Mucosal immunogenicity of a recombinant Salmonella typhimurium-cloned heterologous antigen in the absence or presence of coexpressed cholera toxin A2 and B subunits

Academic Article


  • An avirulent Salmonella typhimurium vaccine strain expressing a streptococcal protein adhesin and a similar clone which produces the same streptococcal antigen linked to the cholera toxin (CT) A2 and B subunits (CTA2/B) were compared for the ability to induce antibody responses to the expressed heterologous antigen after oral or intranasal immunization of mice. Expression of cloned immunogens in these systems is temperature regulated, being optimal at 37°C, and the two clones under comparison were shown to produce similar levels of the streptococcal antigen. Both clones were found to stimulate high levels of serum immunoglobulin G (IgG) and mucosal IgA antibodies to the cloned immunogen. A consistent trend was observed toward higher mucosal IgA but lower serum IgG responses in the case of the S. typhimurium vector that coexpressed CTA2/B, a potential mucosal adjuvant, regardless of the route of administration. Also noteworthy was the capacity of these antigen delivery systems to induce anamnestic systemic and secretory responses to the cloned immunogen 15 weeks after the primary immunization, despite preexisting immunity to the Salmonella vectors. These antibody responses were sustained for at least 7 months following the booster immunization, at which time the secretory IgA antibody levels were significantly higher in mice given the Salmonella clone that coexpressed CTA2/B. Although the serum IgG response against the Salmonella vector was characterized by a high IgG2a/IgG1 ratio (indicative of the T helper type 1 [Th1]/Th2 profile), a mixed IgG1 and IgG2a pattern was observed for the carried heterologous antigen, which displayed a dominant IgG1 response when administered as a purified immunogen. Our findings indicate that the recombinant streptococcal antigen and CTA2/B are strong immunogens when expressed by the antigen delivery system used in this study and suggest that CTA2/B may have an additional immunoenhancing activity in the mucosal compartment besides its ability to target antigen uptake into the mucosal inductive sites. CTA2/B may thus be useful as an S. typhimurium-cloned adjuvant for coexpressed protein antigens.
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    Author List

  • Harokopakis E; Hajishengallis G; Greenway TE; Russell MW; Michalek SM
  • Start Page

  • 1445
  • End Page

  • 1454
  • Volume

  • 65
  • Issue

  • 4