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Infect Immun. 2010 May;78(5):2272-82. doi: 10.1128/IAI.01374-09. Epub 2010 Mar 15.

Chlamydia muridarum T-cell antigens formulated with the adjuvant DDA/TDB induce immunity against infection that correlates with a high frequency of gamma interferon (IFN-gamma)/tumor necrosis factor alpha and IFN-gamma/interleukin-17 double-positive CD4+ T cells.

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  • 1British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, Vancouver, BC, Canada.


Major impediments to developing a Chlamydia vaccine lie in identifying immunologically relevant T-cell antigens and delivery in a manner to stimulate protective immunity. Using an immunoproteomic approach, we previously identified three immunodominant Chlamydia T-cell antigens (PmpG-1, PmpE/F-2, and RplF). Because RplF has high homology to a human ortholog, it may not be suitable for human vaccine development. Therefore, in this study, we evaluated protection against Chlamydia infection in the genital tract in C57BL/6 mice immunized with Chlamydia-specific membrane proteins PmpG-1, PmpE/F-2, and major outer membrane protein (MOMP; as a reference) or a combination of them formulated with one of three adjuvants, CpG oligodeoxynucleotide (CpG-ODN), AbISCO-100 (AbISCO), or DDA/TDB (dimethyldioctadecylammonium bromide/D-(+)-trehalose 6,6'-dibehenate). The results show that immunization with the CpG-ODN formulation failed to provide protection against Chlamydia infection; the AbISCO formulation conferred moderate protection, and the DDA/TDB formulation showed the highest degree of protective efficacy. The combination of PmpG-1, PmpE/F-2, and MOMP proteins formulated with DDA/TDB exhibited the greatest degree of protection among all vaccine groups studied. Moreover, this vaccine combination also engendered significant protection in BALB/c mice, which have a different major histocompatibility complex (MHC) background. We measured cell-mediated immune cytokine responses in mice immunized with PmpG-1 mixed with each of the three adjuvants. The results demonstrate that mice immunized with the DDA/TDB formulation induced the strongest gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) and interleukin-17 (IL-17) responses, characterized by the highest frequency of IFN-gamma/tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) and IFN-gamma/IL-17 double-positive CD4(+) T cells. In conclusion, a Chlamydia vaccine based on the recombinant proteins PmpG-1, PmpE/F-2, and MOMP delivered in a DDA/TDB adjuvant conferred protection against infection that correlated with IFN-gamma/TNF-alpha and IFN-gamma/IL-17 double-positive CD4(+) T cells.

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