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Vaccine. 2012 Jul 13;30(33):5019-29. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2012.04.043. Epub 2012 Apr 21.

Avian reovirus sigma C enhances the mucosal and systemic immune responses elicited by antigen-conjugated lactic acid bacteria.

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Department of Veterinary Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, National Chung Hsing University, 250 Kuo Kuang Road, Taichung 402, Taiwan.


Mucosal surfaces are common sites of pathogen colonization/entry. Effective mucosal immunity by vaccination should provide protection at this primary infection site. Our aim was to develop a new vaccination strategy that elicits a mucosal immune response. A new strain of Enterococcus faecium, a non pathogenic lactic acid bacteria (LAB) with strong cell adhesion ability, was identified and used as a vaccine vector to deliver two model antigens. Specifically, sigma (σ) C protein of avian reovirus (ARV), a functional homolog of mammalian reovirus σ1 protein and responsible for M-cell targeting, was administered together with a subfragment of the spike protein of infectious bronchitis virus (IBV). Next, the effect of immunization route on the immune response was assessed by delivering the antigens via the LAB strain. Intranasal (IN) immunization induced stronger humoral responses than intragastic (IG) immunization. IN immunization produced antigen specific IgA both systemically and in the lungs. A higher IgA titer was induced by the LAB with ARV σC protein attached. Moreover, the serum of mice immunized with LAB displaying divalent antigens had much stronger immune reactivity against ARV σC protein compared to IBV-S1. Our results indicate that ARV σC protein delivered by LAB via the IN route elicits strong mucosal immunity. A needle-free delivery approach is a convenient and cost effective method of vaccine administration, especially for respiratory infections in economic animals. Furthermore, ARV σC, a strong immunogen of ARV, may be able to serve as an immunoenhancer for other vaccines, especially avian vaccines.

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