A Recombinant Multivalent Vaccine (rCpa1) Induces Protection for C57BL/6 and HLA Transgenic Mice against Pulmonary Infection with Both Species of Coccidioides




Campuzano, Althea
Pentakota, Komali Devi
Liao, Yu-Rou
Zhang, Hao
Wiederhold, Nathan P.
Ostroff, Gary R.
Hung, Chiung-Yu

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Coccidioidomycosis is caused by Coccidioides posadasii (Cp) and Coccidioides immitis (Ci), which have a 4–5% difference in their genomic sequences. There is an urgent need to develop a human vaccine against both species. A previously created recombinant antigen (rCpa1) that contains multiple peptides derived from Cp isolate C735 is protective against the autologous isolate. The focus of this study is to evaluate cross-protective efficacy and immune correlates by the rCpa1-based vaccine against both species of Coccidioides. DNA sequence analyses of the homologous genes for the rCpa1 antigen were conducted for 39 and 17 clinical isolates of Cp and Ci, respectively. Protective efficacy and vaccine-induced immunity were evaluated for both C57BL/6 and human HLA-DR4 transgenic mice against five highly virulent isolates of Cp and Ci. There are total of seven amino acid substitutions in the rCpa1 antigen between Cp and Ci. Both C57BL/6 and HLA-DR4 mice that were vaccinated with an rCpa1 vaccine had a significant reduction of fungal burden and increased numbers of IFN-γ- and IL-17-producing CD4+ T cells in the first 2 weeks post challenge. These data suggest that rCpa1 has cross-protection activity against Cp and Ci pulmonary infection through activation of early Th1 and Th17 responses.




Vaccines 12 (1): 67 (2024)