Virus-like particle vaccine displaying Toxoplasma gondii apical membrane antigen 1 induces protection against T. gondii ME49 infection in mice

Min Ju Kim, Su Hwa Lee, Hae Ji Kang, Ki Back Chu, Hyunwoo Park, Hui Jin, Eun Kyung Moon, Sung Soo Kim, Fu Shi Quan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Toxoplasmosis is an intracellular parasitic disease caused by the protozoa Toxoplasma gondii, which affects about half of the world's population. In spite of the strenuous endeavors, a T. gondii vaccine for clinical use remains unreported to date. In the present study, we generated virus-like particles (VLPs) containing T. gondii apical membrane antigen 1 (AMA1) and assessed its efficacy in a murine model. VLPs were characterized using western blot and TEM. T. gondii-specific IgG and IgA antibody responses in sera, germinal center B cell responses in spleen, brain cyst counts and their sizes were determined. Elevated T. gondii-specific IgG and IgA antibody responses were observed from the sera of AMA1 VLP-immunized mice. Immunization with AMA1 VLPs enhanced T. gondii-specific antibody-secreting cell responses and germinal center B cell responses upon antigen stimulation. Brain tissue analysis revealed that AMA1 VLP-immunization reduced cyst formation and its size compared to control. Also, VLP-immunized mice were less susceptible to body weight loss and displayed enhanced survival rate compared to the control group. Our results demonstrated that the immune response induced by T. gondii AMA1 VLPs confer partial protection against T. gondii infection and provides important insight into potential T. gondii vaccine design strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104090
JournalMicrobial Pathogenesis
Volume142
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2020

Keywords

  • AMA1
  • Immune response
  • Toxoplasma gondii
  • Virus-like particles (VLPs)

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