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Vaccine. 2007 Oct 16;25(42):7301-6. Epub 2007 Aug 31.

Concomitant administration of Yersinia pestis specific monoclonal antibodies with plague vaccine has a detrimental effect on vaccine mediated immunity.

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Biomedical Sciences Department, Dstl, Porton Down, Wiltshire SP4 0JQ, UK.


Antibodies can be used to confer rapid immunity against infectious agents for short periods of time. By comparison, vaccine induced immunity is more protective, but takes a relatively long time to develop. Concomitant administration of antibody and vaccine by different routes was evaluated as a means of providing both rapid and long-term protection against plague. BALB/c mice were treated intraperitoneally with monoclonal antibodies, with specificities for Yersinia pestis LcrV and F1 antigens. A cohort of these mice was simultaneously vaccinated with rF1 and rLcrV by the intramuscular route. Antibody co-administration with vaccine reduced the level of vaccine mediated protection afforded against a high level Y. pestis challenge. Conversely, antibody-mediated protection was unaffected by vaccine co-administration and lasted for at least 8 weeks post administration. We also evaluated the effect of administering vaccine intradermally and antibody intratracheally and observed that, irrespective of administration route, concomitant administration of antibody reduced the effectiveness of vaccine mediated immunity. The results of passive transfer experiments supported the thesis that the development of protective antibody responses following vaccination is impaired by the presence of circulating monoclonal antibodies with specificities for important B-cell epitopes in the vaccine. We also noted that intradermal injection of LcrV antigen and cholera toxin adjuvant afforded good levels of protection against systemic and aerosol challenge with Y. pestis: intradermal injection might therefore be considered as a potential minimally invasive method of plague vaccine administration. These data have implications for the design of therapeutic strategies against plague infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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