3 years ago

Mucosal vaccination with pili from Group A Streptococcus expressed on Lactococcus lactis generates protective immune responses

Catherine J.-Y. Tsai, Adrina Hema J. Khemlani, Jacelyn M. S. Loh, Thomas Proft, Natalie Lorenz
The human pathogen Group A Streptococcus (GAS) produces pili that are involved in adhesion and colonisation of the host. These surface-exposed pili are immunogenic and therefore represent an attractive target for vaccine development. The pilus is encoded in the genomic region known as the fibronectin-collagen-T-antigen (FCT)-region, of which at least nine different types have been identified. In this study we investigate expressing two of the most common FCT-types (FCT-3 and FCT-4) in the food-grade bacteria Lactococcus lactis for use as a mucosal vaccine. We show that mucosally delivered L. lactis expressing GAS pili generates specific antibody responses in rabbits. Rabbit anti-pilus antibodies were shown to have both a neutralising effect on bacterial adhesion, and immunised rabbit antiserum was able to facilitate immune-mediated killing of bacteria via opsonophagocytosis. Furthermore, intranasal immunisation of mice improved clearance rates of GAS after nasopharyngeal challenge. These results demonstrate the potential for a novel, pilus-based vaccine to protect against GAS infections.

Publisher URL: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-07602-0

DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-07602-0

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