a1 Division of Parasitology, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, Uttar Pradesh, India
a2 Division of Animal Biotechnology, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, Uttar Pradesh, India
a3 Centre for Animal Diseases Research and Diagnosis, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, Uttar Pradesh, India
a4 Agricultural Research Information System, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, Uttar Pradesh, India
Fasciola gigantica fatty acid binding protein (FABP) was evaluated for evoking an effective immune response in mice and rabbits, when delivered as a DNA vaccine in muscle cells. Polyethylenimine (PEI), 25 kDa, branched cationic polymer was used as a delivery vehicle for this DNA in the muscle cells of mice and rabbits. Naked DNA evoked mixed Th1 and Th2 responses in mice. PEI condensed DNA, at amine nitrogen over DNA phosphate (N/P) ratios of 4, 6 and 8 and with various DNA concentrations, failed to evoke a significantly higher antibody response compared to naked DNA in mice. Similarly, the humoral immune response to naked DNA administration in rabbit thigh muscles was poor and no boosting of this antibody response on administration of DNA complexed to PEI was observed. On metacercarial challenge, rabbits failed to show any significant protective immune response in both the naked DNA and PEI–DNA immunized groups. Administration of PEI alone (12.5 μg) in mouse thigh muscles caused significant muscle cytotoxicity but condensation of DNA with PEI had less of a toxic effect on muscle cells, which was inversely related to the N/P ratio. Delivery of plasmid DNA encoding F. gigantica FABP by high molecular weight polyethylenimine (branched, 25 kDa) did not boost the effective immune response in both the animal species, which could either be attributed to cytotoxicity associated with this cationic polymer or muscle cells being unsuitable target cells for PEI condensed DNA delivery.
(Accepted September 29 2008)
(Online publication December 09 2008)