Immunization with a recombinant stage-regulated surface protein from Leishmania donovani induces protection against visceral leishmaniasis

S Stäger, D F Smith, P M Kaye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Vaccination against visceral leishmaniasis has received limited attention compared with cutaneous leishmaniasis, although the need for an effective vaccine against visceral leishmaniasis is pressing. In this study, we demonstrate for the first time that a recombinant stage-specific hydrophilic surface protein of Leishmania donovani, recombinant hydrophilic acylated surface protein B1 (HASPB1), is able to confer protection against experimental challenge. Protection induced by rHASPB1 does not require adjuvant and, unlike soluble Leishmania Ag + IL-12, extends to the control of parasite burden in the spleen, an organ in which parasites usually persist and are refractory to a broad range of immunological and chemotherapeutic interventions. Both immunohistochemistry (for IL-12p40) and enzyme-linked immunospot assay (for IL-12p70) indicate that immunization with rHASPB1 results in IL-12 production by dendritic cells, although an analysis of Ab isotype responses to rHASPB1 suggests that this response is not sufficient in magnitude to induce a polarized Th1 response. Although both vaccinated and control-infected mice have equivalent frequencies of rHASPB1-specific CD4(+) T cells producing IFN-gamma, vaccine-induced protection correlates with the presence of rHASPB1-specific, IFN-gamma-producing CD8(+) T cells. Thus, we have identified a novel vaccine candidate Ag for visceral leishmaniasis, which appears to operate via a mechanism similar to that previously associated with DNA vaccination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7064-71
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2000


  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Protozoan
  • Antigens, Protozoan
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dendritic Cells
  • Drug Combinations
  • Female
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Interleukin-12
  • Interleukin-4
  • Leishmania donovani
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral
  • Liver Diseases, Parasitic
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Protozoan Proteins
  • Protozoan Vaccines
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Solubility
  • Spleen
  • Splenic Diseases
  • Th2 Cells

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