Background: Leishmania is a parasitic protozoan of trypanosomatidae family which causes a wide spectrum of diseases ranging from self-healing cutaneous lesions to deadly visceral forms. In endemic areas, field trials of different preparations of Leishmania total antigen were tested as leishmaniasis vaccine. Two preparations of killed Leishmania major were produced In Iran, which were heat-killed vaccine called autoclaved L. major (ALM) and thimerosal-treated freeze-thawed vaccine called killed L. major (KLM). In this study, the protein content of both ALM and KLM were compared with that of freshly harvested intact L. major promastigotes using sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE).
Materials and Methods: L. major (MRHO/IR/75/ER) from pre-infected Balb/c mice was isolated with modified Novy-MacNeal-Nicolle (NNN) medium and then subcultured in liquid RPMI 1640 medium supplemented with fetal calf serum (FCS) 20% for mass production. Two preparations of KLM and ALM were produced by Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute, Iran, under WHO/TDR supervision. Electrophoresis was performed by SDS-PAGE method and the gel was stained by Coomassie brilliant blue dye. The resultant unit bands were compared using standard molecular proteins.
Results: Electrophoresis of the two preparations produced many bands from 10 kDa to 100 kDa. KLM bands were much like those of freshly harvested intact L. major.
Conclusion: It is concluded that although there are similar bands in the three forms of Leishmania antigens, there are some variations which might be considered for identification and purification of protective immunogens in a total crude antigen, and detection of their stability is essential for the production and marketing of a putative vaccine.
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