Robust immune response induced by Schistosoma mansoni TSP-2 antigen coupled to bacterial outer membrane vesicles

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Purpose: The use of adjuvants can significantly strengthen a vaccine’s efficacy. We sought to explore the immunization efficacy of bacterial outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) displaying the Schistosoma mansoni antigen, SmTSP-2, through a biotin-rhizavidin coupling approach. The rationale is to exploit the nanoparticulate structure and the adjuvant properties of OMVs to induce a robust antigen-specific immune response, in light of developing new vaccines against S. mansoni. Materials and Methods: OMVs were obtained from Neisseria lactamica and conjugated with biotin. The recombinant SmTSP-2 in fusion with the biotin-binding protein rhizavidin (rRzvSmTSP-2) was produced in E. coli and coupled to biotinylated OMVs to generate an OMV complex displaying SmTSP-2 on the membrane surface (OMV:rSmTSP-2). Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and dynamic light scattering analysis were used to determine particle charge and size. The immunogenicity of the vaccine complex was evaluated in C57BL/6 mice. Results: The rRzvSmTSP-2 protein was successfully coupled to biotinylated OMVs and purified by size-exclusion chromatography. The OMV:rSmTSP-2 nanoparticles showed an average size of 200 nm, with zeta potential around – 28 mV. Mouse Bone Marrow Dendritic Cells were activated by the nanoparticles as determined by increased expression of the co-stimulatory molecules CD40 and CD86, and the proinflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-12) or IL-10. Splenocytes of mice immunized with OMV:rSmTSP-2 nanoparticles reacted to an in vitro challenge with SmTSP-2 with an increased production of IL-6, IL-10 and IL-17 and displayed a higher number of CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes expressing IFN-γ, IL-4 and IL-2, compared to mice immunized with the antigen alone. Immunization of mice with OMV:rSmTSP-2 induced a 100-fold increase in specific anti-SmTSP-2 IgG antibody titers, as compared to the group receiving the recombinant rSmTSP-2 protein alone or even co-administered with unconjugated OMV. Conclusion: Our results demonstrate that the SmTSP-2 antigen coupled with OMVs is highly immunogenic in mice, supporting the potential effectiveness of this platform for improved antigen delivery in novel vaccine strategies.
Barbosa MMF, Kanno AI, Rodríguez D, Pancakova V, Trentini MM, Faquim Mauro EL, et al. Robust immune response induced by Schistosoma mansoni TSP-2 antigen coupled to bacterial outer membrane vesicles. Int J Nanomedicine. 2021 Oct;2021(16):7153—7168. doi:10.2147/IJN.S315786.
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