Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics

Immunogenicity of a novel enhanced consensus DNA vaccine encoding the leptospiral protein LipL45.

PMID 26020621


Leptospirosis is a bacterial zoonotic disease caused by an infection with a spirochete belonging to the genus Leptospira. In animals, leptospirosis displays a wide range of pathologies, including fever, abortion, icterus, and uveitis. Conversely, infection in humans is associated with multi-organ injury, resulting in an increased rate of fatalities. Pathogenic leptospires are able to translocate through cell monolayers at a rate significantly greater than that of non-pathogenic leptospires. Thus, vaccine approaches have been focused on targeting bacterial motility, lipopolysaccharides (LPSs), lipoproteins, outer-membrane proteins (OMPs) and other potential virulence factors. Previous studies have indicated that leptospiral proteins elicit long-lasting immunological memory in infected humans. In the study reported here, the efficacy of a synthetic consensus DNA vaccine developed against the Leptospira membrane lipoprotein LipL45 was tested. After in vivo electroporation (EP) mediated intramuscular immunization with a synthetic LipL45 DNA vaccine (pLipL45) immunized mice developed a significant cellular response along with the development of anti-LipL45-specific antibodies. Specifically, the pLipL45 vaccine induced a significant Th1 type immune response, indicated by the higher production of IL-12 and IFN-γ cytokines. The results presented here are the first demonstration that a LipL45 based DNA immunogen has potential as a anti-Leptospira vaccine.