Immunization With a Plasmid DNA Containing the Gene of Trans-Sialidase Reduces Trypanosoma Cruzi Infection in Mice

Vaccine. 1998 May;16(8):768-74. doi: 10.1016/s0264-410x(97)00277-6.


Trypanosoma cruzi, the protozoan parasite that causes Chagas' disease, does not synthesize sialic acid, but expresses a trans-sialidase that catalyses the transfer of sialic acid from host glycoconjugates to the parasite surface. Several lines of evidence suggest that this enzyme is a virulence factor implicated in the establishment of infection. Here we studied whether immunization with a plasmid DNA containing a gene encoding for the catalytic domain of the enzyme could elicit protective immunity against T. cruzi infection in mice. We observed that immunization with this plasmid DNA generated antibody and T-cell mediated immune responses. Antibodies recognized the native enzyme and inhibited its activity in vitro. Upon challenge with bloodstream trypomastigotes, immunized animals displayed reduced parasitemia and mortality.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Protozoan / biosynthesis
  • Antigens, Protozoan / immunology*
  • Chagas Disease / prevention & control*
  • DNA, Protozoan / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Glycoproteins / immunology*
  • Hypersensitivity, Delayed / immunology
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred A
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Neuraminidase / genetics
  • Neuraminidase / immunology*
  • Plasmids
  • Protozoan Vaccines*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Trypanosoma cruzi / immunology*
  • Vaccines, DNA / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Protozoan
  • Antigens, Protozoan
  • DNA, Protozoan
  • Glycoproteins
  • Protozoan Vaccines
  • Vaccines, DNA
  • trans-sialidase
  • Neuraminidase