Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 22529915
PLoS ONE 2012;7(4):e34445
With the aim to develop an efficient and cost-effective approach to control malaria, we have generated porcine parvovirus-like particles (PPV-VLPs) carrying the CD8(+) T cell epitope (SYVPSAEQI) of the circumsporozoite (CS) protein from Plasmodium yoelii fused to the PPV VP2 capsid protein (PPV-PYCS), and tested in prime/boost protocols with poxvirus vectors for efficacy in a rodent malaria model. As a proof-of concept, we have characterized the anti-CS CD8(+) T cell response elicited by these hybrid PPV-VLPs in BALB/c mice after immunizations with the protein PPV-PYCS administered alone or in combination with recombinant vaccinia virus (VACV) vectors from the Western Reserve (WR) and modified virus Ankara (MVA) strains expressing the entire P. yoelii CS protein. The results of different immunization protocols showed that the combination of PPV-PYCS prime/poxvirus boost was highly immunogenic, inducing specific CD8+ T cell responses to CS resulting in 95% reduction in liver stage parasites two days following sporozoite challenge. In contrast, neither the administration of PPV-PYCS alone nor the immunization with the vectors given in the order poxvirus/VLPs was as effective. The immune profile induced by VLPs/MVA boost was associated with polyfunctional and effector memory CD8+ T cell responses. These findings highlight the use of recombinant parvovirus PPV-PYCS particles as priming agents and poxvirus vectors, like MVA, as booster to enhance specific CD8+ T cell responses to Plasmodium antigens and to control infection. These observations are relevant in the design of T cell-inducing vaccines against malaria.