Modular Multiantigen T Cell Epitope–Enriched DNA Vaccine Against Human Leishmaniasis
Shantanabha Das, Anja Freier, Thouraya Boussoffara, Sushmita Das, Detlef Oswald, Florian O. Losch, Melanie Selka, Nina Sacerdoti-Sierra, Gabriele Schönian, Karl-Heinz Wiesmüller, Karin Seifert, Matthias Schroff, Christiane Juhls, Charles L. Jaffe, Syamal Roy, Pradeep Das, Hechmi Louzir, Simon L. Croft, Farrokh Modabber and Peter Walden.
The leishmaniases are protozoal diseases that severely affect large populations in tropical and subtropical regions. There are only limited treatment options and preventative measures. Vaccines will be important for prevention, control and elimination of leishmaniasis, and could reduce the transmission and burden of disease in endemic populations. We report the development of a DNA vaccine against leishmaniasis that induced T cell–based immunity and is a candidate for clinical trials. The vaccine antigens were selected as conserved in various Leishmania species, different endemic regions, and over time. They were tested with T cells from individuals cured of leishmaniasis, and shown to be immunogenic and to induce CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses in genetically diverse human populations of different endemic regions. The vaccine proved protective in a rodent model of infection. Thus, the immunogenicity of candidate vaccine antigens in human populations of endemic regions, as well as proof of principle for induction of specific immune responses and protection against Leishmania infection in mice, provides a viable strategy for T cell vaccine development.
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