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Characterization of Leishmania infantum thiol-dependent reductase 1 and evaluation of its potential to induce immune protection

Silva, A M and Tavares, J and Silvestre, R and Ouaissi, A and Coombs, Graham and Cordeiro-da-Silva, A (2012) Characterization of Leishmania infantum thiol-dependent reductase 1 and evaluation of its potential to induce immune protection. Parasite Immunology, 34 (6). pp. 345-350.

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The need to develop an effective vaccine against leishmaniasis to prevent the 2 million new cases each year led to the search for antigens able to elicit protection against infection with Leishmania. In this study, we have characterized a parasite-specific protein of Leishmania infantum named thiol-dependent reductase 1 (TDR1). The protein is present in both life cycle stages of L. infantum with a notable higher expression in the amastigote forms, suggesting a role in the interaction between the parasite and the mammalian host. Thiol-dependent reductase 1 is localized in the cytosol, although we were able to detect the protein in the culture medium of both promastigotes and axenic amastigotes, and consequently, TDR1 is considered an excreted/secreted molecule of the parasite. Therefore, we have evaluated the potential of TDR1 recombinant protein to protect against experimental challenge with L. infantum parasites using a murine model. Despite a reduction in spleen parasite load in the chronic phase of disease, TDR1 administration was not effective in the protection of Balb/c mice against visceral leishmaniasis and thus TDR1 do not have a crucial role in the modulation of mammalian host immune response, as observed with its protein counterpart Tc52 of Trypanosoma cruzi.