This report describes the use of a nucleic acid vaccine in a large outbred animal species both alone and in combination with a conventionally adjuvanted vaccine. The gene encoding a host-protective antigen (45W) from the sheep parasite Taenia ovis was cloned into the expression vector pcDNA3 and the resultant plasmid termed pcDNA3-45W. Eleven of 15 sheep injected either intramuscularly or intradermally with pcDNA3-45W mounted a serum antibody response to 45W which for both routes of injection was predominantly IgG1. However, the level of antibody elicited by the nucleic acid vaccine was low and repeated vaccinations did not boost the response. Injection of pcDNA3-45W into animals in which an immune response had previously been generated by vaccination with recombinant 45W using Quil A as adjuvant (rec45W vaccine), did not result in enhanced antibody levels. Initial vaccination with pcDNA3-45W and subsequently with the rec45W vaccine resulted in antibody levels significantly higher (P < 0.05) than those obtained in sheep which had only received the rec45W vaccine. This enhanced antibody response was predominantly of the IgG1 subclass (IgG1:IgG2, 5:1) in animals injected with the nucleic acid vaccine by the i.m. route. Surprisingly, a second rec45W vaccination of these animals led to little or no increase in IgG1 levels and a 10-fold increase in IgG2 resulting in a predominance of 45W-specific IgG2 (IgG1:IgG2, 0.25:1). These studies revealed that nucleic acid vaccination has efficacy, albeit limited, in the sheep and supports previous investigations which showed that antibody responses elicited by immunization are determined by both the route and mode of antigen delivery.
- nucleic acid
- Taenia ovis