Graduate Reasearch Assistant
of a contraceptive vaccine for the control of mammalian pests.
need for mammal pest control has been recognized as an immediate worldwide
requirement since pest-sized populations can cause immense economic and
human damage. The objective of the proposed study is to develop novel
fertility control agents for mammalian pest control.
These immunotraceptives have been proposed to be cost-effective,
environmentally friendly, humane, and will retain their effectiveness over
time bringing a population size to acceptable levels.
basic idea behind contraceptive vaccines or immunocontraceptives is the
induction of animals to create sperm or egg specific antibodies such that
the fertilization process will be interrupted.
This can be accomplished by vaccinating animals with proteins that
are produced exclusively in the gonads.
Our approach consists in the use of the sperm antigen lactate
dehydrogenase C (LDH-C) from mice to develop three types of vaccines
targeted to induce mucosal immunity.
These vaccines are intended to be prepared in a bait-type
formulation and administered to animals in the wild or in controlled
first approach consists in the development of a genetically modified
attenuated strain of Salmonella expressing
on its surface an epitope of LDH-C. This
is accomplished by genetically fusing the B-cell epitope to the
transmembrane protein omp-A from E. coli.
second approach involves the generation of transgenic tobacco and Arrabidopsis
expressing either murine LDH-C or a related peptide consisting
of a B-cell epitope from LDH-C and a promiscuous Th-cell epitope.
the development of a DNA vaccine was considered.
The cDNA sequence of murine LDH-C or the related peptide was cloned
into a vector under the control of the strong mammalian CMV promoter.