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Open AccessArticle

Chimeric Vaccines Designed by Immunoinformatics-Activated Polyfunctional and Memory T Cells That Trigger Protection against Experimental Visceral Leishmaniasis

1
Laboratório de Imunopatologia, Núcleo de Pesquisas em Ciências Biológicas/NUPEB, Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto, Ouro Preto 35400-000, Brazil
2
Grupo Informática de Biossistemas e Genômica, Instituto René Rachou, Fiocruz Minas, Belo Horizonte 30190-002, Brazil
3
Programa de Pós-graduação em Biologia Computacional e Sistemas, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Fiocruz, Rio de Janeiro 21040-360, Brazil
4
Instituto Nacional de Ciência e Tecnologia em Doenças Tropicais (INCT-DT), Salvador 40110-160, Brazil
5
Laboratório de Imunologia Celular e Molecular, Instituto René Rachou, Fiocruz Minas, Belo Horizonte 30190-002, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this study.
Vaccines 2020, 8(2), 252; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines8020252
Received: 7 March 2020 / Revised: 25 March 2020 / Accepted: 27 March 2020 / Published: 27 May 2020
Many vaccine candidates against visceral leishmaniasis (VL) have been proposed; however, to date, none of them have been efficacious for the human or canine disease. On this basis, the design of leishmaniasis vaccines has been constantly changing, and the use of approaches to select specific epitopes seems to be crucial in this scenario. The ability to predict T cell-specific epitopes makes immunoinformatics an even more necessary approach, as in VL an efficient immune response against the parasite is triggered by T lymphocytes in response to Leishmania spp. immunogenic antigens. Moreover, the success of vaccines depends on the capacity to generate long-lasting memory and polyfunctional cells that are able to eliminate the parasite. In this sense, our study used a combination of different approaches to develop potential chimera candidate vaccines against VL. The first point was to identify the most immunogenic epitopes of Leishmania infantum proteins and construct chimeras composed of Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I and II epitopes. For this, we used immunoinformatics features. Following this, we validated these chimeras in a murine model in a thorough memory study and multifunctionality of T cells that contribute to a better elucidation of the immunological protective mechanisms of polyepitope vaccines (chimera A and B) using multicolor flow cytometry. Our results showed that in silico-designed chimeras can elicit polyfunctional T cells producing T helper (Th)1 cytokines, a strong immune response against Leishmania antigen, and the generation of central and effector memory T cells in the spleen cells of vaccinated animals that was able to reduce the parasite burden in this organ. These findings contribute two potential candidate vaccines against VL that can be used in further studies, and help in this complex field of vaccine development against this challenging parasite. View Full-Text
Keywords: reverse vaccinology; immunoinformatics; chimera vaccine; Leishmania infantum; polyfunctional T cells; memory T cells; rational design of vaccines reverse vaccinology; immunoinformatics; chimera vaccine; Leishmania infantum; polyfunctional T cells; memory T cells; rational design of vaccines
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Brito, R.C.F.D.; Ruiz, J.C.; Cardoso, J.M.O.; Ostolin, T.L.V.D.P.; Reis, L.E.S.; Mathias, F.A.S.; Aguiar-Soares, R.D.O.; Roatt, B.M.; Corrêa-Oliveira, R.; Resende, D.M.; Reis, A.B. Chimeric Vaccines Designed by Immunoinformatics-Activated Polyfunctional and Memory T Cells That Trigger Protection against Experimental Visceral Leishmaniasis. Vaccines 2020, 8, 252.

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