Evaluation of the Proline-Rich Antigen of Coccidioides immitis as a Vaccine Candidate in Mice


American Society for Microbiology


We have expressed the proline-rich antigen (PRA) from Coccidioides immitis in Escherichia coli and evaluated its potential as a vaccine candidate. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis analysis of the recombinant protein (rPRA) revealed two bands, which exhibited virtually identical primary amino acid sequences. T cells from rPRA-immunized BALB/c mice showed a significant in vitro proliferative response to rPRA. A small but statistically significant proliferative response was also induced by rPRA in T cells from mice immunized with whole-cell coccidioidal vaccines. BALB/c mice immunized with rPRA and challenged intraperitoneally with virulent C. immitis had a greatly reduced fungal burden in their lungs and spleens compared to unvaccinated mice. The number of organisms in the lungs was reduced 500-fold, and similar reductions were observed in the spleens of immunized mice. These studies support the continued development of rPRA as a candidate vaccine for prevention of coccidioidomycosis.

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