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Recombinant feline herpesvirus type 1 expressing Toxoplasma gondii ROP2 antigen inducible protective immunity in cats

Mishima, Masayuki, Xuan, Xuenan, Yokoyama, Naoaki, Igarashi, Ikuo, Fujisaki, Kozo, Nagasawa, Hideyuki, Mikami, Takeshi
Parasitology research 2002 v.88 no.2 pp. 144-149
DNA, Felid herpesvirus 1, Toxoplasma gondii, antibodies, antigens, brain, cats, genome, immunity, immunoglobulin G, parasite load, vaccination
In order to investigate whether a recombinant viral vaccine composed of a feline herpesvirus type 1 (FHV1) vector and an immunogenic antigen of Toxoplasma gondii can induce a protective immunity in cats, a recombinant FHV1 expressing ROP2 antigen of T. gondii was prepared. We introduced a DNA fragment encoding 1-538 amino acid residues of ROP2 precursor into FHV1 genome under the control of a cytomegalovirus promoter. The recombinant FHV1 (FHV/ROP2) successfully expressed a 59 kDa antigen that was recognized by anti-ROP2 antibodies. Vaccination of cats with FHV/ROP2 induced serum IgG recognizing the native antigen. Moreover, the antibodies inhibited the in vitro invasion of tachyzoites. The vaccination also accelerated the IgG response after T. gondii infection and reduced brain parasite load in cats.