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Surface expression of Helicobacter pylori HpaA adhesion antigen on Vibrio cholerae, enhanced by co-expressed enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli fimbrial antigens

Tobias, Joshua, Lebens, Michael, Wai, Sun Nyunt, Holmgren, Jan, Svennerholm, Ann-Mari
Microbial pathogenesis 2017 v.105 pp. 177-184
Helicobacter pylori, Vibrio cholerae O1, adenocarcinoma, adhesion, antibodies, antigens, bacteria, blood serum, enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, immune response, mice, mutation, operon, oral vaccination, vaccines
Helicobacter pylori infection can cause peptic ulceration and is associated with gastric adenocarcinoma. This study aimed to construct and characterize a non-virulent Vibrio cholerae O1 strain, which grows more rapidly than H. pylori, as vector for H. pylori antigens for possible use as a vaccine strain against H. pylori. This was done by recombinant expression of the H. pylori adhesion antigen HpaA alone or, as a proof of principle, together with different colonization factor (CF) antigens of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) which may enhance immune responses against HpaA. A recombinant V. cholerae strain co-expressing HpaA and a fimbrial CF antigens CFA/I or CS5, but not the non-fimbrial CF protein CS6, was shown to express larger amounts of HpaA on the surface when compared with the same V. cholerae strain expressing HpaA alone. Mutations in the CFA/I operon showed that the chaperon, possibly together with the usher, was involved in enhancing the surface expression of HpaA. Oral immunization of mice with formaldehyde-inactivated recombinant V. cholerae expressing HpaA alone or together with CFA/I induced significantly higher serum antibody responses against HpaA than mice similarly immunized with inactivated HpaA-expressing H. pylori bacteria. Our results demonstrate that a non-virulent V. cholerae strain can be engineered to allow strong surface expression of HpaA, and that the expression can be further increased by co-expressing it with ETEC fimbrial antigens. Such recombinant V. cholerae strains expressing HpaA, and possibly also other H. pylori antigens, may have the potential as oral inactivated vaccine candidates against H. pylori.