To develop a vaccine for schistosomiasis japonica.
Cloning work for production of recombinant paramyosin, Sj23, Sj22.6 and myosin will be completed and DNA vaccine constructs of Sj23 and Sj28GST will be produced. These preparations will be scaled up and tested for immunogenicity and protective efficacy/studies of immune mechanisms in mice. Liposome formulations of paramyosin, Sj28GST, Sj23, myosin and Sj22.6 will be produced and tested for immunogenicity and protective efficacy in mice. Promising formulations will be further tested in sheep and pigs, and the antigenicity of the recombinants will be determined in humans.
This work programme will establish the optimal formulations of our panel of recombinant S. japonicum antigens for subsequent field testing in livestock. The human studies should give indications as to which if any of these antigens is associated with immune protection against reinfection in man. Ultimately this work may lead to the introduction of effective vaccines for use in both humans and their domestic animals.
We will evaluate the protective efficacy of novel formulations of several recombinant S. japonicum antigens in their natural sheep and pig hosts. We will develop improved methods of vaccine delivery by preparing and testing antigens delivered as DNA vaccines or in liposomes. Also, with a view to planning eventual clinical trials with one or more of these antigens, evidence of a protective role for antibody or cytokine responses to each of these antigens will be investigated using sera and whole-blood assays from "resistant" and "susceptible" S. japonicum patients in China. Antigens to be developed are those which we have already cloned, expressed, and tested in animal vaccination experiments: glutathione S-transferases, paramyosin, myosin, a 23kDa integral membrane protein, and Sj22.6.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts