Extracellular vesicles induce protective immunity against Trichuris muris

Rebecca Shears, Allison Bancroft, G. Hughes, Richard Grencis, David Thornton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gastrointestinal nematodes, such as Trichuris trichiura (human whipworm), are a major source of morbidity in humans and their livestock. There is a paucity of commercially available vaccines against these parasites, and vaccine development for T. trichiura has been impeded by a lack of known host protective antigens. Experimental vaccinations with T. muris (murine whipworm) soluble Excretory/Secretory (ES) material have demonstrated that it is possible to induce protective immunity in mice; however, the potential for extracellular vesicles (EVs) as a source of antigenic material has remained relatively unexplored. Here, we demonstrate that EVs isolated from T. muris ES can induce protective immunity in mice when administered as a vaccine without adjuvant and show that the protective properties of these EVs are dependent on intact vesicles. We also identified several proteins within EV preparations that are targeted by the host antibodies following vaccination and subsequent infection with T. muris. Many of these proteins, including VWD and vitellogenin N and DUF1943‐domain‐containing protein, vacuolar protein sorting‐associated protein 52 and TSP‐1 domain‐containing protein, were detected in both soluble ES and EV samples and have homologues in other parasites of medical and veterinary importance, and as such are possible protective antigens.
Original languageEnglish
JournalParasite Immunology
Issue number7
Early online date10 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2018


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