Development of a Leishmaniasis vaccine with fusion proteins of the Pseudomonas lipoprotein OprI and modified Leishmania antigens

Project Details


We recently developed a novel type of cloning- and expression vectors, allowing the production of immunogenic fusion proteins that constitute an interesting potential for vaccine development (Cornelis et al.,1996). These chimerical proteins are composed of the OprI lipoprotein from Pseudomonas aeruginosa (exhibiting and adjuvant effect), coupled to almost any antigen going from small peptides to fragments of -or even whole proteins. In the context of the development of a vaccine against Leishmaniasis, several fusion proteins have been constructed containing OprI and (fragments of) the Leishmania antigens gp63 and PSA-2. Preliminary immunisation experiments with OprI-gp63 revealed that this construct was capable of inducing both a humoral and a cellular immune response, specific for gp63. In addition, immunised animals seemed less vulnerable to subsequent infection with Leishmania, although they were not protected. Since it has been demonstrated that protective immunity against Leishmaniasis depends on the generation of a dominant Th1-type immune response, we will specifically modify the gp63 (and/or PSA-2) gene-fragments in order to maintain/combine Th1-inducing epitopes, while eliminating Th2-inducing ones. As such, we hope to gererate fusion proteins that preferentially induce a Th1 response and as such, are capable of conferring protective immunity against Leishmania infection (by preference species-encompassing).
Effective start/end date1/01/9831/12/99


  • Leishmania
  • pseudomonas
  • lipoprotein
  • fusion protein
  • Th1/Th2
  • vaccine

Flemish discipline codes

  • Basic sciences
  • Biological sciences