After many years of the excessive use of praziquantel against Schistosoma mansoni (S. mansoni), it has already led to the development of drug resistance. While schistosomiasis is still affecting millions of people every year, vaccination may be one realistic alternative way to control the disease. Currently, S. mansoni 14-kDa fatty acid-binding protein (Sm14) has shown promising results as a vaccine antigen. Yet, the use of an adjuvant may be necessary to further increase the effectiveness of the vaccine. Herein, we investigated the potential of using heat-killed Cutibacterium acnes (C. acnes) as an adjuvant for recombinant Sm14 (rSm14). Immunization of mice with C. acnes-adjuvanted rSm14 showed increased humoral immune responses, compared with mice immunized with rSm14 alone. Additionally, C. acnes-adjuvanted rSm14 vaccination provided higher protection to mice against S. mansoni infection and liver injuries. These results suggest that C. acnes increases the immunogenicity of rSm14, which leads to better protection against S. mansoni infection. Therefore, heat-killed C. acnes may be a promising adjuvant to use with rSm14.
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