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J Microbiol Immunol Infect. 2007 Jun;40(3):188-200.

Immunogenicity and protection against genital Chlamydia infection and its complications by a multisubunit candidate vaccine.

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



Genital infections due to Chlamydia trachomatis pose a considerable public health challenge worldwide and a vaccine is urgently needed to protect against these infections. We examined whether a vaccine composed of a combination of the major outer membrane protein (MOMP) and porin B protein (PorB) of C. trachomatis would have a protective advantage over a single subunit construct.


Single and multisubunit vaccines expressing MOMP and PorB were constructed and evaluated in the mouse model of genital infection. Thus, groups of female C57BL/6 mice were immunized intramuscularly with recombinant Vibrio cholerae ghosts (VCG) expressing the vaccine antigens or VCG alone and humoral and cell-mediated immune responses were evaluated.


Significant levels of Chlamydia-specific secretory immunoglobulin A and immunoglobulin G2a were detected in vaginal washes and serum of immunized mice. The multisubunit construct induced a significantly higher level of T-helper Type 1 response than the single subunits as measured by the amount of interferon-gamma produced by immune T cells in response to re-stimulation with ultraviolet-irradiated elementary bodies in vitro. Three weeks after the last immunization, animals were challenged intravaginally with 10(7) inclusion-forming units of C. trachomatis serovar D. There was a significant difference in the intensity and duration of vaginal shedding between the vaccine-immunized mice and controls. All the animals immunized with the multisubunit vaccine had completely resolved the infection 2 weeks post-challenge. Higher numbers of embryos were observed in vaccinated animals than in controls, indicating protection against infertility.


These results underscore the potential, albeit moderate, vaccine advantage of the multisubunit formulation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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