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Bioeng Bugs. 2010 Sep-Oct;1(5):313-25. doi: 10.4161/bbug.1.5.12086.

Lactococcus lactis as an adjuvant and delivery vehicle of antigens against pneumococcal respiratory infections.

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Laboratorio de Bioquímica y Clínica Experimental, Centro de Referencia para Lactobacilos (CERELA-CONICET), Tucumán, Argentina.


Most studies of Lactococcus lactis as delivery vehicles of pneumococcal antigens are focused on the effectiveness of mucosal recombinant vaccines against Streptococcus pneumoniae in animal models. At present, there are three types of pneumococcal vaccines: capsular polysaccharide pneumococcal vaccines (PPV), protein-polysaccharide conjugate pneumococcal vaccines (PCV) and protein-based pneumococcal vaccines (PBPV). Only PPV and PCV have been licensed. These vaccines, however, do not represent a definitive solution. Novel, safe and inexpensive vaccines are necessary, especially in developing countries. Probiotic microorganisms such as lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are an interesting alternative for their use as vehicles in pneumococcal vaccines due to their GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) status. Thus, the adjuvanticity of Lactococcus lactis by itself represents added value over the use of other bacteria, a question dealt with in this review. In addition, the expression of different pneumococcal antigens as well as the use of oral and nasal mucosal routes of administration of lactococcal vaccines is considered. The advantages of nasal live vaccines are evident; nonetheless, oral vaccines can be a good alternative when the adequate dose is used. Another point addressed here is the use of live versus inactivated vaccines. In this sense, few researchers have focused on inactivated strains to be used as vaccines against pneumoccoccus. The immunogenicity of live vaccines is better than the one afforded by inactivated ones; however, the probiotic-inactivated vaccine combination has improved this matter considerably. The progress made so far in the protective immune response induced by recombinant vaccines, the successful trials in animal models and the safety considerations of their application in humans suggest that the use of recombinant vaccines represents a good short-term option in the control of pneumococcal diseases.


Lactococcus lactis; Streptococcus pneumoniae; recombinant vaccine

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