Parasites & vectors 2016 08 309() 472 doi 10.1186/s13071-016-1752-6
In past years, many researchers have sought canine visceral leishmaniasis (CVL) prevention through the characterization of Leishmania antigens as vaccine candidates. Despite these efforts, there is still no efficient vaccine for CVL control.
In the present study, we performed a pre-clinical vaccine trial using BALB/c mice to compare the effects of the multicomponent LBSap vaccine with those of Leish-Tec® and Leishmune®. Blood was collected to determine the frequency of peripheral blood cells and to evaluate hematologic and immunophenotypic parameters. Liver and spleen samples were collected for parasitological quantification, and spleen samples were used to access the cytokine profile.
When measuring total IgG and IgG1 anti-Leishmania levels after the third vaccination and L. infantum challenge, it was evident that all vaccines were able to induce humoral immune response. Regarding the innate immune response, increased levels of NK CD3(-)CD49(+) cells were the hallmark of all vaccinated groups, whereas only the Leish-Tec® group displayed a high frequency of CD14(+) monocytes after L. infantum challenge. Moreover, CD3(+)CD4(+) T cells were the main circulating lymphocytes induced after L. infantum challenge with all evaluated vaccines. Importantly, after L. infantum challenge, splenocytes from the Leishmune® vaccine produced high levels of IL-2, whereas a prominent type 1 immune response was the hallmark of the LBSap vaccine, which presented high levels of IL-2, IL-6, TNF-α, and IFN-γ. The efficacy analysis using real-time polymerase chain reaction demonstrated a reduction in the parasitism in the spleen (Leishmune®: 64 %; LBSap: 42 %; and Leish-Tec®: 36 %) and liver (Leishmune®: 71 %; LBSap: 62 %; and Leish-Tec®: 48 %).
The dataset led to the conclusion that the LBSap vaccination was able to induce immune and efficacy profiles comparable with those of commercial vaccines, thus demonstrating its potential as a promising vaccine candidate for visceral leishmaniasis control.