Infection with Leishmania causes significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. The type of Leishmania species infecting the host and the immune response generated by the host determines the spectrum of clinical disease that is seen. In particular, the pattern of cytokine production from T cells is critical for protection. At present there is no vaccine for Leishmania that is easy to administer, efficacious, and cost effective. These experiments will seek to establish a vaccine regimen that is sufficient to confer long-term protective immunity following infectious challenge in mice and primates. Experiments will specifically focus on DNA, protein and recombinant viral vaccines. In addition, these studies will evaluate the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which different vaccine formulations induce long-term protective cellular immunity. Over the past year we have determined the following. 1. Antigen dose and the amount of TLR adjuvant (CpG) influence the magnitude and quality of Th1 responses. 2. Gene expression profiling of antigen specific Th1 responses from three distinct vaccines that elicited protection showed striking differences suggesting there is not a common genomic signature.

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