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Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2008 Apr;15(4):612-6. doi: 10.1128/CVI.00402-07. Epub 2008 Feb 6.

Detoxified lethal toxin as a potential mucosal vaccine against anthrax.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Box 672, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.


The nontoxic mutant lethal factor (mLF; which has the E687C substitution) and functional protective antigen (PA63) of Bacillus anthracis were evaluated for their use as mucosal vaccines against anthrax in A/J mice. Intranasal vaccination of three doses of 30 microg of mLF or 60 microg of PA63 elicited significant serum and mucosal antibody responses, with anthrax lethal toxin-neutralizing titers of 40 and 60 in immune sera, respectively. However, only 30% and 60% of the vaccinated animals in the two groups could survive a challenge with 100 times the 50% lethal dose of B. anthracis Sterne spores, respectively. In contrast, vaccination with three doses of the combination of 30 microg of mLF and 60 microg of PA63, the detoxified lethal toxin, elicited antibody responses against LF and PA significantly higher than those elicited after vaccination with mLF or PA63 individually by use of the same dose and schedule. Vaccination with the detoxified lethal toxin resulted in significantly higher lethal toxin-neutralizing antibody titers in sera (titer, 90). Animals vaccinated with three doses of the detoxified lethal toxin were completely protected against the spore challenge. The data suggest that mLF and PA63 have a mutual enhancement effect for evoking systemic and mucosal immune responses and that the detoxified lethal toxin can be used as an efficient mucosal vaccine against anthrax.

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