, Volume 98, Issue 1, pp 67-74
Date: 01 Nov 2005

Intramuscular immunization with p36(LACK) DNA vaccine induces IFN-γ production but does not protect BALB/c mice against Leishmania chagasi intravenous challenge

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Acute visceral leishmaniasis is a progressive disease caused by Leishmania chagasi in South America. The acquisition of immunity following infection suggests that vaccination is a feasible approach to protect against this disease. Since Leishmania homologue of receptors for activated C kinase (LACK) antigen is of particular interest as a vaccine candidate because of the prominent role it plays in the pathogenesis of experimental Leishmania major infection, we evaluated the potential of a p36(LACK) DNA vaccine in protecting BALB/c mice challenged with L. chagasi. In this study, mice received intramuscular (i.m.) or subcutaneous (s.c.) doses of LACK DNA vaccine. We evaluated the production of vaccine-induced cytokines and whether this immunization was able to reduce parasite load in liver and spleen. We detected a significant production of interferon gamma by splenocytes from i.m. vaccinated mice in response to L. chagasi antigen and to rLACK protein. However, we did not observe a reduction in parasite load neither in liver nor in the spleen of vaccinated animals. The lack of protection observed may be explained by a significant production of IL-10 induced by the vaccine.