Skip to main content
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2005

Immunisation of mice against neosporosis with recombinant NcSRS2 iscoms

Pinitkiatisakul S, Mattsson JG, Wikman M, Friedman M, Bengtsson KL, Stahl S, Lunden A


The coccidian parasite Neospora caninum is an intracellular protozoan, causing abortion in cattle in many countries around the world. In this study, the protective potential of the major N. caninum surface antigen NcSRS2, expressed in Escherichia coli and formulated into immunostimulating complexes (iscoms), was investigated in an experimental mouse model. The recombinant protein was specially designed for binding to iscoms via biotin-streptavidin interaction. Two groups of 10 BALB/c mice were immunised twice, on days 0 and 28 with iscoms containing either the recombinant NcSRS2 (NcSRS2 iscoms) or similar iscoms with NcSRS2 substituted by an unrelated recombinant malaria peptide (M5) as a control (M5 iscoms). A third group of 10 age-matched BALB/c mice served as an uninfected control group. Immunisation with recombinant NcSRS2 iscoms resulted in production of substantial antibody titres against N. caninum antigen, while the mice immunised with M5 iscoms produced only very low levels of antibodies reacting with N. caninum antigen. After challenge infection with N. caninum tachyzoites on day 69, mice immunised with NcSRS2 iscoms showed only mild and transient symptoms, whereas the group immunised with M5 iscoms showed clinical symptoms until the end of the experiment at 31 days post inoculation. A competitive PCR assay detecting Nc5-repeats was applied to evaluate the level of parasite DNA in the brain. The amount of Nc5-repeats in the group vaccinated with NcSRS2 iscoms was significantly lower than in the control group given M5 iscoms. In conclusion, it was found that the recombinant NcSRS2 iscoms induced specific antibodies to native NcSRS2 and immunity sufficient to reduce the proliferation of N. caninum in the brains of immunised mice. (c) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Published in

Veterinary Parasitology
2005, Volume: 129, number: 1-2, pages: 25-34