Urogenital tract infection with Chlamydia trachomatis is a leading cause of sexually transmitted infections. There is currently no commercially available vaccine against C. trachomatis. The highly conserved plasmid of chlamydiae has been considered to be a virulence factor and the plasmid proteins have important roles in the Chlamydia-specific immune response. This study was designed to evaluate the efficacy of vaccination with plasmid proteins in the prevention of C. muridarum lung infection in a mouse model. C57BL/6N mice were immunised 3 times subcutaneously with recombinant pGP3 or pGP4 and infected with C. muridarum. Immunisation of the mice with recombinant pGP3 or pGP4 protein caused a significantly lower chlamydial burden in the lungs of the infected mice; the lower IFN-γ level indicated a reduced extent of inflammation. In vitro or in vivo neutralisation of C. muridarum with sera obtained from immunised mice did not reduce the number of viable C. muridarum in the lungs of mice. However, adoptive transfer of the CD4+ spleen cells isolated from the immunised mice resulted in a significantly reduced bacterial burden. Our results indicate that it is not the pGP3- and pGP4-specific antibodies, but the CD4+ cells that are responsible for the protective effect of the immune response to plasmid proteins.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases