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Vaccine. 2002 Jul 26;20(23-24):2913-20.

Recombinant Lactobacillus johnsonii as a mucosal vaccine delivery vehicle.

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Institute of Immunology and Allergology, Inselspital, 3010 Bern, Switzerland.


Lactobacilli are considered to be safe organisms making them attractive as vehicles for oral vaccination. We report that Lactobacillus johnsonii (Lj) partially survived simulated gastric conditions in vitro, suggesting that it could be used as an oral vaccine delivery vehicle. In order to test this approach, we used the cell wall anchored proteinase PrtB, isolated from Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus as a model antigen. Using a new vector system, we demonstrated expression of both proteinase PrtB alone and a mimotope peptide derived from tetanus toxin integrated in the sequence of proteinase PrtB (TTmim-PrtB fusion protein) on the surface of Lj. Oral immunisation of mice with recombinant Lj, expressing the TTmim-PrtB fusion protein induced a systemic IgG response against Lj and recombinantly expressed proteinase PrtB but no antibody response against the tetanus toxin mimotope suggesting that the mimotope was not sufficiently immunogenic to induce an immune response. Interestingly, a proteinase PrtB specific fecal IgA response was also induced, indicating that the proteinase PrtB fusion protein expressed as a cell surface protein on Lj can induce both systemic and local mucosal immune responses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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