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J Infect Dis. 2007 Apr 15;195(8):1203-11. Epub 2007 Mar 5.

Killed but metabolically active Salmonella typhimurium: application of a new technology to an old vector.

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  • 1Infectious Diseases Division, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


Previous studies have shown that attenuated salmonellae utilized as vaccine vectors engender strong immune responses; however, balancing immunogenicity with reactogenicity remains problematic. Recent work in other bacteria has shown that photochemical treatment of DNA excision repair mutants ( Delta uvrAB) renders organisms "killed but metabolically active" (KBMA). Here, we extend this concept to Salmonella typhimurium. A strain of attenuated S. typhimurium previously evaluated in human volunteers was further deleted for uvrAB genes and designated CKS362. Photochemical treatment of CKS362 resulted in significant inactivation. These KBMA organisms were metabolically active as shown by radioactive methionine incorporation and lactate dehydrogenase activity. In mice inoculated intraperitoneally, KBMA CKS362 was markedly less reactogenic and stimulated a humoral immune equivalent to its live counterpart. Because the parental strain has previously been found to elicit strong immune responses to Salmonella antigens, we propose CKS362 as a prototype strain to test the immunogenicity of KBMA organisms in humans.

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