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Protective immune responses in mice induced by intramuscular and intranasal immunization with a Mycoplasma pneumoniae P1C DNA vaccine

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Mycoplasma pneumoniae is an important causative agent of atypical pneumonia. This study was to determine the ability of a DNA expression vector, which encodes the carboxy terminal region of the M. pneumoniae P1 protein (P1C), to induce humoral and cellular immune responses and to protect against M. pneumoniae infection in BALB/c mice. Mice were immunized with pcDNA3.1/P1C by either intramuscular injection (i.m.) or intranasal inoculation (i.n.). Our results showed that p1c DNA immunization generates detectable antibodies specific to M. pneumoniae, and elicits high levels of IgG1, IgG2a, and IgG2b isotypes (P < 0.01). The levels of IFN-γ and IL-4 in spleen cells of the immunized mice were significantly elevated by immunization via both the i.m. and i.n. methods. Moreover, p1c DNA-immunized mice exhibited detectable protection against M. pneumoniae infection. The lung tissue inflammation was relieved and the histopathologic score (HPS) of pcDNA3.1/P1C-immunized mice was significantly decreased than those in phosphate-buffed saline (PBS) or vaccine-vector-immunized mice (P < 0.01), whereas there were no significant differences in HPS between i.m. and i.n. vaccination (P > 0.05). Our results suggest that pcDNA3.1/P1C could be useful for developing a vaccine against M. pneumoniae infection.

Keywords: DNA vaccine; Mycoplasma pneumoniae; P1 adhesin protein carboxy terminal region; immune response; région carboxy terminale de l’adhésine P1; réponse immune; vaccin à ADN

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Xiangya School of Medicine, Central South University, Changsha 410078, People’s Republic of China. 2: Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of South China, Hengyang 421001, People’s Republic of China.

Publication date: May 16, 2012

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  • Published since 1954, this monthly journal contains new research in the field of microbiology including applied microbiology and biotechnology; microbial structure and function; fungi and other eucaryotic protists; infection and immunity; microbial ecology; physiology, metabolism and enzymology; and virology, genetics, and molecular biology. It also publishes review articles and notes on an occasional basis, contributed by recognized scientists worldwide.
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