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2012 | 15 | 1 |

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Induction of immune responses in sheep by vaccination with liposome-entrapped DNA complexes encoding Toxoplasma gondii MIC3 gene

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Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite that has been extensively studied due to its medical and veterinary importance in terminating pregnancies. Consequently, a satisfactory vaccine is required to control its adverse effects on pregnant animals. The microneme protein, MIC3, is a major adhesion protein that binds to the surface of host cells and parasites, and is therefore a potential vaccine against T. gondii. The viability of MIC3 as a vaccine is investigated in this study. Sheep were injected twice, intramuscularly, with plasmids containing DNA encoding for the mature form of MIC3 protein formulated into liposomes. Control sheep were injected with an empty vector or received no injections. The injection of sheep with DNA plasmids encoding for MIC3 elicited an immune response after the first and second injections as indicated by antibody responses and the production of IFN-γ. The immune response, as measured by the IgG2 and IgG1 serum levels, was boosted after the injection of the MIC3 DNA vaccine together with high anti-MIC3 antibodies. The results demonstrate that the intramuscular injection of sheep with a plasmid containing DNA coding for MIC3 protein induces a significant and effective immune response against T. gondii.








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  • Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Lincoln University, PO Box 84, Lincoln, Canterbury, New Zealand


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