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Infect Immun. 1997 Jul;65(7):2676-84.

Intranasal vaccination of humans with recombinant cholera toxin B subunit induces systemic and local antibody responses in the upper respiratory tract and the vagina.

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Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Göteborg University, Sweden.


Forty-five volunteers were vaccinated twice intranasally with 10, 100, or 1,000 microg of cholera toxin B subunit (CTB). Blood and nasal and vaginal secretions were collected before and 1 week after the second vaccination from all volunteers, and the specific and total immunoglobulin A (IgA) and IgG titers were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Samples were also taken 6 months (n = 16) and 1 year (n = 14) after the vaccination. The 10- and 100-microg doses were well tolerated by the volunteers, but the 1,000-microg dose induced increased secretions from the nose and repetitive sneezings for several hours. The CTB-specific serum IgA and IgG increased 21- and 7-fold, respectively, 1 week after vaccination with the medium dose and increased 61- and 37-fold, respectively, after the high dose. In nasal secretions the specific IgA and IgG increased 2- and 6-fold after the medium dose and 2- and 20-fold after the high dose, respectively. In vaginal secretions the specific IgA and IgG increased 3- and 5-fold after the medium dose and 56- and 74-fold after the high dose, respectively. The lowest dose did not induce any significant antibody titer increases in serum or in secretions. The specific IgA and IgG levels in secretions were still elevated after 6 months but were decreasing 1 year after the vaccination. These results show that intranasal vaccination of humans with CTB induces strong systemic and mucosal antibody responses and suggest that CTB may be used as a carrier for antigens that induce protective immunity against systemic as well as respiratory and genital infections.

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