Int J Biol Sci 2011; 7(9):1230-1238. doi:10.7150/ijbs.7.1230

Research Paper

A DNA Vaccine Encoding for TcSSP4 Induces Protection against Acute and Chronic Infection in Experimental Chagas Disease

Minerva Arce-Fonseca1,2,*, Angel Ramos-Ligonio1,3, *, Aracely López-Monteón1,3, Berenice Salgado-Jiménez1, Patricia Talamás-Rohana1, José Luis Rosales-Encina1,✉

1. Departamento de Infectómica y Patogenesis Molecular, Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del I.P.N., México D.F. 07360, México
2. Departamento de Biología Molecular, Instituto Nacional de Cardiología “Ignacio Chávez”, México D.F.14080, México.
3. LADISER Inmunología y Biología Molecular, Facultad de Ciencias Químicas, Universidad Veracruzana, Orizaba, Veracruz, 94340, México.
* These authors contributed equally to this work.

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Arce-Fonseca M, Ramos-Ligonio A, López-Monteón A, Salgado-Jiménez B, Talamás-Rohana P, Rosales-Encina JL. A DNA Vaccine Encoding for TcSSP4 Induces Protection against Acute and Chronic Infection in Experimental Chagas Disease. Int J Biol Sci 2011; 7(9):1230-1238. doi:10.7150/ijbs.7.1230. Available from

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Immunization of mice with plasmids containing genes of Trypanosoma cruzi induces protective immunity in the murine model of Chagas disease. A cDNA clone that codes for an amastigote-specific surface protein (TcSSP4) was used as a candidate to develop a DNA vaccine. Mice were immunized with the recombinant protein rTcSSP4 and with cDNA for TcSSP4, and challenged with bloodstream trypomastigotes. Immunization with rTcSSP4 protein makes mice more susceptible to trypomastigote infection, with high mortality rates, whereas mice immunized with a eukaryotic expression plasmid containing the TcSSP4 cDNA were able to control the acute phase of infection. Heart tissue of gene-vaccinated animals did not show myocarditis and tissue damage at 365 days following infection, as compared with control animals. INF-γ was detected in sera of DNA vaccinated mice shortly after immunization, suggesting the development of a Th1 response. The TcSSP4 gene is a promising candidate for the development of an anti-T. cruzi DNA vaccine.

Keywords: DNA immunization, Trypanosoma cruzi, TcSSP4