites. International journal for parasitology, 39(12), pp. 1373-1384. Kidlington, UK: Elsevier 10.1016/j.ijpara.2009.04.006

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We investigated the protective potential of recombinant his-tagged antigens recNcMIC1, recNcMIC3 and recNcROP2, applied either as single vaccines or as vaccine combinations, in BALB/c mouse models for cerebral and fetal infection. Subsequently, mice were mated and challenged by i.p. inoculation of 2 x 10(6)Neospora caninum tachyzoites at day 7 of pregnancy. The mortality and morbidity of adult mice (non-pregnant and dams) and of the newborn pups was studied for a period of 40 days following birth. Vaccination of non-pregnant mice with recNcROP2 or combinations of recNcROP2 with recNcMIC antigens significantly reduced the numbers of mice suffering from clinical signs, and morbidity was completely prevented with the combination of all three antigens. Of the dams, the groups receiving either recNcROP2 alone or the combination of all three antigens did not exhibit any morbidity, the groups receiving ROP2 mixed with either MIC1 or MIC3 exhibited reduced numbers of deaths, and in the infection control group and the adjuvant group 50% and 43% of mice, respectively, succumbed to disease. For pups, the highest survival rates were noted for the groups receiving recNcROP2 (50%) and recNcROP2/NcMIC1/NcMIC3 (35%), while in the infection- and adjuvant- control groups all pups died, the latest at days 25 and 30, respectively. Quantification of parasite DNA by N. caninum-specific real-time PCR revealed consistently lower parasite burdens in brain tissue of pups from vaccinated groups compared with the controls. However, dense granule antigen 2 (GRA2) real-time reverse transcriptase-PCR on brain tissue of surviving pups (applied here to detect viable parasites) demonstrated that only the pups from the group vaccinated with all three antigens in combination appeared free of viable tachyzoites, while in all other groups viable parasites were still present. Serological analysis of humoral (total IgG, IgG1 and IgG2a) and serum cytokine (IL-4 and IFN-gamma) responses showed that this effect was associated with a Th-2-biased immune response, with a clearly elevated IL-4/IFN-gamma ratio in the mice receiving all three antigens in combination. In conclusion, a mixture of recombinant antigens representing important secretory micronemal and rhoptry proteins leads to a significant protection against vertical transmission of N. caninum in mice.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Institute of Parasitology
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute for Infectious Diseases

UniBE Contributor:

Debache, Karim, Alaeddine, Ferial, Guionaud, Christophe, Monney, Thierry, Müller, Heinz Joachim, Leib, Stephen, Hemphill, Andrew


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








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04 Oct 2013 15:14

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:22

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URI: (FactScience: 197643)

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