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J Vet Med Sci. 2013;75(6):779-84. Epub 2013 Feb 6.

Subcutaneous or oral immunization of mice with Lactococcus lactis expressing F4 fimbrial adhesin FaeG.

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Institute of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science, Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences, 145 Shiqiao Road, Hangzhou 310021, Zhejiang, China.


Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) is one of the most common causes of diarrhea in neonatal and postweaning piglets. Fimbrial adhesion of ETEC has been considered an important colonization factor with antigenicity. To safely and effectively deliver the F4 (K88) fimbrial adhesin FaeG to the immune system, we have previously constructed the secretory expression vector pNZ8112-faeG, and FaeG was produced in cytoplasmic form in Lactococcus lactis. In this work, BALB/c mice were immunized with recombinant L. lactis to further determine the immunogenicity of recombinant FaeG (rFaeG) via the subcutaneous or oral route. Subcutaneous immunization in mice with recombinant L. lactis induced a significant increase in the F4-specific serum IgG titer and the number of antibody-secreting cells (ASCs) in the spleen. Oral immunization of mice with recombinant L. lactis induced mucosal and systemic F4-specific immune responses and increased the number of ASCs in the spleen, mesenteric lymph nodes and Peyer's patches. High-dose (2.8 × 10(11) CFU) recombinant strains and adjuvant cholera toxin B subunit enhanced specific mucosal immune responses. The results suggest the feasibility of delivering rFaeG expressed in L. lactis to the immune system in order to induce an F4-specific immune response.

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