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Volume 61, Issue 2


Immune responses in rats and sheep induced by a DNA vaccine containing the phosphoglycerate kinase gene of Fasciola hepatica and liver fluke infection

Agnieszka Wesołowska
  • Corresponding author
  • W. Stefański Institute of Parasitology, Polish Academy of Science, 51/55 Twarda, 00-818 Warsaw
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/ Anna Zawistowska-Deniziak
  • W. Stefański Institute of Parasitology, Polish Academy of Science, 51/55 Twarda, 00-818 Warsaw
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/ Luke J. Norbury
  • W. Stefański Institute of Parasitology, Polish Academy of Science, 51/55 Twarda, 00-818 Warsaw
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/ Przemysław Wilkowski
  • W. Stefański Institute of Parasitology, Polish Academy of Science, 51/55 Twarda, 00-818 Warsaw
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/ Kamil Januszkiewicz
  • W. Stefański Institute of Parasitology, Polish Academy of Science, 51/55 Twarda, 00-818 Warsaw
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/ Anna M. Pyziel
  • W. Stefański Institute of Parasitology, Polish Academy of Science, 51/55 Twarda, 00-818 Warsaw
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/ Wojciech Zygner / Halina Wędrychowicz
  • W. Stefański Institute of Parasitology, Polish Academy of Science, 51/55 Twarda, 00-818 Warsaw
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  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2016-03-30 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ap-2016-0030


Immune responses of rats and sheep following vaccination with cDNA encoding phosphoglycerate kinase of Fasciola hepatica (cDNA-FhPGK/pCMV) and F. hepatica infection were investigated in the present study. cDNA-FhPGK/pCMV vaccinated female Sprague-Dawley rats were better protected by vaccination than their male counterparts – 48% reduction in fluke burden for females and no protection for males when compared with appropriate infection control groups. Moreover, male rats developed marked leukocytosis during the study with higher neutrophil, eosinophil and monocyte responses than females. Additionally, dynamics of eosinophil and monocyte responses varied between sexes. Increased titres of anti-FhPGK IgG1 and IgG2a correlated with the protective effect of vaccination that was observed among female rats. In the case of male sheep, no differences in worm burdens and in the course of the immune response were observed following vaccination. Titres of specific antibodies detected were low, and cellular responses were not significant. Apparently, sheep immune responses induced by cDNA-FhPGK/pCMV vaccination are not effective at controlling F. hepatica infection. Poor immunogenicity of DNA vaccines in large animals is still a major obstacle of this technology that has to be overcome.

Keywords: Fasciola hepatica; immune response; DNA vaccine; phosphoglycerate kinase


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About the article

Received: 2015-06-22

Revised: 2015-10-12

Accepted: 2015-11-20

Published Online: 2016-03-30

Published in Print: 2016-06-01

Citation Information: Acta Parasitologica, Volume 61, Issue 2, Pages 212–220, ISSN (Online) 1896-1851, ISSN (Print) 1230-2821, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ap-2016-0030.

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