Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 135 in total

  1. Cheong FW, Fong MY, Lau YL
    Acta Trop., 2016 Feb;154:89-94.
    PMID: 26624919 DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2015.11.005
    Plasmodium knowlesi can cause potentially life threatening human malaria. The Plasmodium merozoite surface protein-142 (MSP-142) is a potential target for malaria blood stage vaccine, and for diagnosis of malaria. Two epitope mapping techniques were used to identify the potential epitopes within P. knowlesi MSP-142. Nine and 14 potential epitopes were identified using overlapping synthetic peptide library and phage display library, respectively. Two regions on P. knowlesi MSP-142 (amino acid residues 37-95 and residues 240-289) were identified to be the potential dominant epitope regions. Two of the prominent epitopes, P10 (TAKDGMEYYNKMGELYKQ) and P31 (RCLLGFKEVGGKCVPASI), were evaluated using mouse model. P10- and P31-immunized mouse sera reacted with recombinant P. knowlesi MSP-142, with the IgG isotype distribution of IgG2b>IgG1>IgG2a>IgG3. Significant higher level of cytokines interferon-gamma and interleukin-2 was detected in P31-immunized mice. Both P10 and P31 could be the suitable epitope candidates to be used in malaria vaccine designs and immunodiagnostic assays, provided further evaluation is needed to validate the potential uses of these epitopes.
  2. Fong MY, Wong SS, Silva JR, Lau YL
    Acta Trop., 2015 Dec;152:145-150.
    PMID: 26384455 DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2015.09.009
    The simian malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi is now recognized as a species that can cause human malaria. The first report of large scale human knowlesi malaria was in 2004 in Malaysia Borneo. Since then, hundreds of human knowlesi malaria cases have been reported in Southeast Asia. The present study investigates the genetic polymorphism of P. knowlesi DI domain of the apical membrane antigen-1 (AMA-1), a protein considered as a promising vaccine candidate for malaria. The DI domain of AMA-1 gene of P. knowlesi clinical isolates from Peninsular Malaysia was amplified by PCR, cloned into Escherichia coli, then sequenced and analysed. Ninety-seven DI domain sequences were obtained. Comparison at the nucleotide level against P. knowlesi strain H as reference sequence showed 21 synonymous and 25 nonsynonymous mutations. Nonetheless, nucleotide sequence analysis revealed low genetic diversity of the DI domain, and it was under purifying (negative) selection. At the amino acid level, 26 different haplotypes were identified and 2 were predominant haplotypes (H1, H2) with high frequencies. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the 26 haplotypes could be clustered into 2 distinct groups (I and II). Members of the groups were basically derived from haplotypes H1 and H2, respectively.
  3. Alareqi LMQ, Mahdy MAK, Lau YL, Fong MY, Abdul-Ghani R, Mahmud R
    Acta Trop., 2016 Oct;162:174-179.
    PMID: 27343362 DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2016.06.016
    Since 2005, artesunate (AS) plus sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine (SP) combination has been adopted as the first-line treatment for uncomplicated malaria in Yemen in response to the high level of Plasmodium falciparum resistance to chloroquine (CQ). Therefore, the aim of the present study was to determine the frequency distribution of molecular markers associated with resistance to CQ and AS plus SP combination among P. falciparum isolates from a malaria-endemic area in Taiz governorate, Yemen. Fifty P. falciparum isolates were collected during a cross-sectional study in Mawza district, Taiz, in the period from October 2013 to April 2014. The isolates were investigated for drug resistance-associated molecular markers in five genes, including P. falciparum CQ resistance transporter (pfcrt) 76T and P. falciparum multidrug resistance 1 (pfmdr1) 86Y as markers of resistance to CQ, mutations in the Kelch 13 (K13) propeller domain for resistance to AS, and P. falciparum dihydrofolate reductase (pfdhfr) and P. falciparum dihydropteroate synthase (pfdhps) genes for resistance to SP. Nested polymerase chain reaction was used to amplify target genes in DNA extracts of the isolates followed by restriction fragment length polymorphism for detecting 76T and 86Y mutations in pfcrt and pfmdr1, respectively, and by DNA sequencing for detecting mutations in K13, pfdhfr and pfdhps. All the investigated isolates from Mawza district were harboring the pfcrt 76T mutant and the pfmdr1 N86 wild-type alleles. The pfdhfr 51I/108N double mutant allele was found in 2.2% (1/45) of the isolates; however, no mutations were detected at codons 436, 437, 540, 581 and 613 of pfdhps. All P. falciparum isolates that were successfully sequenced (n=47) showed the K13 Y493, R539, I543 and C580 wild-type alleles. In conclusion, the pfcrt 76T mutant allele is fixed in the study area about six years after the official withdrawal of CQ, possibly indicating its over-the-counter availability and continued use as a self-medication in the study area. However, the almost predominant wild-type alleles of the genes associated with resistance to AS and SP among P. falciparum isolates in the present study indicates the sustained efficacy of the currently adopted first-line treatment of AS plus SP in the study area.
  4. Leong CS, Vythilingam I, Wong ML, Wan Sulaiman WY, Lau YL
    Acta Trop., 2018 Sep;185:115-126.
    PMID: 29758171 DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2018.05.008
    The resistance status of Selangor Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus) larvae against four major groups of insecticides (i.e., organochlorines, carbamates, organophosphates and pyrethroids) was investigated. Aedes aegypti were susceptible against temephos (organophosphate), although resistance (RR50 = 0.21-2.64) may be developing. The insecticides susceptibility status of Ae. aegypti larvae were found heterogeneous among the different study sites. Results showed that Ae. aegypti larvae from Klang, Sabak Bernam and Sepang were susceptible against all insecticides tested. However, other study sites exhibited low to high resistance against all pyrethroids (RR50 = 1.19-32.16). Overall, the application of synergists ethacrynic acid, S.S.S.- tributylphosphorotrithioate and piperonyl butoxide increased the toxicity of insecticides investigated. However, the application failed to increase the mortality to susceptible level (>97%) for certain populations, therefore there are chances of alteration of target site resistance involved. Biochemical assays revealed that α-esterase, (Gombak, Kuala Langat, Kuala Selangor and Sabak Bernam strains) β-esterase (Klang and Sabak Bernam strains), acetylcholinesterase (Kuala Selangor and Sabak Bernam strains), glutathione-S-transferase (Kuala Selangor and Sabak Bernam strains) and mono-oxygenases (Gombak, Hulu Langat, Hulu Selangor and Kuala Langat strains) were elevated. Spearman rank-order correlation indicated a significant correlation between resistance ratios of: DDT and deltamethrin (r = 0.683, P = 0.042), cyfluthrin and deltamethrin (r = 0.867, P =0.002), cyflyuthrin and lambdacyhalothrin (r = 0.800, P =0.010), cyfluthrin and permethrin (r = 0.770, P =0.015) deltamethrin and permethrin (r = 0.803, P =0.088), propoxur and malathion (r = 0.867, P = 0.002), malathion and temephos (r = 0.800, P = 0.010), etofenprox and MFO enzyme (r = 0.667, P =0.050). The current study provides baseline information for vector control programs conducted by local authorities. The susceptibility status of Ae. aegypti should be monitored sporadically to ensure the effectiveness of current vector control strategy in Selangor.
  5. Chen Y, Chan CK, Kerishnan JP, Lau YL, Wong YL, Gopinath SC
    BMC Infect. Dis., 2015;15:49.
    PMID: 25656928 DOI: 10.1186/s12879-015-0786-2
    Plasmodium knowlesi was identified as the fifth major malaria parasite in humans. It presents severe clinical symptoms and leads to mortality as a result of hyperparasitemia in a short period of time. This study aimed to improve the current understanding of P. knowlesi and identify potential biomarkers for knowlesi malaria.
  6. Ching XT, Lau YL, Fong MY, Nissapatorn V, Andiappan H
    Biomed Res Int, 2014;2014:690529.
    PMID: 24987700 DOI: 10.1155/2014/690529
    Toxoplasma gondii infects all warm-blooded animals, including humans, causing serious public health problems and great economic loss for the food industry. Commonly used serological tests require costly and hazardous preparation of whole Toxoplasma lysate antigens from tachyzoites. Here, we have evaluated an alternative method for antigen production, which involved a prokaryotic expression system. Specifically, we expressed T. gondii dense granular protein-5 (GRA5) in Escherichia coli and isolated it by affinity purification. The serodiagnostic potential of the purified recombinant GRA5 (rGRA5) was tested through Western blot analysis against 212 human patient serum samples. We found that rGRA5 protein was 100% specific for analysis of toxoplasmosis-negative human sera. Also, rGRA5 was able to detect acute and chronic T. gondii infections (sensitivities of 46.8% and 61.2%, resp.).
  7. Fong MY, Lau YL, Zulqarnain M
    Biotechnol. Lett., 2008 Apr;30(4):611-8.
    PMID: 18043869
    The surface antigen 2 (SAG2) gene of the protozoan parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, was cloned and extracellularly expressed in the yeast Pichia pastoris. The effectiveness of the secreted recombinant SAG2 (rSAG2-S) as a serodiagnosis reagent was assessed by western blots and ELISA. In the western blot assay, rSAG2-S reacted with all Toxoplasma-antibody positive human serum samples but not with Toxoplasma-negative samples. In the ELISA, rSAG2-S yielded sensitivity rates ranging from 80% (IgG negative, IgM positive) to 100% (IgG positive, IgM negative). In vivo experiments showed that serum from mice immunized with rSAG2-S reacted specifically with the native SAG2 of T. gondii. These mice were protected when challenged with live cells of T. gondii.
  8. Lee WC, Malleret B, Lau YL, Mauduit M, Fong MY, Cho JS, et al.
    Blood, 2014 May 1;123(18):e100-9.
    PMID: 24652986 DOI: 10.1182/blood-2013-12-541698
    Rosetting phenomenon has been linked to malaria pathogenesis. Although rosetting occurs in all causes of human malaria, most data on this subject has been derived from Plasmodium falciparum. Here, we investigate the function and factors affecting rosette formation in Plasmodium vivax. To achieve this, we used a range of novel ex vivo protocols to study fresh and cryopreserved P vivax (n = 135) and P falciparum (n = 77) isolates from Thailand. Rosetting is more common in vivax than falciparum malaria, both in terms of incidence in patient samples and percentage of infected erythrocytes forming rosettes. Rosetting to P vivax asexual and sexual stages was evident 20 hours postreticulocyte invasion, reaching a plateau after 30 hours. Host ABO blood group, reticulocyte count, and parasitemia were not correlated with P vivax rosetting. Importantly, mature erythrocytes (normocytes), rather than reticulocytes, preferentially form rosetting complexes, indicating that this process is unlikely to directly facilitate merozoite invasion. Although antibodies against host erythrocyte receptors CD235a and CD35 had no effect, Ag-binding fragment against the BRIC 4 region of CD236R significantly inhibited rosette formation. Rosetting assays using CD236R knockdown normocytes derived from hematopoietic stem cells further supports the role of glycophorin C as a receptor in P vivax rosette formation.
  9. Barber BE, Russell B, Grigg MJ, Zhang R, William T, Amir A, et al.
    Blood Adv, 2018 02 27;2(4):433-443.
    PMID: 29487058 DOI: 10.1182/bloodadvances.2017013730
    The simian parasite Plasmodium knowlesi can cause severe and fatal human malaria. However, little is known about the pathogenesis of this disease. In falciparum malaria, reduced red blood cell deformability (RBC-D) contributes to microvascular obstruction and impaired organ perfusion. In P knowlesi infection, impaired microcirculatory flow has been observed in Macaca mulatta (rhesus macaques), unnatural hosts who develop severe and fatal disease. However, RBC-D has not been measured in human infection or in the natural host M fascicularis (long-tailed macaques). Using ektacytometry, we measured RBC-D in adults with severe and non-severe knowlesi and falciparum malaria and in healthy controls. In addition, we used micropipette aspiration to determine the relative stiffness of infected RBCs (iRBCs) and uninfected RBCs (uRBCs) in P knowlesi-infected humans and M fascicularis Ektacytometry demonstrated that RBC-D overall was reduced in human knowlesi malaria in proportion to disease severity, and in severe knowlesi malaria, it was comparable to that of severe falciparum malaria. RBC-D correlated inversely with parasitemia and lactate in knowlesi malaria and HRP2 in falciparum malaria, and it correlated with hemoglobin nadir in knowlesi malaria. Micropipette aspiration confirmed that in humans, P knowlesi infection increased stiffness of both iRBCs and uRBCs, with the latter mostly the result of echinocytosis. In contrast, in the natural host M fascicularis, echinocyte formation was not observed, and the RBC-D of uRBCs was unaffected. In unnatural primate hosts of P knowlesi, including humans, reduced deformability of iRBCs and uRBCs may represent a key pathogenic mechanism leading to microvascular accumulation, impaired organ perfusion, and anemia.
  10. Liew J, Amir A, Chen Y, Fong MY, Razali R, Lau YL
    Clin. Chim. Acta, 2015 Aug 25;448:33-8.
    PMID: 26086445 DOI: 10.1016/j.cca.2015.06.006
    Autoantibodies or antibodies against self-antigens are produced either during physiological processes to maintain homeostasis or pathological process such as trauma and infection. Infection with parasites including Plasmodium has been shown to generally induce elevated self-antibody (autoantibody) levels. Plasmodium knowlesi is increasingly recognized as one of the most important emerging human malaria in Southeast Asia that can cause severe infection leading to mortality. Autoimmune-like phenomena have been hypothesized to play a role in the protective immune responses in malaria infection.
  11. Yang W, Lee PP, Thong MK, Ramanujam TM, Shanmugam A, Koh MT, et al.
    Clin. Genet., 2015 Dec;88(6):542-9.
    PMID: 25534311 DOI: 10.1111/cge.12553
    Familial multiple intestinal atresias is an autosomal recessive disease with or without combined immunodeficiency. In the last year, several reports have described mutations in the gene TTC7A as causal to the disease in different populations. However, exact correlation between different genotypes and various phenotypes are not clear. In this study, we report identification of novel compound heterozygous mutations in TTC7A gene in a Malay girl with familial multiple intestinal atresias and severe combined immunodeficiency (MIA-SCID) by whole exome sequencing. We found two mutations in TTC7A: one that destroyed a putative splicing acceptor at the junction of intron 17/exon 18 and one that introduced a stop codon that would truncate the last two amino acids of the encoded protein. Reviewing the recent reports on TTC7A mutations reveals correlation between the position and nature of the mutations with patient survival and clinical manifestations. Examination of public databases also suggests carrier status for healthy individuals, making a case for population screening on this gene, especially in populations with suspected frequent founder mutations.
  12. Italiano CM, Wong KT, AbuBakar S, Lau YL, Ramli N, Syed Omar SF, et al.
    Clin. Infect. Dis., 2015 Apr 1;60(7):1134.
    PMID: 25537869 DOI: 10.1093/cid/ciu1163
  13. Lau YL, Tan LH, Chin LC, Fong MY, Noraishah MA, Rohela M
    Emerging Infect. Dis., 2011 Jul;17(7):1314-5.
    PMID: 21762601 DOI: 10.3201/eid1707.101295
  14. Yusof R, Ahmed MA, Jelip J, Ngian HU, Mustakim S, Hussin HM, et al.
    Emerging Infect. Dis., 2016 08;22(8):1371-80.
    PMID: 27433965 DOI: 10.3201/eid2208.151885
    Infections of humans with the zoonotic simian malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi occur throughout Southeast Asia, although most cases have occurred in Malaysia, where P. knowlesi is now the dominant malaria species. This apparently skewed distribution prompted an investigation of the phylogeography of this parasite in 2 geographically separated regions of Malaysia, Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo. We investigated samples collected from humans and macaques in these regions. Haplotype network analyses of sequences from 2 P. knowlesi genes, type A small subunit ribosomal 18S RNA and cytochrome c oxidase subunit I, showed 2 genetically distinct divergent clusters, 1 from each of the 2 regions of Malaysia. We propose that these parasites represent 2 distinct P. knowlesi types that independently became zoonotic. These types would have evolved after the sea-level rise at the end of the last ice age, which separated Malaysian Borneo from Peninsular Malaysia.
  15. Sonaimuthu P, Cheong FW, Chin LC, Mahmud R, Fong MY, Lau YL
    Exp. Parasitol., 2015 Jun;153:118-22.
    PMID: 25812552 DOI: 10.1016/j.exppara.2015.03.010
    Malaria remains one of the world's most important infectious diseases and is responsible for enormous mortality and morbidity. Human infection with Plasmodium knowlesi is widely distributed in Southeast Asia. Merozoite surface protein-1₁₉ (MSP-1₁₉), which plays an important role in protective immunity against asexual blood stage malaria parasites, appears as a leading immunogenic antigen of Plasmodium sp. We evaluated the sensitivity and specificity of recombinant P. knowlesi MSP-1₁₉ (rMSP-1₁₉) for detection of malarial infection. rMSP-1₁₉ was expressed in Escherichia coli expression system and the purified rMSP-1₁₉ was evaluated with malaria, non-malaria and healthy human serum samples (n = 215) in immunoblots. The sensitivity of rMSP-1₁₉ for detection of P. knowlesi, Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium  vivax and Plasmodium  ovale infection was 95.5%, 75.0%, 85.7% and 100%, respectively. rMSP-1₁₉ did not react with all the non-malaria and healthy donor sera, which represents 100% specificity. The rMSP-1₁₉ could be used as a potential antigen in serodiagnosis of malarial infection in humans.
  16. Lau YL, Fong MY
    Exp. Parasitol., 2008 Jul;119(3):373-8.
    PMID: 18457835 DOI: 10.1016/j.exppara.2008.03.016
    The full length surface antigen 2 (SAG2) gene of the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii was cloned and intracellularly expressed in the Pichia pastoris expression system. The molecular weight of the expressed recombinant SAG2 (36 kDa) was much larger than the native SAG2 (22 kDa). This discrepancy in size was due to hyperglycosylation, as deglycosylation assay reduced the size of the recombinant SAG2 to 22 kDa. Despite being hyperglycosylated, the recombinant SAG2 reacted strongly with pooled anti-Toxoplasma human serum, pooled anti-Toxoplasma mouse serum and a SAG2-specific monoclonal antibody. The glycosylated recombinant SAG2 was further evaluated in Western blot and in-house enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using 80 human serum samples, including confirmed early acute (IgM positive, IgG negative; n=20), acute (IgM positive, IgG positive; n=20) and chronic (IgM negative, IgG positive; n=20) toxoplasmosis patients, and toxoplasmosis negative control patients (n=20). Results of the Western blot showed that the recombinant SAG2 reacted with all 60 samples of the toxoplasmosis cases but not with the Toxoplasma-negative samples. The sensitivity of in-house ELISA was 80%, 95% and 100% for early acute, acute and chronic patients' serum samples, respectively. Vaccination study showed that serum from mice immunised with the glycosylated recombinant SAG2 reacted specifically with the native SAG2 of T. gondii. The mice were significantly protected against lethal challenge with live T. gondii RH strain tachyzoites (P<0.01) and their survival time was increased compared to controls. Therefore, the present study shows that the P. pastoris-derived recombinant SAG2 was specific and suitable for use as antigen for detecting anti-Toxoplasma IgG and IgM antibodies. The vaccination study showed that recombinant SAG2 protein was immunoprotective in mice against lethal challenge.
  17. Luk ADW, Lee PP, Mao H, Chan KW, Chen XY, Chen TX, et al.
    Front Immunol, 2017;8:808.
    PMID: 28747913 DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2017.00808
    BACKGROUND: Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) is fatal unless treated with hematopoietic stem cell transplant. Delay in diagnosis is common without newborn screening. Family history of infant death due to infection or known SCID (FH) has been associated with earlier diagnosis.

    OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to identify the clinical features that affect age at diagnosis (AD) and time to the diagnosis of SCID.

    METHODS: From 2005 to 2016, 147 SCID patients were referred to the Asian Primary Immunodeficiency Network. Patients with genetic diagnosis, age at presentation (AP), and AD were selected for study.

    RESULTS: A total of 88 different SCID gene mutations were identified in 94 patients, including 49 IL2RG mutations, 12 RAG1 mutations, 8 RAG2 mutations, 7 JAK3 mutations, 4 DCLRE1C mutations, 4 IL7R mutations, 2 RFXANK mutations, and 2 ADA mutations. A total of 29 mutations were previously unreported. Eighty-three of the 94 patients fulfilled the selection criteria. Their median AD was 4 months, and the time to diagnosis was 2 months. The commonest SCID was X-linked (n = 57). A total of 29 patients had a positive FH. Candidiasis (n = 27) and bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine infection (n = 19) were the commonest infections. The median age for candidiasis and BCG infection documented were 3 months and 4 months, respectively. The median absolute lymphocyte count (ALC) was 1.05 × 10(9)/L with over 88% patients below 3 × 10(9)/L. Positive FH was associated with earlier AP by 1 month (p = 0.002) and diagnosis by 2 months (p = 0.008), but not shorter time to diagnosis (p = 0.494). Candidiasis was associated with later AD by 2 months (p = 0.008) and longer time to diagnosis by 0.55 months (p = 0.003). BCG infections were not associated with age or time to diagnosis.

    CONCLUSION: FH was useful to aid earlier diagnosis but was overlooked by clinicians and not by parents. Similarly, typical clinical features of SCID were not recognized by clinicians to shorten the time to diagnosis. We suggest that lymphocyte subset should be performed for any infant with one or more of the following four clinical features: FH, candidiasis, BCG infections, and ALC below 3 × 10(9)/L.

  18. Ching XT, Fong MY, Lau YL
    Front Microbiol, 2016;7:609.
    PMID: 27199938 DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.00609
    Toxoplasmosis is a foodborne disease caused by Toxoplasma gondii, an obligate intracellular parasite. Severe symptoms occur in the immunocompromised patients and pregnant women leading to fatality and abortions respectively. Vaccination development is essential to control the disease. The T. gondii dense granule antigen 2 and 5 (GRA2 and GRA5) have been targeted in this study because these proteins are essential to the development of parasitophorous vacuole (PV), a specialized compartment formed within the infected host cell. PV is resistance to host cell endosomes and lysosomes thereby protecting the invaded parasite. Recombinant dense granular proteins, GRA2 (rGRA2) and GRA5 (rGRA5) were cloned, expressed, and purified in Escherichia coli, BL21 (DE3) pLysS. The potential of these purified antigens as subunit vaccine candidates against toxoplasmosis were evaluated through subcutaneous injection of BALB/c mice followed by immunological characterization (humoral- and cellular-mediated) and lethal challenge against virulent T. gondii RH strain in BALB/c mice. Results obtained demonstrated that rGRA2 and rGRA5 elicited humoral and cellular-mediated immunity in the mice. High level of IgG antibody was produced with the isotype IgG2a/IgG1 ratio of ≈0.87 (p < 0.001). Significant increase (p < 0.05) in the level of four cytokines (IFN-γ, IL-2, IL-4, and IL-10) was obtained. The antibody and cytokine results suggest that a mix mode of Th1/Th2-immunity was elicited with predominant Th1-immune response inducing partial protection against T. gondii acute infection in BALB/c mice. Our findings indicated that both GRA2 and GRA5 are potential candidates for vaccine development against T. gondii acute infection.
  19. Sonaimuthu P, Ching XT, Fong MY, Kalyanasundaram R, Lau YL
    Front Microbiol, 2016;7:808.
    PMID: 27303390 DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.00808
    Toxoplasma gondii is the causative agent for toxoplasmosis. The rhoptry protein 1 (ROP1) is secreted by rhoptry, an apical secretory organelle of the parasite. ROP1 plays an important role in host cell invasion. In this study, the efficacy of ROP1 as a vaccine candidate against toxoplasmosis was evaluated through intramuscular or subcutaneous injection of BALB/c mice followed by immunological characterization (humoral- and cellular-mediated) and lethal challenge against virulent T. gondii RH strain in BALB/c mice. Briefly, a recombinant DNA plasmid (pVAX1-GFP-ROP1) was expressed in CHO cells while expression of recombinant ROP1 protein (rROP1) was carried out in Escherichia coli expression system. Immunization study involved injection of the recombinant pVAX1-ROP1 and purified rROP1 into different group of mice. Empty vector and PBS served as two different types of negative controls. Results obtained demonstrated that ROP1 is an immunogenic antigen that induced humoral immune response whereby detection of a protein band with expected size of 43 kDa was observed against vaccinated mice sera through western blot analysis. ROP1 antigen was shown to elicit cellular-mediated immunity as well whereby stimulated splenocytes with total lysate antigen (TLA) and rROP1 from pVAX1-ROP1 and rROP1-immunized mice, respectively, readily proliferated and secreted large amount of IFN-γ (712 ± 28.1 pg/ml and 1457 ± 31.19 pg/ml, respectively) and relatively low IL-4 level (94 ± 14.5 pg/ml and 186 ± 14.17 pg/ml, respectively). These phenomena suggested that Th1-favored immunity was being induced. Vaccination with ROP1 antigen was able to provide partial protection in the vaccinated mice against lethal challenge with virulent RH strain of tachyzoites. These findings proposed that the ROP1 antigen is a potential candidate for the development of vaccine against toxoplasmosis.
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