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Infect Immun. 1999 May;67(5):2531-9.

Local secretory immunoglobulin A and postimmunization gastritis correlate with protection against Helicobacter pylori infection after oral vaccination of mice.

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Second Department of Internal Medicine, Oita Medical University, Hasama-machi, Oita, Japan.


C57BL/6 mice were orally immunized with five weekly doses of 2 mg, 200 microgram, or 2 microgram of Helicobacter pylori (Sydney strain) whole-cell sonicate combined with cholera toxin. One week after the last vaccination, mice were challenged with 5 x 10(7) CFU of live H. pylori three times at 2-day intervals. At 6 or 18 weeks after the challenge, mice were sacrificed and bacterial cultures and histological studies of the stomach were performed. Vaccination with 2 mg/session or 200 microgram/session inhibited H. pylori colonization by 90 and 100%, respectively. These mice were considered protected. Lower levels of H. pylori-specific immunoglobulin A (IgA) were detected in fecal and saliva samples before challenge. However, a significant increase in IgA secretion in mucosal tissue and a higher labeling index for IgA-positive lumina of pyloric glands were noted in these mice in response to challenge and in a vaccine dose-dependent manner. In protected mice, however, severe gastritis characterized by marked infiltration of inflammation mononuclear cells was noted at 6 weeks after challenge, compared with the gastritis seen in unprotected mice or nonvaccinated, ordinarily infected mice. Marked expression of gamma interferon mRNA was detected in the stomach of all protected mice, and 50% of these mice expressed interleukin 4 (IL-4) or IL-5 mRNA. Our findings suggest that local secretory IgA antibody and severe postimmunization gastritis correlate well with protection of mice against H. pylori infection.

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