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Annu Rev Food Sci Technol. 2011;2:423-45. doi: 10.1146/annurev-food-022510-133640.

Mucosal vaccination and therapy with genetically modified lactic acid bacteria.

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  • 1Host-Microbe-Interactomics, University of Wageningen, Animal Sciences Department, 6700 AH, Wageningen, The Netherlands.


Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) have proved to be effective mucosal delivery vehicles that overcome the problem of delivering functional proteins to the mucosal tissues. By the intranasal route, both live and killed LAB vaccine strains have been shown to elicit mucosal and systemic immune responses that afford protection against infectious challenges. To be effective via oral administration, frequent dosing over several weeks is required but new targeting and adjuvant strategies have clearly demonstrated the potential to increase the immunogenicity and protective immunity of LAB vaccines. Oral administration of Lactococcus lactis has been shown to induce antigen-specific oral tolerance (OT) to secreted recombinant antigens. LAB delivery is more efficient at inducing OT than the purified antigen, thus avoiding the need for purification of large quantities of antigen. This approach holds promise for new therapeutic interventions in allergies and antigen-induced autoimmune diseases. Several clinical and research reports demonstrate considerable progress in the application of genetically modified L. lactis for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). New medical targets are on the horizon, and the approval by several health authorities and biosafety committees of a containment system for a genetically modified L. lactis that secretes Il-10 should pave the way for new LAB delivery applications in the future.

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