Indexed on: 20 Jun '12Published on: 20 Jun '12Published in: Microbiology and Immunology
Live attenuated bacteria can be used as a carrier for the delivery of foreign antigens to a host's immune system. The N-terminal domain of SipB, a translocon protein of the type III secretion system of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, is required for secretion and outer membrane localization. In the present study, vaccine plasmids for antigen delivery in which the non-toxic tetanus toxin fragment C (TTFC), which contains a T cell epitope, is fused to the N-terminal 160 amino acids of SipB were developed. It was found that the recombinant proteins are secreted into the culture media and localized to the bacterial surface. TTFC-specific antibody responses are significantly increased in mice orally immunized with attenuated S. Typhimurium BRD509 strains carrying TTFC delivery plasmids. When the TTFC delivery cassettes were introduced into a low copy vector, the plasmid was stably maintained in the BRD509 strain and induced an immune response to the TTFC antigen in mice. These results suggest that expression and delivery of heterologous antigens fused to the N-terminus of SipB enhance the induction of antigen-specific immune responses, and that the N-terminal domain of SipB can be used as a versatile delivery system for foreign antigens.