In order to develop CD8+-T-cell-mediated immunotherapy against intracellular infectious agents, vaccination using recombinant virus vectors has become a promising strategy. In this study, we generated recombinant adenoviral and vaccinia virus vectors expressing a single CD8+-T-celI epitope, ANYNFTLV, which is derived from a Trypanosoma cruzi antigen. Immunogenicity of these two recombinant virus vectors was confirmed by the detection of ANYNFTLV-specific CD8+ T cells in the spleens of immunized mice. Priming/boosting immunization using combinations of these two recombinant virus vectors revealed that the adenovirus vector was efficient for priming and the vaccinia virus vector was effective for boosting the CD8+-T-cell responses. Moreover, we also demonstrated that the ANYNFTLV-specific CD8 +-T-CeIl responses were further augmented by coadministration of recombinant vaccinia virus vector expressing the receptor activator of NFΚB (RANK) ligand as an adjuvant. By priming with the adenovirus vector expressing ANYNFTLV and boosting with the vaccinia virus vectors expressing ANYNFTLV and RANK ligand, the immunized mice were efficiently protected from subsequent challenge with lethal doses of T. cruzi. These results indicated, for the first time, that the induction of immune responses against a single CD8+-T-cell epitope derived from an intrinsic T. cruzi antigen was sufficient to control lethal T. cruzi infection.
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