Development of a protective vaccine against Helicobacter pylori

Bulent Ozpolat, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Helicobacter pylori, which colonizes the stomach and causes the most common chronic infection in man, is associated with peptic ulceration, gastric carcinoma and gastric lymphoma. Studies in animals demonstrated that mucosal immunization could induce immune response against H. pylori and prevent H. pylori infection only if powerful mucosal adjuvants such as cholera toxin (CT) or heat-labile toxin of E. coli (LT) were used along with an H. pylori protein antigen. Adjuvants such as CT or LT cannot be used for humans because of their toxicity. Finding non-toxic alternative adjuvants/immunomodulators or immunization strategies that eliminates the use of adjuvants is critical for the development of efficacious human Helicobacter vaccines. We investigated whether several new adjuvants such as Muramyl Tripeptide Phosphatidylethonolamine (MTP-PE), QS21 (a Quil A derivative), Monophosphoryl lipid A (MPL) or heat shock proteins (HSP) of Mycobacterium tuberculosis could be feasible to develop a safe and effective mucosal vaccine against H. pylori using a murine model. C57/BL6 mice were immunized with liposomes incorporating each adjuvant along with urease, a major antigenic protein of H. pylori, to test their mucosal effectiveness. Since DNA vaccination eliminates both the use of adjuvants and antigens we also investigated whether immunization with plasmid DNA encoding urease could induce protective immunity to H. pylori infection in the same murine model. We found that oral vaccination with liposomal MTP-PE (6.7 [special characters omitted]g) and urease, (100 [special characters omitted]g) induced antigen-specific systemic and mucosal immune response and protected mice against H. pylori challenge when compared to control groups. Parenteral and mucosal immunizations with as little as 20 [special characters omitted]g naked or formulated DNA encoding urease induced systemic and mucosal immune response against urease and partially protected mice against H. pylori infection. DNA vaccination provided long-lasting immunity and serum anti-urease IgG antibodies were elevated for up to 12 months. No toxicity was detected after immunizations with either liposomal MTP-PE and urease or plasmid DNA and both were well tolerated. We conclude that immunization liposomes containing MTP-PE and urease is a promising strategy deserving further investigation and may be considered for humans. DNA vaccination could be used to prime immune response prior to oral protein vaccination and may reduce the dose of protein and adjuvant needed to achieve protective immunity.

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Recommended Citation

Ozpolat, Bulent, "Development of a protective vaccine against Helicobacter pylori" (1999). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9951898.