The majority of urinary tract infections (UTIs) are caused by uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC). Designing a vaccine will certainly reduce the occurrence of infection and antibiotic resistance of the isolates. Antigen 43 (Ag43) and autotransporter H (UpaH) have been associated with the virulence of UPEC. In the present study, the efficacy of different formulations of a hybrid protein composed of Ag43 and UpaH with and without alum and 1,25(OH)2D3 (Vitamin D3) adjuvants were evaluated in mice model. A significant increase in IgG and cellular responses was developed against Ag43::UpaH as compared to the control mice. The addition of alum or a mixture of alum and Vitamin D3 to the protein significantly enhanced the serum IgG responses and tended to remain in a steady state until 6 months. In addition, the mentioned formulations produced significant amounts of IgG1, IL-4, and IL-17 as compared to the fusion protein alone. In addition to the mentioned formulations, the combination of protein with Vitamin D3 also resulted in significantly higher serum IgA and IFN-γ levels as compared to the fusion protein alone. Mice immunized with fusion plus alum and formulation protein admixed with both alum and Vitamin D3 significantly reduced the bacterial load in the bladders and kidneys of mice as compared to the control. In this study, for the first time, the ability of a novel hybrid protein in combination with adjuvants alum and Vitamin D3 was evaluated against UPEC. Our results indicated that fusion Ag43::UpaH admixed with alum and Vitamin D3 could be a promising candidate against UTIs.
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