Saccharomyces boulardiiimproves humoral immune response to DNA vaccines against leptospirosis

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Saccharomyces boulardii may improve the immune response by enhancing the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines, T-cell proliferation and dendritic cell activation. The immunomodulator effect of this probiotic has never been tested with DNA vaccines, which frequently induce low antibody titers. This study evaluated the capacity of Saccharomyces boulardii to improve the humoral and cellular immune responses using DNA vaccines coding for the leptospiral protein fragments LigAni and LigBrep. BALB/c mice were fed with rodent-specific feed containing 108 c.f.u. of Saccharomycesboulardii per gram.


Animals were immunized three times intramuscularly with 100 μg of pTARGET plasmids containing the coding sequences for the above mentioned proteins. Antibody titers were measured by indirect ELISA. Expression levels of IL-4, IL-10, IL-12, IL-17, IFN-γ and TGF-β were determined by quantitative real-time PCR from RNA extracted from whole blood, after an intraperitoneal boost with 50 μg of the recombinant proteins.

Results/Key findings.

Antibody titers increased significantly after the second and third application when pTARGET/ligAni and pTARGET/ligBrep were used to vaccinate the animals in comparison with the control group (P<0.05). In addition, there was a significant increase in the expression of the IL-10 in mice immunized with pTARGET/ligBrep and fed with Saccharomyces boulardii.


The results suggested that Saccharomyces boulardii has an immunomodulator effect in DNA vaccines, mainly by stimulating the humoral response, which is often limited in this kind of vaccine. Therefore, the use of Saccharomyces boulardii as immunomodulator represents a new alternative strategy for more efficient DNA vaccination.

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