Production of Neisseria meningitidis transferrin-binding protein B by recombinant Bordetella pertussis

I. Coppens, S. Alonso, R. Antoine, F. Jacob-Dubuisson, G. Renauld-Mongènie, E. Jacobs, C. Locht

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Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B infections are among the major causes of fulminant septicemia and meningitis, especially severe in young children, and no broad vaccine is available yet. Because of poor immunogenicity of the serogroup B capsule, many efforts are now devoted to the identification of protective protein antigens. Among those are PorA and, more recently, transferrin-binding protein B (TbpB). In this study, TbpB of N. meningitidis was genetically fused to the N-terminal domain of the Bordetella pertussis filamentous hemagglutinin (FHA), and the fha-tbpB hybrid gene was expressed in B. pertussis either as a plasmid-borne gene or as a single copy inserted into the chromosome. The hybrid protein was efficiently secreted by the recombinant strains, despite its large size, and was recognized by both anti-FHA and anti-TbpB antibodies. A single intranasal administration of recombinant virulent or pertussis-toxin-deficient, attenuated B. pertussis to mice resulted in the production of antigen-specific systemic immunoglobulin G (IgG), as well as local IgG and IgA. The anti-TbpB serum antibodies were of the IgG1, IgG2a, and IgG2b isotypes and were found to express complement-mediated bactericidal activity against N. meningitidis. These observations indicate that recombinant B. pertussis may be a promising vector for the development of a mucosal vaccine against serogroup B meningococci.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5440-5446
Number of pages7
JournalInfection and immunity
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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