Comparison of eight Lactobacillus species for delivery of surface-displayed mycobacterial antigen
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonVaccine. 2019, 37 (43), 6371-6379. 10.1016/j.vaccine.2019.09.012
Lactobacillus spp. comprise a large group of Gram-positive lactic acid bacteria with varying physiological, ecological and immunomodulatory properties that are widely exploited by mankind, primarily in food production and as health-promoting probiotics. Recent years have shown increased interest in using lactobacilli for delivery of vaccines, mainly due to their ability to skew the immune system towards pro-inflammatory responses. We have compared the potential of eight Lactobacillus species, L. plantarum, L. brevis, L. curvatus, L. rhamnosus, L. sakei, L. gasseri, L. acidophilus and L. reuteri, as immunogenic carriers of the Ag85B-ESAT-6 antigen from Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Surface-display of the antigen was achieved in L. plantarum, L. brevis, L. gasseri and L. reuteri and these strains were further analyzed in terms of their in vitro and in vivo immunogenicity. All strains activated human dendritic cells in vitro. Immunization of mice using a homologous prime-boost regimen comprising a primary subcutaneous immunization followed by three intranasal boosters, led to slightly elevated IgG levels in serum in most strains, and, importantly, to significantly increased levels of antigen-specific mucosal IgA. Cellular immunity was assessed by studying antigen-specific T cell responses in splenocytes, which did not reveal proliferation as assessed by the expression of Ki67, but which showed clear antigen-specific IFN-γ and IL-17 responses for some of the groups. Taken together, the present results indicate that L. plantarum and L. brevis are the most promising carriers of TB vaccines.