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Improving the efficacy of a prophylactic vaccine formulation against lymphatic filariasis.

Parasitol Res; 2017 Aug 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28828575

Abstract

Mass drug administration (MDA) is the current strategy for interrupting the transmission of lymphatic filariasis (LF) infection and control of the disease in endemic areas. However, subject non-compliance has resulted in the presence of several "transmission hotspots" in the endemic regions threatening the reemergence of LF. This situation is further complicated by the fact that the drugs used in MDA are not effective against adult LF worms, a major concern for the control strategy. Thus, there is clearly a need for an effective and sustainable approach to control LF. Prophylactic vaccine combined with targeted treatment of infected patients and vector control is suggested as a more sustainable strategy to eliminate LF infection from endemic regions. A multivalent vaccine (rBmHAT) developed in our laboratory conferred about 90% protection in rodents. However, when we tested the rBmHAT vaccine along with alum in rhesus macaques, only about 40% protection was achieved and the immune response obtained was Th2 biased. In an attempt to improve the vaccine, in this study, we tested two vaccine antigens (rBmHAT and rBmHAX) along with two adjuvant formulations [alum + GLA (AL019) and mannosylated chitosan (MCA)] in a mouse model. Our results show that rBmHAT is a better vaccine antigen than rBmHAX. Combination of rBmHAT with AL019 or MCA adjuvants gave 94 and 88% protection, respectively, against challenge infections. Immunized animals developed antigen-specific memory T cells that secreted significant levels of IL-4, IFN-γ, and IL-17 suggesting the generation of a balanced Th1/Th2 responses following immunization. A major advantage of MCA adjuvant is that the vaccine booster doses can be administered orally. These studies thus showed that rBmHAT is a better vaccine antigen and can be given in combination with AL019 or MCA adjuvant to obtain excellent results.