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Adjuvant effects of interleukin-2 co-expression with VP60 in an oral vaccine delivered by attenuated Salmonella typhimurium against rabbit hemorrhagic disease

Deng, Zhaobin, Geng, Yi, Wang, Kaiyu, Yu, Zehui, Yang, Ping Ou, Yang, Zexiao, He, Changliang, Huang, Chao, Yin, Lizi, He, Min, Tang, Li, Lai, Weimin
Veterinary microbiology 2019 v.230 pp. 49-55
Salmonella Typhimurium, adjuvants, animal welfare, antibodies, bacteria, edible vaccines, genes, immune response, immunization, inactivated vaccines, industry, interleukin-2, liver, protective effect, rabbits, recombinant vaccines, viruses
Rabbit hemorrhagic disease (RHD) is a highly contagious infection that has caused significant damage to the rabbit industry since 1984. Inactivated vaccines, the currently used prevention measures, are effective in controlling RHD. However, these vaccines are derived from the livers of infected rabbits, which constitutes a major concern in terms of animal welfare and safety. Administration of DNA vaccines in collaboration with appropriate adjuvants, in particular, cytokines, to strengthen the immune response presents a novel optimization strategy to generate more efficient vaccines. In this study, the adjuvant effect of interleukin (IL)-2 co-expression with the VP60 gene in a DNA vaccine was evaluated. In total, four groups of 60 RHD virus (RHDV)-free rabbits (30 days old) were orally or subcutaneously administered recombinant SL7207-pVAX1-IL2-VP60, SL7207-pVAX1-VP60, SL7207-pVAX1 bacteria or the commercial inactive vaccine, and the induced immunity evaluated by challenge with the RHDV(Y8504/China) strain on day 56. The Recombinant SL7207-pVAX1-IL2-VP60 induced a higher level of antibodies than the vaccine SL7207-pVAX1-VP60 and inactivated vaccines to a significant extent. The concentrations of interleukin (IL)-4 were markedly higher than those in groups immunized with the naked or inactive vaccine alone. Furthermore, the fusion gene vaccine provided higher protection (93.33%) after virus challenge relative to immunization with the single gene (SL7207-pVAX1-VP60). The collective results indicate that recombinant SL7207-pVAX1-IL-2-VP60 bacteria exert enhanced protective effects against RHDV and therefore present a strong candidate as a potential vaccine. Moreover, IL-2 enhanced both humoral and cellular responses, highlighting the utility of rabbit IL-2 as an effective adjuvant.