The nucleotide sequence of a protective recombinant antigen of Taenia crassiceps cysticerci present in all stages of Taenia solium (KETc7), cloned into pcDNA3 plasmid with the signal peptide sequence of the β-glycan receptor (pTc-sp7), has been shown to be effective in protecting mice against experimental infection of T. crassiceps. To explore further the possibilities of this form of immunization and the immune response induced, mice were injected intramuscularly (i.m.) or intradermally (i.d.) with 3 doses of pTc-sp7. Similar levels of resistance were found using either i.m. or i.d. immunization. Spleen cells from i.d. and i.m. DNA immunized mice induced a specific T-cell response to T. crassiceps antigens and to a synthetic peptide from the immunogen itself (GK-1). Proliferated cells were especially enriched in CD8 CD4− T-lymphocytes. A clear increase in the percentage of CD3 cells that produce γ-interferon and interleukin-2 was detected when measuring the intracellular cytokine production, an indication of the pTc-sp7 capacity to induce an effective cellular response. These results provide encouraging information on the use of KETc7 in the prevention of cysticercosis as well as a first insight into the characterization of the immune response induced by pTc-sp7 that hints to the relevance of cellular immunity in protection.
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