Trypanosoma cruzi was transformed with the Plasmodium yoelii gene encoding the circumsporozoite (CS) protein, which contains the well-characterized CD8+ T cell epitope, SYVPSAEQI. In vivo and in vitro assays indicated that cells infected with the transformed T. cruzi could process and present this malaria parasite-derived class I MHC-restricted epitope. Immunization of mice with recombinant influenza and vaccinia viruses expressing the SYVPSAEQI epitope induced a large number of specific CD8+ T cells that strongly suppressed parasitemia and conferred complete protection against the acute T. cruzi lethal infection. CD8+ T cells mediated this immunity as indicated by the unrelenting parasitemia and high mortality observed in immunized mice treated with anti-CD8 antibody. This study demonstrated, for the first time, that vaccination of mice with vectors designed to induce CD8+ T cells is effective against T. cruzi infection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy