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Protective efficacy of vaccines based on the Helicobacter suis urease subunit B and -glutamyl transpeptidase

Vermoote, M;Flahou, B;Pasmans, F;Ducatelle, R;Haesebrouck, F;

Helicobacter suis causes gastric lesions in pigs and humans. This study aimed to evaluate the protective efficacy of immunization with combinations of the H. suis urease subunit B (UreB) and -glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), both recombinantly expressed in Escherichia coli (rUreB and rGGT, respectively). Mice were intranasally immunized with rUreB, rGGT or a combination of both proteins, administered simultaneously or sequentially. Control groups consisted of non-immunized and non-challenged mice (negative controls), sham-immunized and H. suis-challenged mice (sham-immunized controls), and finally, H. suis whole-cell lysate-immunized and H. suis challenged mice. Cholera toxin was used as mucosal adjuvant. All immunizations induced a significant reduction of gastric H. suis colonization, which was least pronounced in the groups immunized with rGGT and rUreB only. Consecutive immunization with rGGT followed by rUreB and immunization with the bivalent vaccine improved the protective efficacy compared to immunization with single proteins, with a complete clearance of infection observed in 50% of the animals. Immunization with whole-cell lysate induced a similar reduction of gastric bacterial colonization compared to rGGT and rUreB in combinations. Gastric lesions, however, were less pronounced in mice immunized with combinations of rUreB and rGGT compared to mice immunized with whole-cell lysate. In conclusion, vaccination with a combination of rGGT and rUreB protected mice against a subsequent H. suis infection and was not associated with severe post-vaccination gastric inflammation, indicating that it may be a promising method for control of H. suis infections.