Recombinant Opisthorchis viverrini tetraspanin expressed in Pichia pastoris as a potential vaccine candidate for opisthorchiasis

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Parasitology Research








Opisthorchis viverrini; Pichia pastoris; Tetraspanin; Vaccination


Opisthorchiasis affects millions of people in Southeast Asia and has been strongly associated with bile duct cancer. Current strategic control approaches such as chemotherapy and health education are not sustainable, and a prophylactic vaccine would be a major advance in the prevention of the disease. Tetraspanins are transmembrane proteins previously described as potential vaccine candidates for other helminth infections and are also found in the membranes of the tegument and extracellular vesicles of O. viverrini. Here, we investigated the potential of a recombinant protein encoding for the large extracellular loop of O. viverrini tetraspanin-2 (rOv-LEL-TSP-2) in a hamster vaccination model. Hamsters were vaccinated with 50 and 100 μg of rOv-LEL-TSP-2 produced from Pichia pastoris yeast combined with alum CpG adjuvant via the intraperitoneal route. The number of worms recovered from hamsters vaccinated with rOv-LEL-TSP-2 was significantly reduced compared to adjuvant control groups. Fecal egg output was also significantly reduced in vaccinated animals, and the average length of worms recovered from vaccinated animals was significantly shorter than that of the control group. Vaccinated animals showed significantly increased levels of anti-rOv-TSP-2 IgG in the sera after three immunizations, as well as increased levels of several T helper type 1 cytokines in the spleen including IFN-γ and IL-6 but not the Th2/regulatory cytokines IL-4 or IL-10. These results suggest that rOv-TSP-2 could be a potential vaccine against opisthorchiasis and warrants further exploration.