Vaccination with irradiated third stage Brugia malayi larvae (L3) has been reported to induce partial protective immunity to L3 challenge in jirds. The purpose of this study was to identify antigens that may be targets of protective immunity in this model. Jirds were immunized by s.c. injection of irradiated L3 and challenged either s.c. or i.p. Necropsy was performed 11 wk after challenge. Partial protection was achieved in s.c. challenged animals; worm recovery was only 41% of that observed in unvaccinated controls, and worms recovered from immunized animals were stunted. Worm recoveries in immunized animals that were challenged i.p. did not differ from those of unimmunized controls. Group differences in parasite antigen levels in sera collected 2-11 wk after larval challenge were consistent with parasitological findings obtained at necropsy. Antibody studies compared prechallenge sera from immunized animals to sera from infected (unimmunized) controls. Antibody responses to L3 surface antigens (assessed by IFA) were much stronger after immunization than after infection. Immunoblot studies showed preferential recognition of several L3 antigens (97, 54, 48, and 40 kDa) by antibodies in sera from immunized animals. Additional studies are needed to determine whether immunization with such preferentially recognized antigens can induce protection to larval challenge comparable to or better than that observed with live vaccines.
- Brugia malayi