Open Access Open Badges Research article

Combined immunization using DNA-Sm14 and DNA-Hsp65 increases CD8+ memory T cells, reduces chronic pathology and decreases egg viability during Schistosoma mansoni infection

Milena Sobral Espíndola1, Fabiani Gai Frantz1, Luana Silva Soares1, Ana Paula Masson2, Cristiane Tefé-Silva3, Claudia Silva Bitencourt1, Sérgio Costa Oliveira4, Vanderlei Rodrigues2, Simone Gusmão Ramos3, Célio Lopes Silva2 and Lúcia Helena Faccioli1*

Author Affiliations

1 Departamento de Análises Clínicas, Toxicológicas e Bromatológicas, Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, Av. do Café s/n 14040-903 Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil

2 Departamento de Bioquímica e Imunologia, Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, Av. Bandeirantes 3900, 14049-900 Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil

3 Departamento de Patologia, Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, Av. Bandeirantes, 3900, 14049-900 Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil

4 Departamento de Bioquímica e Imunologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Av. Antonio Carlos 6627, Pampulha, Belo Horizonte 31270-901, MG, Brazil

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Infectious Diseases 2014, 14:263  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-14-263

Published: 16 May 2014



Schistosomiasis is one of the most important neglected diseases found in developing countries and affects 249 million people worldwide. The development of an efficient vaccination strategy is essential for the control of this disease. Previous work showed partial protection induced by DNA-Sm14 against Schistosoma mansoni infection, whereas DNA-Hsp65 showed immunostimulatory properties against infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases, cancer and antifibrotic properties in an egg-induced granuloma model.


C57BL/6 mice received 4 doses of DNA-Sm14 (100 μg/dose) and DNA-Hsp65 (100 μg/dose), simultaneously administrated, or DNA-Sm14 alone, once a week, during four weeks. Three groups were included: 1- Control (no immunization); 2- DNA-Sm14; 3- DNA-Sm14/DNA-Hsp65. Two weeks following last immunization, animals were challenged subcutaneously with 30 cercariae. Fifteen, 48 and 69 days after infection splenocytes were collected to evaluate the number of CD8+ memory T cells (CD44highCD62low) using flow cytometry. Forty-eight days after challenge adult worms were collected by portal veins perfusion and intestines were collected to analyze the intestinal egg viability. Histological, immunohistochemical and soluble quantification of collagen and α-SMA accumulation were performed on the liver.


In the current work, we tested a new vaccination strategy using DNA-Sm14 with DNA-Hsp65 to potentiate the protection against schistosomiasis. Combined vaccination increased the number of CD8+ memory T cells and decreased egg viability on the intestinal wall of infected mice. In addition, simultaneous vaccination with DNA-Sm14/DNA-Hsp65 reduced collagen and α-SMA accumulation during the chronic phase of granuloma formation.


Simultaneous vaccination with DNA-Sm14/DNA-Hsp65 showed an immunostimulatory potential and antifibrotic property that is associated with the reduction of tissue damage on Schistosoma mansoni experimental infection.

Schistosomiasis; DNA vaccines; DNA-Hsp65; DNA-Sm14