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Gastroenterology. 2001 Nov;121(5):1158-66.

Oral immunization with HCV-NS3-transformed Salmonella: induction of HCV-specific CTL in a transgenic mouse model.

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Liver Diseases Section, NIDDK, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-1800, USA.



The ability to induce cytotoxic T cells is considered an important feature of a candidate hepatitis C virus (HCV) vaccine. We used an oral immunization strategy with attenuated HCV-NS3-transformed Salmonella typhimurium to deliver DNA directly to the gut-associated lymphoid tissue.


HLA-A2.1 transgenic mice were immunized once with transformed attenuated Salmonella. HCV-specific CD8+ T cells were analyzed in vitro as well as in vivo by challenge of mice with recombinant HCV-NS3 vaccinia virus.


Salmonella (10(8) colony-forming units; 20 microg plasmid DNA) induced cytotoxic and IFN-gamma-producing CD8+ T cells specific for the immunodominant epitope NS3-1073 in 26 of 30 mice (86%) that persisted for at least 10 months. A second epitope (NS3-1169) was also recognized by cytotoxic and IFN-gamma-producing T cells, whereas a third one (NS3-1406) stimulated IFN-gamma production without cytotoxicity. The minimal amount of plasmid DNA required to induce CTLs was 2 ng. Upon challenge with recombinant HCV-NS3-expressing vaccinia virus, vaccinia titers were significantly lower in mice immunized with Salmonella-NS3 than in mice immunized with control Salmonella, demonstrating the in vivo function of CTLs.


Oral immunization with attenuated Salmonella typhimurium as a carrier for HCV DNA induces long-lasting T-cell responses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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