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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2015 Apr;99(7):2967-77. doi: 10.1007/s00253-015-6498-0. Epub 2015 Mar 10.

Lactic acid bacteria--20 years exploring their potential as live vectors for mucosal vaccination.

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Department of Bacterial Genetics, Institute of Microbiology, Faculty of Biology, University of Warsaw, Miecznikowa 1, 02-096, Warsaw, Poland.


Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are a diverse group of Gram-positive, nonsporulating, low G + C content bacteria. Many of them have been given generally regarded as safe status. Over the past two decades, intensive genetic and molecular research carried out on LAB, mainly Lactococcus lactis and some species of the Lactobacillus genus, has revealed new, potential biomedical LAB applications, including the use of LAB as adjuvants, immunostimulators, or therapeutic drug delivery systems, or as factories to produce therapeutic molecules. LAB enable immunization via the mucosal route, which increases effectiveness against pathogens that use the mucosa as the major route of entry into the human body. In this review, we concentrate on the encouraging application of Lactococcus and Lactobacillus genera for the development of live mucosal vaccines. First, we present the progress that has recently been made in the field of developing tools for LAB genetic manipulations, which has resulted in the successful expression of many bacterial, parasitic, and viral antigens in LAB strains. Next, we discuss the factors influencing the efficacy of the constructed vaccine prototypes that have been tested in various animal models. Apart from the research focused on an application of live LABs as carriers of foreign antigens, a lot of work has been recently done on the potential usage of nonliving, nonrecombinant L. lactis designated as Gram-positive enhancer matrix (GEM), as a delivery system for mucosal vaccination. The advantages and disadvantages of both strategies are also presented.

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