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Intraperitoneal and intra-nasal vaccination of mice with three distinct recombinant Neospora caninum antigens results in differential effects with regard to protection against experimental challenge with Neospora caninum tachyzoites

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 October 2009

Institute of Parasitology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Berne, Länggass-Strasse 122, CH-3012Berne, Switzerland
Institute of Veterinary Pharmacology & Toxicology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Berne, Länggass-Strasse 124, CH-3012Berne, Switzerland
Institute of Veterinary Pharmacology & Toxicology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Berne, Länggass-Strasse 124, CH-3012Berne, Switzerland
Institute of Parasitology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Berne, Länggass-Strasse 122, CH-3012Berne, Switzerland
*Corresponding author: Andrew Hemphill, Institute of Parasitology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Berne, Länggass-Strasse 122, CH-3012Berne, Switzerland. Tel. +41 31 6312384. Fax +41 31 6312477. E-mail:


Recombinant NcPDI(recNcPDI), NcROP2(recNcROP2), and NcMAG1(recNcMAG1) were expressed in Escherichia coli and purified, and evaluated as potential vaccine candidates by employing the C57Bl/6 mouse cerebral infection model. Intraperitoneal application of these proteins suspended in saponin adjuvants lead to protection against disease in 50% and 70% of mice vaccinated with recNcMAG1 and recNcROP2, respectively, while only 20% of mice vaccinated with recNcPDI remained without clinical signs. In contrast, a 90% protection rate was achieved following intra-nasal vaccination with recNcPDI emulsified in cholera toxin. Only 1 mouse vaccinated intra-nasally with recNcMAG1 survived the challenge infection, and protection achieved with intra-nasally applied recNcROP2 was at 60%. Determination of cerebral parasite burdens by real-time PCR showed that these were significantly reduced only in recNcROP2-vaccinated animals (following intraperitoneal and intra-nasal application) and in recNcPDI-vaccinated mice (intra-nasal application only). Quantification of viable tachyzoites in brain tissue of intra-nasally vaccinated mice showed that immunization with recNcPDI resulted in significantly decreased numbers of live parasites. These data show that, besides the nature of the antigen, the protective effect of vaccination also depends largely on the route of antigen delivery. In the case of recNcPDI, the intra-nasal route provides a platform to generate a highly protective immune response.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2009

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