Recent evidence suggests that live oral Salmonella-HIV vaccine vectors have the potential to elicit HIV-specific T cell-mediated immunity in both the mucosal and systemic compartments. We are using the mouse-typhoid model to identify Salmonella::HIV vaccine vector constructs that elicit HIV-specific mucosal and systemic immune responses. Oral immunization of mice with a Salmonella strain that expresses recombinant gpl20 (rgp120) in the cytoplasm of the vector elicits a modest gp120-specific T cell proliferation response in the spleen. However, such Salmonella constructs did not stimulate the development of gp120-specific serum IgG or cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). Interestingly, the majority of cytoplasmically-expressed rgp120 forms inclusion bodies in Salmonella. We believe that in this form rgp120 is highly susceptible to protease degradation by the vector. As such, cytoplasmic rgp120 may not persist in the host after vaccination, resulting in the modest immunogenicity of rgp120 in these constructs. To circumvent this problem we constructed Salmonella strains that express rgp120 on the surface of the vector. Preliminary data suggest that surface-expressed rgp120 is significantly more immunogenic in both the mucosal and systemic compartments than cytoplasmic rgp120. These results, therefore, support the proposal that Salmonella vectors will be a safe and inexpensive means for delivery of HIV antigens to, and the elicitation of HIV-specific T cells in, the mucosal and systemic compartments.
- Mucosal immunity
- Vaccine vector
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology