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Infect Immun. 2011 Feb;79(2):887-94. doi: 10.1128/IAI.00950-10. Epub 2010 Nov 29.

Immunization with Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium-derived outer membrane vesicles delivering the pneumococcal protein PspA confers protection against challenge with Streptococcus pneumoniae.

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Center for Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology, The Biodesign Institute, Arizona State University, P.O. Box 875401, 1001 S. McAllister Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85287-5401, USA.


Gram-negative bacteria produce outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) that serve a variety of functions related to survival and pathogenicity. Periplasmic and outer membrane proteins are naturally captured during vesicle formation. This property has been exploited as a method to derive immunogenic vesicle preparations for use as vaccines. In this work, we constructed a Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium strain that synthesized a derivative of the pneumococcal protein PspA engineered to be secreted into the periplasmic space. Vesicles isolated from this strain contained PspA in the lumen. Mice intranasally immunized with the vesicle preparation developed serum antibody responses against vesicle components that included PspA and Salmonella-derived lipopolysaccharide and outer membrane proteins, while no detectable responses developed in mice immunized with an equivalent dose of purified PspA. Mucosal IgA responses developed against the Salmonella components, while the response to PspA was less apparent in most mice. Mice immunized with the vesicle preparation were completely protected against a 10× 50% lethal dose (LD₅₀) challenge of Streptococcus pneumoniae and significantly protected against a 200× LD₅₀ challenge, while control mice immunized with purified PspA or empty vesicles were not protected. These results establish that vesicles can be used to mucosally deliver an antigen from a Gram-positive organism and induce a protective immune response.

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