1887

Abstract

The immunogenicity and protective effect of a DNA vaccine encoding the heat-shock protein (Hsp) GroEL of AB7, an obligate intracellular bacterium that causes abortion in sheep, was evaluated in pregnant and non-pregnant mouse models. The gene was cloned by screening a genomic library constructed in λFIX II arms with a nucleic acid probe corresponding to the central portion of the gene from . Sequence analysis of a positive clone revealed an open reading frame of 1632 bp encoding a 544 amino acid polypeptide with a predicted molecular mass of 58 256 Da and highly similar to GroEL of (93 %) and (94 %). As observed in other sequenced chlamydial genomes, the gene belongs to an operon comprising another gene encoding the Hsp GroES. OF1 outbred mice were immunized intramuscularly with plasmid DNA carrying the gene three times at 3 week intervals and challenged 2 weeks after the last DNA injection. In pregnant mice, no reduction in abortion was observed and the DNA vaccination failed to reduce the bacterial infection in the placenta and spleen of mice. Nevertheless, partial protection of fetuses was obtained. Immunization of non-pregnant mice with the gene resulted in a specific humoral response with the predominant IgG2a isotype, suggesting a Th1-type immune response. The anti-GroEL antibodies showed no neutralizing effect on infectivity. Although the DNA vaccine induced a delayed-type hypersensitivity response, it failed to elicit an efficient cellular immune response since the mice were not protected against bacterial challenge.

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2004-09-01
2019-11-13
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