Optimized Interferon-gamma ELISpot Assay to Measure T Cell Responses in the Guinea Pig Model after Vaccination.


The guinea pig has played a pivotal role as a relevant small animal model in the development of vaccines for infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, influenza, diphtheria, and viral hemorrhagic fevers. We have demonstrated that plasmid-DNA (pDNA) vaccine delivery into the skin elicits robust humoral responses in the guinea pig. However, the use of this animal to model immune responses was somewhat limited in the past due to the lack of available reagents and protocols to study T cell responses. T cells play a pivotal role in both immunoprophylactic and immunotherapeutic mechanisms. Understanding T cell responses is crucial for the development of infectious disease and oncology vaccines and accommodating delivery devices. Here we describe an interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISpot) assay for guinea pig peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). The assay enables researchers to characterize vaccine-specific T-cell responses in this important rodent model. The ability to assay cells isolated from the peripheral blood provides the opportunity to track immunogenicity in individual animals.