Safety and immunogenicity of the Na-GST-1 hookworm vaccine in Brazilian and American adults

David J. Diemert, Janaína Freire, Vanderson Valente, Carlos Geraldo Fraga, Frederico Talles, Shannon Grahek, Doreen Campbell, Amar Jariwala, Maria Victoria Periago, Martin Enk, Maria Flávia Gazzinelli, Maria Elena Bottazzi, Robert Hamilton, Jill Brelsford, Anna Yakovleva, Guangzhao Li, Jin Peng, Rodrigo Correa-Oliveira, Peter Hotez, Jeffrey Bethony

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Necator americanus Glutathione-S-Transferase-1 (Na-GST-1) plays a role in the digestion of host hemoglobin by adult N. americanus hookworms. Vaccination of laboratory animals with recombinant Na-GST-1 is associated with significant protection from challenge infection. Recombinant Na-GST-1 was expressed in Pichia pastoris and adsorbed to aluminum hydroxide adjuvant (Alhydrogel) according to current Good Manufacturing Practice. Two Phase 1 trials were conducted in 142 healthy adult volunteers in the United States and Brazil, first in hookworm-naïve individuals and then in residents of a N. americanus endemic area in Brazil. Volunteers received one of three doses of recombinant Na-GST-1 (10, 30, or 100 μg) adjuvanted with Alhydrogel, adjuvanted with Alhydrogel and co-administered with an aqueous formulation of Glucopyranosyl Lipid A (GLA-AF), or the hepatitis B vaccine. Vaccinations were administered via intramuscular injection on days 0, 56, and 112. Na-GST-1/Alhydrogel was well tolerated in both hookworm-naïve and hookworm-exposed adults, with the most common adverse events being mild to moderate injection site pain and tenderness, and mild headache and nausea; no vaccine-related severe or serious adverse events were observed. Antigen-specific IgG antibodies were induced in a dose-dependent fashion, with increasing levels observed after each vaccination in both trials. The addition of GLA-AF to Na-GST-1/Alhydrogel did not result in significant increases in specific IgG responses. In both the US and Brazil studies, the predominant IgG subclass induced against Na-GST-1 was IgG1, with lesser amounts of IgG3. Vaccination of both hookworm-naïve and hookworm-exposed adults with recombinant Na-GST-1 was safe, well tolerated, and resulted in significant antigen-specific IgG responses. Based on these results, this vaccine will be advanced into clinical trials in children and eventual efficacy studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0005574
JournalPLoS neglected tropical diseases
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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