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Infect Immun. 2008 Dec;76(12):5588-97. doi: 10.1128/IAI.00699-08. Epub 2008 Sep 15.

Immunization with recombinant V10 protects cynomolgus macaques from lethal pneumonic plague.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.


Vaccine and therapeutic strategies that prevent infections with Yersinia pestis have been sought for over a century. Immunization with live attenuated (nonpigmented) strains and immunization with subunit vaccines containing recombinant low-calcium-response V antigen (rLcrV) and recombinant F1 (rF1) antigens are considered effective in animal models. Current antiplague subunit vaccines in development for utilization in humans contain both antigens, either as equal concentrations of the two components (rF1 plus rLcrV) or as a fusion protein (rF1-rLcrV). Here, we show that immunization with either purified rLcrV (a protein at the tip of type III needles) or a variant of this protein, recombinant V10 (rV10) (lacking amino acid residues 271 to 300), alone or in combination with rF1, prevented pneumonic lesions and disease pathogenesis. In addition, passive immunization studies showed that specific antibodies of macaques immunized with rLcrV, rV10, or rF1, either alone or in combination, conferred protection against bubonic plague challenge in mice. Finally, we found that when we compared the reactivities of anti-rLcrV and anti-rV10 immune sera from cynomolgus macaques, BALB/c mice, and brown Norway rats with LcrV-derived peptides, rV10, but not rLcrV immune sera, lacked antibodies recognizing linear LcrV oligopeptides.

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