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Vaccine. 2003 Mar 28;21(13-14):1455-65.

Immunization with the Chlamydia trachomatis major outer membrane protein, using the outer surface protein A of Borrelia burgdorferi as an adjuvant, can induce protection against a chlamydial genital challenge.

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Department of Pathology, Medical Sciences, Room D440, University of California, Irvine 92697-4800, USA.


Two strains of mice C3H/HeN (H-2(k)) and BALB/c (H-2(d)) were immunized with the Chlamydia trachomatis mouse pneumonitis (MoPn) major outer membrane protein (MOMP) using the Borrelia burgdorferi outer surface protein A (OspA) as an adjuvant. As a control, groups of mice were inoculated with ovalbumin instead of MOMP. Female mice were immunized using three different routes: intramuscular (i.m.) plus subcutaneous (s.c.), intranasal (i.n.) and perivaginal and perisacral (p.vag.+p.sac.). Significant humoral and cell mediated immune responses developed particularly in mice inoculated by the i.m.+s.c. routes as determined by the levels of chlamydial specific antibody in the serum and genital secretions and a T-cell proliferative assay. Following immunization the animals were challenged in the genital tract with C. trachomatis MoPn and the course of the infection followed by vaginal cultures. Significant protection against infection was achieved in the C3H/HeN mice inoculated i.m.+s.c. with MOMP+OspA, as shown by the intensity and duration of vaginal cultures, and by the number of mice with positive cultures. On the other hand in BALB/c mice there was only a decrease in the number of animals with positive vaginal cultures. Six weeks after the challenge the mice were mated and the outcome of the pregnancy evaluated. In both the C3H/HeN and the BALB/c mice immunized i.m.+s.c. with MOMP+OspA there was significant protection against infertility as shown by the number of animals with bilateral fertility and number of embryos per uterine horn. In conclusion, immunization using C. trachomatis MOMP, and B. burgdorferi OspA as an adjuvant, can induce significant protection against a chlamydial genital challenge.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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