Summary: We have cloned and expressed the gene of in BCG to develop a recombinant vaccine against zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis. Two different expression systems were investigated. The first system consists of p, a promoter, which drives expression of ORF2, an open reading frame in IS900. This system allows the production of heterologous polypeptides as hybrids with the ORF2 gene product. The second expression system relies on the production of antigenic fragments as fusion proteins with the N-terminal region of β-lactamase. Both constructs resulted in the production of Gp63 in BCG. The ability of the two recombinant BCG strains to induce protective immunity against a challenge with amastigotes was evaluated after vaccination of susceptible (BALB/c), and resistant (C57BL/6) mice. Recombinant BCG producing Gp63 as a hybrid protein with the N-terminal region of the β-lactamase elicited significant protection against a challenge with in BALB/c-immunized mice.


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