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Vaccine. 2002 Jun 21;20(21-22):2720-6.

Comparison of mucosal and systemic humoral immune responses after transcutaneous and oral immunization strategies.

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  • 1Tropical & Geographic Medicine Center, Division of Infectious Diseases, Jackson 504, Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


In order to compare the ability of transcutaneous and oral immunization strategies to induce mucosal and systemic immune responses, we inoculated mice transcutaneously with cholera toxin (CT) or the non-toxic B subunit of cholera toxin (CtxB), or orally with Peru2(pETR1), an attenuated vaccine strain of Vibrio cholerae expressing CtxB. In addition, we also evaluated dual immunization regimens (oral inoculation with transcutaneous boosting, and transcutaneous immunization with oral boosting) in an attempt to optimize induction of both mucosal and systemic immune responses. We found that transcutaneous immunization with purified CtxB or CT induces much more prominent systemic IgG anti-CtxB responses than does oral inoculation with a vaccine vector strain of V. cholerae expressing CtxB. In comparison, anti-CtxB IgA in serum, stool and bile were comparable in mice either transcutaneously or orally immunized. Overall, the most prominent systemic and mucosal anti-CtxB responses occurred in mice that were orally primed with Peru2(pETR1) and transcutaneously boosted with CT. Our results suggest that combination oral and transcutaneous immunization strategies may most prominently induce both mucosal and systemic humoral responses.

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