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Infect Immun. 2000 Feb;68(2):760-6.

Immunogenicity of the B monomer of Escherichia coli heat-labile toxin expressed on the surface of Streptococcus gordonii.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Biologia Molecolare, Sezione di Microbiologia, Università di Siena, 53100 Siena, Italy.


The B monomer of the Escherichia coli heat-labile toxin (LTB) was expressed on the surface of the human oral commensal bacterium Streptococcus gordonii. Recombinant bacteria expressing LTB were used to immunize BALB/c mice subcutaneously and intragastrically. The LTB monomer expressed on the streptococcal surface proved to be highly immunogenic, as LTB-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) serum titers of 140,000 were induced after systemic immunization. Most significantly, these antibodies were capable of neutralizing the enterotoxin in a cell neutralization assay. Following mucosal delivery, antigen-specific IgA antibodies were found in feces and antigen-specific IgG antibodies were found in sera. Analysis of serum IgG subclasses showed a clear predominance of IgG1 when recombinant bacteria were inoculated subcutaneously, while a prevalence of IgG2a was observed upon intragastric delivery, suggesting, in this case, the recruitment of a Th1 type of immune response.

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