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East Coast fever, caused by the tick-borne intracellular apicomplexan parasite Theileria parva, is a highly fatal lymphoproliferative disease of cattle. The pathogenic schizont-induced lymphocyte transformation is a unique cancer-like condition that is reversible with parasite removal. Schizont-infected cell-directed CD8(+) cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) constitute the dominant protective bovine immune response after a single exposure to infection. However, the schizont antigens targeted by T. parva-specific CTL are undefined. Here we show the identification of five candidate vaccine antigens that are the targets of MHC class I-restricted CD8(+) CTL from immune cattle. CD8(+) T cell responses to these antigens were boosted in T. parva-immune cattle resolving a challenge infection and, when used to immunize naïve cattle, induced CTL responses that significantly correlated with survival from a lethal parasite challenge. These data provide a basis for developing a CTL-targeted anti-East Coast fever subunit vaccine. In addition, orthologs of these antigens may be vaccine targets for other apicomplexan parasites.

Original publication

DOI

10.1073/pnas.0511273103

Type

Journal article

Journal

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

Publication Date

28/02/2006

Volume

103

Pages

3286 - 3291

Keywords

Animals, Antigens, Protozoan, Cattle, Cell Line, Protozoan Vaccines, T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic, Theileria parva, Theileriasis, Vaccination