Novel platform technology for modular mucosal vaccine that protects against streptococcus
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The upper respiratory tract (URT) is the major entry site for human pathogens and strategies to activate this network could lead to new vaccines capable of preventing infection with many pathogens. Group A streptococcus (GAS) infections, causing rheumatic fever, rheumatic heart disease, and invasive disease, are responsible for substantial morbidity and mortality. We describe an innovative vaccine strategy to induce mucosal antibodies of significant magnitude against peptide antigens of GAS using a novel biocompatible liposomal platform technology. The approach is to encapsulate free diphtheria toxoid (DT), a standard vaccine antigen, within liposomes as a source of helper T-cell stimulation while lipidated peptide targets for B-cells are separately displayed on the liposome surface. As DT is not physically conjugated to the peptide, it is possible to develop modular epitopic constructs that simultaneously activate IgA-producing B-cells of different and complementary specificity and function that together neutralize distinct virulence factors. An inflammatory cellular immune response is also induced. The immune response provides profound protection against streptococcal infection in the URT. The study describes a new vaccine platform for humoral and cellular immunity applicable to the development of vaccines against multiple mucosal pathogens.
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Biochemistry and Cell Biology not elsewhere classified