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LT-IIb(T13I), a non-toxic type II heat-labile enterotoxin, augments the capacity of a ricin... - Abstract - Europe PMC

LT-IIb(T13I), a non-toxic type II heat-labile enterotoxin, augments the capacity of a ricin toxin subunit vaccine to evoke neutralizing antibodies and protective immunity.

Currently, there is a shortage of adjuvants that can be employed with protein subunit vaccines to enhance protection against biological threats. LT-IIb(T13I) is an engineered nontoxic derivative of LT-IIb, a member of the type II subfamily of heat labile enterotoxins expressed by Escherichia coli, that possesses potent mucosal adjuvant properties. In this study we evaluated the capacity of LT-IIb(T13I) to augment the potency of RiVax, a recombinant ricin toxin A subunit vaccine, when co-administered to mice via the intradermal (i.d.) and intranasal (i.n.) routes. We report that co-administration of RiVax with LT-IIb(T13I) by the i.d. route enhanced the levels of RiVax-specific serum IgG antibodies (Ab) and elevated the ratio of ricin-neutralizing to non-neutralizing Ab, as compared to RiVax alone. Protection against a lethal ricin challenge was also augmented by LT-IIb(T13I). While local inflammatory responses elicited by LT-IIb(T13I) were comparable to those elicited by aluminum salts (Imject®), LT-IIb(T13I) was more effective than aluminum salts at augmenting production of RiVax-specific serum IgG. Finally, i.n. administration of RiVax with LT-IIb(T13I) also increased levels of RiVax-specific serum and mucosal Ab and enhanced protection against ricin challenge. Collectively, these data highlight the potential of LT-IIb(T13I) as an effective next-generation i.d., or possibly i.n. adjuvant for enhancing the immunogenicity of subunit vaccines for biodefense.
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