Caister Academic Press

CIMB Abstract

Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. (2000) 2: 17-25.

Lactic Acid Bacteria As Live Vaccines

Annick Mercenier, H. Müller-Alouf and Corinne Grangette

Mucosal routes for vaccine delivery offer several advantages over systemic inoculation from both immunological and practical points of view. The development of efficient mucosal vaccines therefore represents a top prority in modern vaccinology. One way to deliver protective antigens at the mucosal surfaces is to use live bacterial vectors. Until recently most of these were derived from attenuated pathogenic microorganisms. As an alternative to this strategy, non-pathogenic food grade bacteria such as lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are being tested for their efficacy as live antigen carriers. The LABVAC european research network is presently comparing the vaccine potential of Lactococcus lactis, Streptococcus gordonii and Lactobacillus spp. To date, it has been shown that systemic and mucosal antigen-specific immune responses can be elicited in mice through the nasal route using the three LAB systems under study. Data on successful oral and vaginal immunisations are also accumulating for L. lactis and S. gordonii, respectively. Moreover, the immune responses can be potentiated by co-expression of interleukins. Future areas of research include improvement of local immunisation efficiency, analysis of in vivo antigen production, unravelling of the Lactobacillus colonisation mechanisms and construction of biologically contained strains.

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