Vaccination with antioxidant enzymes confers protective immunity against challenge infection with Schistosoma mansoni

Philip T. LoVerde, Claudia Carvalho-Queiroz, Rosemary Cook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Schistosoma mansoni, an intravascular parasite, lives in a hostile environment in close contact with host humoral and cellular cytotoxic factors. To establish itself in the host, the parasite has evolved a number of immune evasion mechanisms, such as antioxidant enzymes. Our laboratory has demonstrated that the expression of antioxidant enzymes is developmentally regulated, with the highest levels present in the adult worm, the stage least susceptible to immune elimination, and the lowest levels in the larval stages, the most susceptible to immune elimination. Vaccination of mice with naked DNA constructs containing Cu/Zn cytosolic superoxide dismutase (CT-SOD), signal-peptide containing SOD or glutathione peroxidase (GPX) showed significant levels of protection compared to a control group. We have further shown that vaccination with SmCT-SOD but not SmGPX results in elimination of adult worms. Anti-oxidant enzyme vaccine candidates offer an advance over existing vaccine strategies that all seem to target the larval developmental stages in that they target adult worms and thus may have therapeutic as well as prophylactic value. To eliminate the potential for cross-reactivity of SmCT-SOD with human superoxide dismutase, we identified parasite-specific epitope-containing peptides. Our results serve as a basis for developing a subunit vaccine against schistosomiasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-43
Number of pages7
JournalMemorias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Antioxidant
  • DNA vaccination
  • Protection
  • Schistosomiasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


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