Microbial cell factories 2018 02 1617(1) 24 doi 10.1186/s12934-018-0876-0
Dengue is listed as a neglected tropical disease by the Center for Disease Control and Preservation, as there are insufficient integrated surveillance strategies, no effective treatment, and limited licensed vaccines. Consisting of four genetically distinct serotypes, dengue virus (DENV) causes serious life-threatening infections due to its complexity. Antibody-dependent enhancement by pre-existing cross-reactive as well as homotypic antibodies further worsens the clinical symptoms of dengue. Thus, a vaccine conferring simultaneous and durable immunity to each of the four DENV serotypes is essential to restrict its escalation. In deeply affected resource-limited countries, oral vaccination using food-grade organisms is considered to be a beneficial approach in terms of costs, patient comfort, and simple logistics for mass immunization. The current study used a mouse model to explore the immunogenicity of an oral dengue vaccine candidate prepared using whole recombinant yeast cells (WC) and cell-free extracts (CFE) from cells expressing recombinant Escherichia coli heat-labile toxin protein B-subunit (LTB) fused to the consensus dengue envelope domain III (scEDIII). Mice were treated orally with recombinant WC and CFE vaccines in 2-week intervals for 4 weeks and changes in systemic and mucosal immune responses were monitored.
Both WC and CFE dosage applications of LTB-scEDIII stimulated a systemic humoral immune response in the form of dengue-specific serum IgG as well as mucosal immune response in the form of secretory sIgA. Antigen-specific B cell responses in isolated lymphoid cells from the spleen and Peyer’s patches further indicated an elevated mucosal immune response. Cellular immune response estimated through lymphocyte proliferation assay indicated higher levels in CFE than WC dosage. Furthermore, sera obtained after both oral administrations successfully neutralized DENV-1, whereas CFE formulation only neutralized DENV-2 serotype, two representative serotypes which cause severe dengue infection. Sera from mice that were fed CFE preparations demonstrated markedly higher neutralizing titers compared to those from WC-fed mice. However, WC feeding elicited strong immune responses, which were similar to the levels induced by CFE feeding after intraperitoneal booster with purified scEDIII antigen.
CFE preparations of LTB-scEDIII produced strong immunogenicity with low processing requirements, signifying that this fusion protein shows promise as a potent oral vaccine candidate against dengue viral infection.