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Vaccination With The Chlamydia Trachomatis Major Outer Membrane Protein Can Elicit An Immune Response As Protective As That Resulting From Inoculation With Live Bacteria

S. Pal, E. Peterson, L. M. de la Maza
Published 2005 · Medicine, Biology

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ABSTRACT BALB/c mice were vaccinated by the intramuscular (i.m.) and subcutaneous (s.c.) routes with a native preparation of the Chlamydia trachomatis mouse pneumonitis (MoPn) major outer membrane protein (MOMP), using Montanide ISA 720 and CpG-1826 as adjuvants. A negative control group was immunized with ovalbumin and the two adjuvants, and a positive control group was immunized intranasally (i.n.) with 104 inclusion-forming units (IFU) of C. trachomatis. Four weeks after the last i.m.-plus-s.c. immunization, mice were challenged in the ovarian bursa with 105 IFU of C. trachomatis MoPn. Six weeks after the genital challenge, animals were mated, and the pregnancies were monitored. After vaccination with MOMP, the mice developed strong Chlamydia-specific humoral and cellular immune responses. Following the genital challenge, of the mice vaccinated with the MOMP, only 15% (3/20) had positive vaginal cultures, while 85% (17/20) of the animals immunized with ovalbumin had positive cultures over the 6 weeks of observation (P < 0.05). Also, only 14% (3/21) of the animals inoculated i.n. with Chlamydia had positive vaginal cultures. After mating, 75% (15/20) of the mice vaccinated with MOMP carried embryos in both uterine horns. Of the animals vaccinated i.n. with the Chlamydia, 81% (17/21) had embryos in both uterine horns (P > 0.05). In contrast, only 10% (2/20) of the mice immunized with ovalbumin had embryos in both uterine horns (P < 0.05). In conclusion, immunization with a purified preparation of the MOMP is as effective as vaccination with viable C. trachomatis in eliciting a protective immune response against a genital challenge in mice.
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