Protective efficacy of liver fluke DNA vaccines: A systematic review and meta-analysis: Guiding novel vaccine development

Rama Jayaraj, Chellan Kumarasamy, Luke Norbury, David Piedrafita, Peter Smooker

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


    The immunogenicity and efficacy of Fasciola DNA vaccines have not yet been comprehensively summarised in the form of a systematic review and meta-analysis. Though multiple vaccine studies with respect to Fasciola vaccines exist, the variance in the experimental parameters has made comparison difficult. We conducted a bibliographic database search in Scopus, PubMed, Science Direct, Cochrane Library, EMBASE and Web of Science databases, limited to publications from 1998 to 2017. The key words: Liver fluke, Fasciola hepatica, Fasciola gigantica, DNA vaccination, and immunogenicity were used in combination to form search strings. A total of 4760 studies were identified after initial screening, of which 14 qualified for systematic review and 7 for meta-analysis. The mean Odds Ratio (OR) for all studies was 0.565 (95% confidence interval (CI) of 0.293 to 1.087), which means the percentage of protection in terms of decreased fluke burden in animals vaccinated with DNA vaccines was 43.5%. A moderate protective efficacy was observed for cysteine protease and phosphoglycerate kinase vaccine antigen candidates (pooled OR and 95% CI, [0.542; 0.179–1.721] and [0.616; 0.219–1.735], respectively). Vaccine effectiveness was observed in individual studies and cohorts; however, the overall pooled efficacy for all vaccine candidates was found to be non-significant. Despite multiple individual studies showing promising results for various DNA vaccine candidates against fascioliasis, the pooled studies showed the non-significant effect of the vaccine formulations against fluke burden, and displayed minimal protective efficacy against Fasciola infection. Though promising results are observed in isolated studies, further animal trials with standardised experimental parameters are required to develop new vaccine candidates effective against Fasciola.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)90-98
    Number of pages9
    JournalVeterinary Parasitology
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019


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