Human onchocerciasis is a neglected tropical disease caused by Onchocerca volvulus and an important cause of blindness and chronic disability in the developing world. Although mass drug administration of ivermectin has had a profound effect on control of the disease, additional tools are critically needed including the need for a vaccine against onchocerciasis. The objectives of the present study were to: (i) select antigens with known vaccine pedigrees as components of a vaccine; (ii) produce the selected vaccine antigens under controlled conditions, using two expression systems and in one laboratory and (iii) evaluate their vaccine efficacy using a single immunisation protocol in mice. In addition, we tested the hypothesis that joining protective antigens as a fusion protein or in combination, into a multivalent vaccine, would improve the ability of the vaccine to induce protective immunity. Out of eight vaccine candidates tested in this study, Ov-103, Ov-RAL-2 and Ov-CPI-2M were shown to reproducibly induce protective immunity when administered individually, as fusion proteins or in combination. Although there was no increase in the level of protective immunity induced by combining the antigens into one vaccine, these antigens remain strong candidates for inclusion in a vaccine to control onchocerciasis in humans.
Recommended CitationHess, Jessica A.; Zhan, Bin; Bonne-Annee, Sandra; Deckman, Jessica M.; Bottazzi, Maria Elena; Hotez, Peter J.; Klei, Thomas R R.; Lustigman, Sara; and Abraham, David, "Vaccines to combat river blindness: expression, selection and formulation of vaccines against infection with Onchocerca volvulus in a mouse model." (2014). Department of Microbiology and Immunology Faculty Papers. Paper 145.
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