Fasciola hepatica juveniles express immunodominant cathepsin L proteins, which are mainly found in their immature, procathepsin form. A gene encoding such a procathepsin L (FheCL3) was expressed by a baculovirus recombinant and by Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The glycosylated FheCL3 proteins obtained by both systems were used in a vaccination/challenge experiment in rats. Both antigens evoked similar antibody responses, but only the baculovirus expressed FheCL3 caused a significant protection against the number of liver flukes (52% protection, P = 0.01), whereas the S. cerevisiae expressed FheCL3 did not. In a second experiment in rats, deglycosylated versions of both antigens were used, but this did not improve their efficacies. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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