Localization within a Proline-Rich Antigen (Ag2/PRA) of Protective Antigenicity against Infection with Coccidioides immitis in Mice


American Society for Microbiology


Subunits of a proline-rich coccidioidal antigen (Ag2/PRA) of Coccidioides immitis were analyzed by comparison as vaccines in mice. The optimal dose of plasmid vaccine encoding full-length Ag2/PRA was determined to be between 10 and 100 μg. Mice vaccinated with plasmids encoding amino acids (aa) 1 to 106 were as protective as full-length Ag2/PRA (aa 1 to 194). The subunit from aa 27 to 106 was significantly but less protective. Plasmids encoding aa 90 to 151 or aa 90 to 194 were not protective. Analogous results were obtained with recombinant vaccines of the same amino acid sequences. In addition, mixtures of aa 90 to 194 with either aa 1 to 106 or aa 27 to 106 did not enhance protection compared to the active single-recombinant subunits alone. Humoral response of total immunoglobulin G (IgG) and subclasses IgG1 and IgG2a were detectable in subunit vaccinations but at significantly (100-fold) lower concentrations than after vaccination with plasmids encoding full-length Ag2/PRA. Since virtually all protection by vaccination with full-length Ag2/PRA can be accounted for in the first half of the protein (aa 1 to 106), this subunit could make a multicomponent vaccine more feasible by reducing the quantity of protein per dose and the possibility of an untoward reactions to a foreign protein.

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