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Lactobacillus plantarum displaying conserved M2e and HA2 fusion antigens induces protection against influenza virus challenge


Avian influenza virus (AIV) can infect poultry, mammals, and other hosts and causes enormous economic losses to the global poultry industry. In this study, to develop a novel and potent oral vaccine based on Lactobacillus plantarum (L. plantarum) for controlling the spread of AIV in the poultry industry, we constructed a recombinant L. plantarum strain displaying the 3M2e-HA2 protein of the influenza virus and determined the effect of N/pgsA′-3M2e-HA2 against AIV in chicks. We first confirmed that the 3M2e-HA2 fusion protein was expressed on the surface of L. plantarum via flow cytometry and immunofluorescence experiments. Our experimental results demonstrated that chicks immunized with N/pgsA′-3M2e-HA2 could induce specific humoral, mucosal, and T cell-mediated immune responses, eliciting the host body to protect itself against AIV. Additionally, compared to oral administration, the intranasal immunization of chicks with N/pgsA′-3M2e-HA2 provided a stronger immune response, resulting in a potent protective effect that hindered the loss of body weight, decreasing pulmonary virus titers and reducing lung and throat pathological damages. Thus, our results indicate that our novel approach is an effective method of vaccine design to promote mucosal immunity.

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This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFD0501000, 2017YFD0500400), National Natural Science Foundation of China (31672528, 31602092), Science and Technology Development Programof Jilin Province (20160519011JH, 20170204034NY, 20180520037JH), Special Funds for Industrial Innovation of Jilin Province (2016C063), “Thirteen Five-year Plan” for Sci&Tech Research Program of Jilin Education Department of P.R. China (JJKH20170318KJ), and the Doctoral Project sponsored by the Scientific Research Foundation of Jilin Agricultural University of China (201601).

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Correspondence to Chun-Feng Wang.

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The authors declare that they have no competing interest.

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All applicable international and national guidelines for the care and use of chickens were followed.

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Yang, WT., Yang, GL., Zhao, L. et al. Lactobacillus plantarum displaying conserved M2e and HA2 fusion antigens induces protection against influenza virus challenge. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 102, 5077–5088 (2018).

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  • Conserved antigen
  • Lactobacillus plantarum
  • Influenza virus
  • Mucosal immunity