Experimental parasitology

Combination of the two schistosomal antigens Sm14 and Sm29 elicits significant protection against experimental Schistosoma mansoni infection.

PMID 25092439


Schistosomiasis continues to be a serious helminthic disease that is widespread in many regions in the world. Disease management relies mainly on early treatment with praziquantel, nevertheless, re-infection rates can still be high. An effective vaccine against Schistosoma mansoni is still lacking; a situation which hinders the efforts to eradicate the disease worldwide. Most investigators test S. mansoni antigens individually, rather than in combination, in their vaccine trials. A single-antigen vaccine is likely to elicit less protection against schistosomiasis than a multi-antigen vaccine. In the current study, we have selected two promising S. mansoni antigens, Sm14 and Sm29, and investigated their combination as a potential vaccine. Recombinant Sm14 and a truncated form of Sm29, designated TrSm29, were successfully expressed in Escherichiacoli. The two antigens were purified using affinity chromatography and administered to Swiss albino mice individually and in combination. Significant protection against S. mansoni infection was observed in mice immunized with the Sm14/TrSm29 combination in the presence/absence of the immunoadjuvant poly (I:C). The poly (I:C)-adjuvanted combination resulted in 40.3%, 68.2%, and 57.9% reduction in adult worm burden, liver egg burden and intestinal eggs, respectively. Granuloma size and count were also reduced besides improvement of the histopathological picture of livers of immunized mice. This study demonstrates the importance of using multi-antigen vaccines as an effective and simple approach to fulfill enhanced protection against schistosomiasis.