Schistosomiasis is of public health importance to an estimated one billion people in 79 countries. A vaccine is urgently needed. Here, we report the results of four independent, double-blind studies of an Sm-p80-based vaccine in baboons. The vaccine exhibited potent prophylactic efficacy against transmission of Schistosoma mansoni infection and was associated with significantly less egg-induced pathology, compared with unvaccinated control animals. Specifically, the vaccine resulted in a 93.45% reduction of pathology-producing female worms and significantly resolved the major clinical manifestations of hepatic/intestinal schistosomiasis by reducing the tissue egg-load by 89.95%. A 35-fold decrease in fecal egg excretion in vaccinated animals, combined with an 81.51% reduction in hatching of eggs into the snail-infective stage (miracidia), demonstrates the parasite transmission-blocking potential of the vaccine. Substantially higher Sm-p80 expression in female worms and Sm-p80-specific antibodies in vaccinated baboons appear to play an important role in vaccine-mediated protection. Preliminary analyses of RNA sequencing revealed distinct molecular signatures of vaccine-induced effects in baboon immune effector cells. This study provides comprehensive evidence for the effectiveness of an Sm-p80-based vaccine for schistosomiasis.
Keywords: Schistosoma mansoni; Sm-p80 vaccine; baboons; efficacy; schistosomiasis; systems biology.
© 2018 New York Academy of Sciences.