Protection against Schistosoma mansoni infection with a recombinant baculovirus-expressed subunit of calpain

Sheela Hota-Mitchell, Afzal A. Siddiqui, Gregory A. Dekaban, Jana Smith, Cristina Tognon, Ronald B. Podesta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Infections by human schistosomes, in particular Schistosoma mansoni, account for significant morbidity and mortality every year in tropical and sub-tropical areas. The eggs of the parasite induce pathological changes in the infected host; in chronic and heavy infections, these changes may lead to death. A well-designed anti-schistosomal vaccine, alone or in concert with existing control measures such as chemotherapy, may prove to be a safe, inexpensive and effective means of reducing the occurrence of severe disease and death in S. mansoni infection. Previous studies have demonstrated the importance of the syncytial layer containing the apical plasma membrane (APM) of S. mansoni in both the survival of the parasite in the mammalian host and as a potential source of immunogens which may be utilized as vaccine candidates. In this paper we present evidence for the protective capacity of several schistosomal antigen preparations, including a calcium binding protein of the APM, S. mansoni calpain (GenBnnk accession no. M74233). We have constructed and characterized expression of a recombinant baculovirus expressing the large subunit of S. mansoni calpain, Sm-p80. This recombinant Sm-p80 is recognized by IgA, IgM, IgG1, and IgG3 isotype antibodies found in S. mansoni-infected human sera and partially-purified recombinant Sm-p80 provided a 29-39% reduction in worm burden in immunized mice challenged with S. mansoni. Our data indicate that Sm-p80 may be a useful vaccine antigen for the reduction of the morbidity associated with S. mansoni infections of mammalian hosts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1631-1640
Number of pages10
Issue number15
StatePublished - Oct 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Calpain
  • Recombinant baculovirus expression system
  • Schistosoma mansoni
  • Vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Veterinary
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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