Tc24 is a Trypanosoma cruzi-derived flagellar protein that, when formulated with a TLR-4 agonist adjuvant, induces a balanced immune response in mice, elevating IgG2a antibody titers and IFN-γ levels. Furthermore, vaccination with the recombinant Tc24 protein can reduce parasite levels and improve survival during acute infection. Although some mRNA vaccines have been proven to elicit a stronger immune response than some protein vaccines, they have not been used against T. cruzi. This work evaluates the immunogenicity of a heterologous prime/boost vaccination regimen using protein and mRNA-based Tc24 vaccines. Mice (C57BL/6) were vaccinated twice subcutaneously, three weeks apart, with either the Tc24-C4 protein + glucopyranosyl A (GLA)-squalene emulsion, Tc24 mRNA Lipid Nanoparticles, or with heterologous protein/mRNA or mRNA/protein combinations, respectively. Two weeks after the last vaccination, mice were euthanized, spleens were collected to measure antigen-specific T-cell responses, and sera were collected to evaluate IgG titers and isotypes. Heterologous presentation of the Tc24 antigen generated antigen-specific polyfunctional CD8+ T cells, a balanced Th1/Th2/Th17 cytokine profile, and a balanced humoral response with increased serum IgG, IgG1 and IgG2c antibody responses. We conclude that heterologous vaccination using Tc24 mRNA to prime and Tc24-C4 protein to boost induces a broad and robust antigen-specific immune response that was equivalent or superior to two doses of a homologous protein vaccine, the homologous mRNA vaccine and the heterologous Tc24-C4 Protein/mRNA vaccine.
- Chagas disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas