, Volume 51, Issue 11, pp 973-980
Date: 07 Nov 2008

Immunization with chlamydial plasmid protein pORF5 DNA vaccine induces protective immunity against genital chlamydial infection in mice

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Abstract

To validate the immune protective efficacy of pORF5 DNA vaccine and to analyze potential mechanisms related to this protection. In this study, pORF5 DNA vaccine was constructed and evaluated for its protective immunity in a mouse model of genital chlamydial infection. Groups of BALB/c mice were immunized intranasally with pORF5 DNA vaccine. Humoral and cell mediated immune responses were evaluated. The clearance ability of chlamydial challenge from the genital tract and the chlamydia-induced upper genital tract gross pathology and histopathological characterization were also detected. The results showed that the total and the IgG2a anti-pORF5 antibody levels in serum were significantly elevated after pcDNA3.1-pORF5 vaccination, as were the total antibody and IgA levels in vaginal fluids. pcDNA3.1-pORF5 induced a significantly high level of Th1 response as measured by robust gamma interferon (IFN-γ). Minimal IL-4 was produced by immune T cells in response to the re-stimulation with pORF5 protein or the inactive elementary body in vitro. pcDNA3.1-pORF5-vaccinated mice displayed significantly reduced bacterial shedding upon a chlamydial challenge and an accelerated resolution of infection. 100% of pcDNA3.1-pORF5 vaccinated mice successfully resolved the infection by day 24. pcDNA3.1-pORF5-immunized mice also exhibited protection against pathological consequences of chlamydial infection. The stimulated index was significantly higher than that of mice immunized with pcDNA3.1 and PBS (P<0.05). Together, these results demonstrated that immunization with pORF5 DNA vaccine is a promising approach for eliciting a protective immunity against a genital chlamydial challenge.

Supported by the National High-Tech Research and Development Program of China (Grant No. 2004AA2Z3530), the Hunan Province “Eleventh Five-Year Plan” Important Special Program (Grant No. 2006SK1001), and the National Institutes of Health, USA (Grant No. 1 R01 AI47997-01)