Visceral leishmaniasis is a zoonosis considered one of the six most important tropical diseases in developing countries. The causative agent of disease in Brazil, Leishmania chagasi, is transmitted to humans by the bite of a sandfly vector, Lutzomyia longipalpis, which acquires the parasite through hematophagism in infected animals. Previously described as a disease of wild or rural environment, currently, there is a large number of cases in urban areas. In domestic environment, the dog is considered the main reservoir of the agent; because of this it is also the main target of campaigns for controlling of human disease. Dogs also suffer from the disease, and once started the clinical signs in this species, the animal invariably comes to death. However, several animals can remain infected by the parasite, showing no clinical signs for a long period and transmitting L. chagasi to vectors. This project aims to investigate the immune response of BALB / c mice immunized with A2 gene - Leishmania chagasi recombinant protein isolated from a L. chagasi infected dog attended at Veterinary Hospital, FCAV-UNESP, Jaboticabal-SP. Also the present work we aims to evaluate the ability of this recombinant protein to induce immunoprotection in animals after challenge with the parasite. Parameters of the humoral immune response (IgG and subclasses IgG1 and IgG2) and cellular (CD4 +, CD8 +, macrophages, iNOS, IL-4, IL-2, IFN-³, TNF-± and IL-10) will be evaluated. We will also perform an ELISA-indirect test using the recombinant enzyme as antigen with sera from dogs (n = 1000) from endemic areas, proved positive for leishmaniasis, kindly donated by the Center for Zoonosis of Araçatuba, São Paulo, Belo Horizonte-MG , Recife-PE and the state of Tocantins.
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