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Immunization with Brugia malayi Calreticulin Protein Generates Robust Antiparasitic Immunity and Offers Protection during Experimental Lymphatic Filariasis

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journal contribution
posted on 05.03.2021, 19:07 by Sunita Yadav, Pankaj Sharma, Aditi Sharma, Laxmi Ganga, Jitendra Kumar Saxena, Mrigank Srivastava
Lymphatic filariasis causes permanent and long-term disability worldwide. Lack of potent adulticidal drugs, the emergence of drug resistance, and the nonavailability of effective vaccines are the major drawbacks toward LF elimination. However, immunomodulatory proteins present in the parasite secretome are capable of providing good protection against LF and thus offer hope in designing new vaccines against LF. Here, we evaluated the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of B. malayi calreticulin protein (BmCRT) using in vitro and in vivo approaches. Stimulation with recombinant BmCRT (rBmCRT) significantly upregulated Th1 cytokine production in mouse splenocytes, mesenteric lymph nodes (mLNs), and splenic and peritoneal macrophages (PMΦs). Heightened NO release, ROS generation, increased lymphocyte proliferation, and increased antigen uptake were also observed after rBmCRT exposure. Mice immunized with rBmCRT responded with increased Th1 and Th2 cytokine secretion and exhibited highly elevated titers of anti-BmCRT specific IgG at day 14 and day 28 postimmunization while splenocytes and mLNs from immunized mice showed a robust recall response on restimulation with rBmCRT. Infective larvae (L3) challenge and protection studies undertaken in Mastomys coucha, a permissive model for LF, showed that rBmCRT-immunized animals mounted a robust humoral immune response as evident by elevated levels of total IgG, IgG1, IgG2a, IgG2b, and IgG3 in their serum even 150 days after L3 challenge, which led to significantly reduced microfilariae and worm burden in infected animals. BmCRT is highly immunogenic and generates robust antiparasitic immunity in immunized animals and should therefore be explored further as a putative vaccine candidate against LF.