Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Virus-Like Nanoparticle Vaccine Confers Protection against Toxoplasma gondii

2016 Aug 22;11(8):e0161231. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0161231.

The inner membrane complex (IMC) of Toxoplasma gondii as a peripheral membrane system has unique and critical roles in parasite replication, motility and invasion. Disruption of IMC sub-compartment protein produces a severe defect in T. gondii endodyogeny, the form of internal cell budding. In this study, we generated T. gondii virus-like particle particles (VLPs) containing proteins derived from IMC, and investigated their efficacy as a vaccine in mice. VLP vaccination induced Toxoplasma gondii-specific total IgG, IgG1 and IgG2a antibody responses in the sera and IgA antibody responses in the feces. Upon challenge infection with a lethal dose of T. gondii (ME49), all vaccinated mice survived, whereas all naïve control mice died. Vaccinated mice showed significantly reduced cyst load and cyst size in the brain. VLP vaccination also induced IgA and IgG antibody responses in feces and intestines, and antibody-secreting plasma cells, mixed Th1/Th2 cytokines and CD4+/CD8+ T cells from spleen. Taken together, these results indicate that non-replicating VLPs containing inner membrane complex of T. gondii represent a promising strategy for the development of a safe and effective vaccine to control the spread of Toxoplasma gondii infection.
[PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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