To evaluate a well-founded vaccine strategy against the trematode parasite Schistosoma haematobium by evaluating :
* the immune responses towards, the 28 kDa glutathione S-transferase (Sh28GST) and its major epitopes, in infected human populations in three endemic areas;
* the present epidemiological status and transmission process in each endemic area;
* the feasibility of the use of new mucosal delivery systems for the recombinant subunit vaccine.
In addition, the project will promote the development of south-south collaborative research between the participating DC partners, in terms of technological and staff exchanges. The bi-directional programme (North-south) for research training which took place in 1995 for the cellular immunity analysis and epidemiological and medical studies, will be continued.
The epidemiology and immuno-epidemiological studies on S. haematobium infected populations will give us an up to date view of the parasitic status and the specific immune status of the targeted populations allowing us to prepare the appropriate schedule for vaccine trials in infected populations (phase 2; Sh28GST in Alum), which is planned in 1999.
The studies on the proposed new vaccine formulations for mucosal immunisation will be the last step of their evaluation. Their efficacy will be confirmed, and their capacity under field conditions will be evaluated.
The project will ensure the training of DC partner technicians, doctoral and post-doctoral students and technology transfers, notably between the DC partners. We place particular emphasis on the development of this collaboration in the context of the regional integration of research efforts against infectious diseases.
* Epidemiological survey of S. haematobium infection in Senegal, Niger and Madagascar. Study of the transmission process of the disease.
* Immuno-epidemiology of S. haematobium infection in human before and after treatment. Humoral and cellular responses to rSh28GST in infected human populations, in Senegal, Niger, and Madagascar.
* Production of rSh28GST, liposomes and nucleic vaccine vectors. Humoral responses to mucosal immunization in mice and Patas monkeys,
* Mouse model of S. haematobium infection (parasite life cycle). Humoral and cellular responses in infected mice, mucosal vaccination trials in mice.
* Monkey model of S. haematobium infection. Humoral and cellular responses in infected animals, mucosal vaccination trials.
* Training of one Senegalese technician in immunochemistry, one physician scientist in epidemiology from Niger, and one scientist in Madagascar for cellular immunology will be undertaken. Training of two European students in human immunology, one for the studies in Madagascar (March 1998), the other one in Senegal (June 1998).
The coordination of external services for toxicology analysis, and Phase I a clinical trial of rSh28GST in Europe will be engaged by Partner 1.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
YO1 5YW York