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Vaccine. 2013 Mar 1;31(11):1458-63. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2013.01.030. Epub 2013 Jan 30.

Oral immunization of a live attenuated Escherichia coli strain expressing a holotoxin-structured adhesin-toxoid fusion (1FaeG-FedF-LTA₂:5LTB) protected young pigs against enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) infection.

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Veterinary & Biomedical Sciences Department, The Center for Infectious Disease Research & Vaccinology, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007, USA.


ETEC strains expressing K88 (F4) or F18 fimbriae and enterotoxins are the predominant cause of porcine post-weaning diarrhea (PWD). PWD continues causing significant economic losses to swine producers worldwide. Vaccines effectively protecting against PWD are needed. Our recent study revealed that a tripartite adhesin-toxin monomer (FaeG-FedF-LT(A2-B)) elicited protective antibodies. In this study, we constructed a new adhesin-toxoid fusion, expressed it as a 1A:5B holotoxin-structured antigen (1FaeG-FedF-LT(192A2):5LT(B)) in an avirulent Escherichia coli strain, and evaluated its vaccine potential in pig challenge studies. Piglets orally inoculated with this live strain showed no adverse effects but developed systemic and mucosal antibodies that neutralized cholera toxin and inhibited adherence of K88 and F18 fimbriae in vitro. Moreover, the immunized piglets, when were challenged with ETEC strain 3030-2 (K88ac/LT/STb), had significant fewer bacteria colonized at small intestines and did not develop diarrhea; whereas the control piglets developed severe diarrhea and died. These results indicated the 1FaeG-FedF-LT(192A2):5LT(B) fusion antigen induced protective antiadhesin and antitoxin immunity in pigs, and suggested a live attenuated vaccine can be potentially developed against porcine ETEC diarrhea. Additionally, presenting antigens in a holotoxin structure to target host local mucosal immunity can be used in vaccine development against other enteric diseases.

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