The circumsporozoite protein (CSP) is a target for effector Ab and cell mediated immunity against malaria parasites; DNA vaccination can induce both types of effector response. The immunogenicity and efficacy of two DNA plasmids expressing different amounts of Plasmodium berghei CSP were evaluated by immunizing BALB/c mice i.m. or epidermally and by varying the number of immunizations (one to three doses) and the interval between immunizations. Expanding the interval gave the strongest effect, increasing efficacy and antibody boosting, and, in the case of epidermal vaccination, promoting a switch in CSP-specific IgG isotypes from IgG1 to a balance with IgG2a. The strongest humoral immune response and the greatest level of protection were induced by vaccinating epidermally with high expresser plasmid, using a gene gun to administer three doses at 6-wk intervals. For this group, the mean, repeat-specific, prechallenge antibody titer among mice not infected after challenge was significantly higher than that in infected mice, but the mean prechallenge titers for antibody reactive with whole sporozoites were not significantly different. The interval-dependent induction of IgG2a antibodies by epidermal vaccination contradicts the widely held belief that antibody responses induced by this method are restricted to those that are Th2 dependent.
- Copyright © 1997 by American Association of Immunologists