Induction of mucosal and systemic immune responses against the common O78 antigen of an oral inactivated ETEC vaccine in Bangladeshi children and infants

Ann Mari Svennerholm, Firdausi Qadri, Anna Lundgren, Joanna Kaim, Taufiqur Rahman Bhuiyan, Marjahan Akhtar, Nicole Maier, A. Louis Bourgeois, Richard I. Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We tested an oral enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) vaccine, ETVAX, consisting of inactivated E. coli overexpressing the most prevalent ETEC colonization factors (CFs) and a toxoid (LCTBA), in Bangladeshi children for capacity to induce mucosal and plasma immune responses against O78 lipopolysaccharide (LPS) expressed on the vaccine strains. The vaccine was given ± double-mutant heat-labile toxin (dmLT) adjuvant. We evaluated the impact of dmLT on anti-O78 LPS immune responses and whether such responses can predict responses against the CFs as a marker for vaccine “take”. Two fractionated doses of ETVAX ± different amounts of dmLT were administered biweekly to groups of children 24–59 (n = 125), 12–23 (n = 97) and 6–11 (n = 158) months of age. Immune responses were evaluated in antibody in lymphocyte supernatants (ALS), fecal extracts and plasma. ALS IgA responses against O78 LPS were induced in 44–49% of the children aged 12–59 months. The magnitudes of the ALS responses were significantly higher in children receiving a half-dose (5 × 1010 bacteria) of ETVAX ± dmLT than in placebo recipients. <10% of the vaccinees aged 6–11 months mounted ALS responses against O78 LPS. However, 49% of the infants developed fecal secretory IgA responses which were significantly more frequent in those receiving a quarter-dose (2.5 × 1010 bacteria) of vaccine + dmLT (62%) compared to a quarter-dose alone (36%). Plasma IgA antibody responses were induced in 80% of older children and 36% of infants. The frequencies of O78 LPS responses in plasma and feces were comparable or higher than against the vaccine CFs in infants. Our findings show that ETVAX induced mucosal and systemic immune responses against O78 LPS in all age groups and that dmLT improved intestinal immune responses among infants. These observations may have implications for more successful use of other oral vaccines based on O antigens in children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)380-389
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 21 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • ALS IgA
  • ETEC vaccine
  • Fecal secretory IgA
  • O78 LPS
  • Plasma IgA antibodies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • veterinary(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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