Human clonorchiasis, caused by the infection of Clonorchis sinensis, is one of the major health problems in Southeast Asia. However, vaccine efficacy against C. sinensis infection remains largely unknown.
In this study, for the first time, we generated virus-like particles (VLPs) vaccine containing the C. sinensis tegumental protein 22.3 kDa (CsTP 22.3) and the influenza matrix protein (M1) as a core protein, and investigated the vaccine efficacy in Sprague-Dawley rats.
Intranasal immunization of VLPs vaccine induced C. sinensis-specific IgG, IgG2a and IgG2c in the sera and IgA responses in the feces and intestines. Notably, upon challenge infection with C. sinensis metacercariae, significantly lower adult worm loads (70.2%) were measured in the liver of rats immunized with VLPs, compared to those of naïve rats. Furthermore, VLPs immunization induced antibody secreting cells (ASC) responses and CD4+/CD8+ T cell responses in the spleen.
Our results indicated that VLPs vaccine containing C. sinensis CsTP 22.3 kDa provided partial protection against C. sisnensis infection. Thus, VLPs could be a potential vaccine candidate against C. sinensis.