Print E-mail
Volume 49, Number 1, February 2016

Immunization with antigenic extracts of Leishmania associated with Montanide ISA 763 adjuvant induces partial protection in BALB/c mice against Leishmania (Leishmania) amazonensis infection 

Diego Esteban Cargnelutti, María Cristina Salomón, Verónica Celedon, María Fernanda García Bustos, Gastón Morea, Fernando Darío Cuello-Carrión, Eduardo Alberto Scodeller


Corresponding author:

Diego Esteban Cargnelutt
Corresponding author. Área de Parasitología, Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Avenida del Libertador 80, Mendoza, Argentina. 


Background and purpose: 

A proper adjuvant has a relevant role in vaccine formulations to generate an effective immune response. In this study, total Leishmania antigen (TLA) formulated with Montanide ISA 763 or R848 as adjuvants were evaluated as a first generation Leishmania vaccine in a murine model. 



Immunization protocols were tested in BALB/c mice with a subcutaneous prime/boost regimen with an interval of 3 weeks. Mice immunized with unadjuvanted TLA and phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) served as control groups. On Day 21 and Day 36 of the protocol, we evaluated the humoral immune response induced by each formulation. Fifteen days after the boost, the immunized mice were challenged with 1 × 105 promastigotes of Leishmania (Leishmania) amazonensis in the right footpad (RFP). The progress of the infection was followed for 10 weeks; at the end of this period, histopathological studies were performed in the RFP. 



Vaccines formulated with Montanide ISA 763 generated an increase in the production of immunoglobulin G (IgG; p < 0.05) compared with the control group. There were no statistically significant differences in IgG1 production between the study groups. However, immunization with TLA-Montanide ISA 763 resulted in an increase in IgG2a compared to the unadjuvanted control (p < 0.001). Also noteworthy was the fact that a significant reduction in swelling and histopathological damage of the RFP was recorded with the Montanide ISA 763 formulation.



We conclude that the immunization of BALB/c mice with a vaccine formulated with TLA and Montanide ISA 763 generated a protective immune response against L. (L.) amazonensis, characterized by an intense production of IgG2a. 


Key words:

BALB/c, Leishmania (Leishmania) amazonensis, Montanide ISA 763, R848, Vaccines