Chlamydial protease-like activity factor mediated protection againstC. trachomatisin guinea pigs

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We have comprehensively demonstrated using the mouse model that intranasal immunization with recombinant chlamydial protease-like activity factor (rCPAF) leads to a significant reduction in bacterial burden, genital tract pathology and preserves fertility following intravaginal genital chlamydial challenge. In the present report, we evaluated the protective efficacy of rCPAF immunization in guinea pigs, a second animal model for genital chlamydial infection. Using a vaccination strategy similar to the mouse model, we intranasally immunized female guinea pigs with rCPAF plus CpG deoxynucleotides (CpG; as an adjuvant), and challenged intravaginally withC. trachomatisserovar D (CT-D). Immunization with rCPAF/CpG significantly reduced vaginal CT-D shedding and induced resolution of infection by day 24, compared with day 33 in CpG alone treated and challenged animals. Immunization induced robust anti-rCPAF serum IgG 2 weeks following the last immunization, and was sustained at a high-level 4 weeks post challenge. Upregulation of antigen-specificIFN-γgene expression was observed in rCPAF/CpG-vaccinated splenocytes. Importantly, a significant reduction in inflammation in the genital tissue in rCPAF/CpG-immunized guinea pigs compared with CpG-immunized animals was observed. Taken together, this study provides evidence of the protective efficacy of rCPAF as a vaccine candidate in a second animal model of genital chlamydial infection.

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