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Clin Diagn Lab Immunol. 2005 Mar;12(3):447-52.

Kinetics of local and systemic immune responses after vaginal immunization with recombinant cholera toxin B subunit in humans.

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Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Göteborg University, Box 435, SE-405 30 Göteborg, Sweden.


Vaginal vaccination seems to be the best strategy for inducing specific immunoglobulin A (IgA) and IgG antibody responses in the female genital tract. The relative efficiencies of one, two, and three vaginal doses of recombinant cholera toxin B subunit (CTB) in generating mucosal and systemic immune responses in healthy women were evaluated, and the kinetics of the immune responses were monitored for responding volunteers for up to 12 months after the last vaccination. A single dose of CTB failed to generate CTB-specific IgA antibody responses in cervical secretions. Two vaccinations induced significant increases in IgA antitoxin titers in seven of nine volunteers, and four volunteers also developed IgG antitoxin responses. The magnitudes of the responses were 20-fold for IgA antitoxin and 7.1-fold for IgG antitoxin. A third vaccination did not significantly increase the antitoxin responses, although the frequency of IgG responses was slightly higher than that after the second vaccination. In serum, CTB-specific antibodies were observed already after a single vaccination. However, two vaccinations were required to induce marked IgA as well as IgG antitoxin titer increases in the majority of volunteers. The postvaccination levels of antitoxin antibodies in serum were comparable after two and three vaccinations. At 12 months after vaccination, significantly elevated IgA and IgG antitoxin levels in cervical secretions could still be detected in approximately half of the volunteers who had initially responded to the vaccine. Antitoxin titer increases in serum were found in most of the vaccinees at follow-up.

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