The H9N2 avian influenza virus (AIV) causes serious economic losses to the poultry industry every year. Vaccines that induce a mucosal immune response may be successful against influenza virus infection because its transmission occurs primarily in the mucosa. To develop novel and potent oral vaccines based on Lactobacillus plantarum (L. plantarum) to control the spread of AIV in poultry industry, in the present study, we constructed and expressed fusions of the influenza antigens NP and M2 with the Salmonella Typhimurium flagellinprotein FliC on the surface of L. plantarum. Oral immunization of chicks was performed, and serum antibodies, mucosal antibodies, and specific cellular immunity were detected. Immunizing chicks with avian influenza virus was evaluated. The results showed high levels of IgG in addition to high levels of secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA) in chickens orally administered recombinant L. plantarum. In addition, the fusion may significantly increase the levels of NP- and M2-specific T cell-mediated immunity in the case of mucosal administration of NC8-pSIP409-pgsA’-NP-M2-FliC. Recombinant NC8-pSIP409-pgsA’-NP-M2-FliC mediated effectively protected chickens against influenza virus and reduced virus titers in the lung. Our study outcomes indicate that the expression of influenza NP-M2 and a mucosal adjuvant (FliC), by L. plantarum could generate a mucosal vaccine candidate for animals in the future to defend against AIVs.
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