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Schistosoma mansoni cercarial elastase (SmCE): differences in immunogenic properties of native and recombinant forms


The Schistosoma mansoni cercarial elastase (SmCE) has previously been shown to be poorly immunogenic in mice. However, a minority of mice were able to produce antibodies against SmCE after multiple immunizations with crude preparations containing the enzyme. These mice were partially protected against challenge infections of S. mansoni. In the present study, we show that in contrast to the poor immunogenicity of the enzymatically active native form of SmCE derived from a crude preparation (cercarial transformation fluid), immunization of CBA/Ca mice with two enzymatically inactive forms, namely purified native SmCE or a recombinant SmCE fused to recombinant Schistosoma japonicum glutathione S-transferase (rSmCE-SjGST), after adsorption onto aluminum hydroxide adjuvant, induced specific anti-SmCE immunoglobulin G (IgG) in all mice within 2 weeks of the second immunization. The IgG antibody response to rSmCE-SjGST was mainly of the IgG1 subclass. These results suggest that inactive forms of the antigen could be used to obtain the optimum immunogenic effects as a vaccine candidate against schistosomiasis. Mice immunized with the rSmCE-SjGST on alum had smaller mean worm burdens and lower tissue egg counts when compared with adjuvant alone- and recombinant SjGST-injected controls. The native SmCE was antigenically cross-reactive with homologous enzymes of Schistosoma haematobium and Schistosoma margrebowiei.

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*Corresponding author: Medical Parasitology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Egypt. E-mail:
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