Lymphatic filariasis, a mosquito-borne parasitic disease, affects more than 120 million people worldwide. Vaccination for filariasis by targeting different stages of the parasite will be a boon to the existing MDA efforts of WHO which required repeated administration of the drug to reduce the infection level and sustained transmission. Onset of a filaria-specific immune response achieved through antigen vaccines can act synergistically with these drugs to enhance the parasite killing. Multi-epitope vaccine approach has been proved to be successful against several parasitic diseases as it overcomes the limitations associated with the whole antigen vaccines. Earlier results from our group suggested the protective efficacy of multi-epitope vaccine comprising two immunodominant epitopes from Brugia malayi antioxidant thioredoxin (TRX), several epitopes from transglutaminase (TGA) and abundant larval transcript-2 (ALT-2). In this study, the prophylactic efficacy of the filarial epitope protein (FEP), a chimera of selective epitopes identified from our earlier study, was tested in a murine model (jird) of filariasis with L3 larvae. FEP conferred a significantly (P < 0.0001) high protection (69.5%) over the control in jirds. We also observed that the multi-epitope recombinant construct (FEP) induces multiple types of protective immune responses, thus ensuring the successful elimination of the parasite; this poses FEP as a potential vaccine candidate.
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