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J Immunol. 2004 Sep 1;173(5):3375-82.

A novel recombinant multisubunit vaccine against Chlamydia.

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Department of Microbiology, Biochemistry, and Immunology, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30310, USA.


The administration of an efficacious vaccine is the most effective long-term measure to control the oculogenital infections caused by Chlamydia trachomatis in humans. Chlamydia genome sequencing has identified a number of potential vaccine candidates, and the current challenge is to develop an effective delivery vehicle for induction of a high level of mucosal T and complementary B cell responses. Vibrio cholerae ghosts (VCG) are nontoxic, effective delivery vehicles with potent adjuvant properties, and are capable of inducing both T cell and Ab responses in mucosal tissues. We investigated the hypothesis that rVCG could serve as effective delivery vehicles for single or multiple subunit chlamydial vaccines to induce a high level of protective immunity. rVCG-expressing chlamydial outer membrane proteins were produced by a two-step genetic process, involving cloning of Omp genes in V. cholerae, followed by gene E-mediated lysis of the cells. The immunogenicity and vaccine efficacy of rVCG-expressing single and multiple subunits were compared. Immunologic analysis indicated that i.m. immunization of mice with either vaccine construct induced a strong mucosal and systemic specific Th1 response against the whole chlamydial organism. However, there was an immunogenic advantage associated with the multiple subunit vaccine that induced a higher frequency of Th1 cells and a relatively greater ability to confer protective immunity, compared with the single subunit construct. These results support the operational theory that the ability of a vaccine to confer protective immunity against Chlamydia is a function of the level of Th1 response elicited.

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