Toxoplasma gondii is an opportunistic protozoan closely associated with AIDS and vertical transmission. T. gondii actin depolymerizing factor (TgADF) plays an important role in actin cytoskeleton remodeling, and it is required to invade host cells. TgADF was a promising vaccine candidate. To observe the immunological changes and protective efficacy of recombinant TgADF protein (rTgADF) against T. gondii infection, we optimized the intranasal immunization dose of rTgADF and analyzed the survival rate and tachyzoite loads in mouse tissues after oral challenge with T. gondii tachyzoites.
rTgADF was prepared, purified, and combined with mouse anti-His antibody and rabbit anti-T. gondii serum. After intranasal immunization with 10 μg, 20 μg, 30 μg, or 40 μg of rTgADF, the 30-μg group elicited high levels of secretory IgA (sIgA) in nasal, intestinal, and vesical washes, raised IgG titres in the sera, strong proliferation of splenocytes, and increased secretion of IL-2 and IFN-γ when compared with the control group. When the mice were orally challenged with T. gondii, an increase in the survival rate (36.36 %) and a decrease in the tachyzoite loads in the liver (67.77 %) and brain (51.01 %) were observed.
Our findings demonstrate that intranasal immunization with rTgADF can simultaneously trigger mucosal and systemic immune responses and protect the mice against T. gondii infection.