Formulation of a live bacterial vaccine for stable room temperature storage results in loss of acid, bile and bile salt resistance

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Edwards, Alexander D. ; Slater, Nigel K.H. (2008)

Live bacterial vaccines have great promise both as vaccines against enteric pathogens and as heterologous antigen vectors against diverse diseases. Ideally, room temperature stable dry formulations of live bacterial vaccines will allow oral vaccination without cold-chain storage or injections. Attenuated Salmonella can cross the intestinal wall and deliver replicating antigen plus innate immune activation signals directly to the intestinal immune tissues, however the ingested bacteria must survive firstly gastric acid and secondly the antimicrobial defences of the small intestine. We found that the way in which cells are grown prior to formulation markedly affects sensitivity to acid and bile. Using a previously published stable storage formulation that maintained over 10% viability after 56 days storage at room temperature, we found dried samples of an attenuated S. typhimurium vaccine lost acid and bile resistance compared to the same bacteria taken from fresh culture. The stable formulation utilised osmotic preconditioning in defined medium plus elevated salt concentration to induce intracellular trehalose accumulation before drying. Dried bacteria grown in rich media without osmotic preconditioning showed more resistance to bile, but less stability during storage, suggesting a trade-off between bile resistance and stability. Further optimization is needed to produce the ultimate room-temperature stable oral live bacterial vaccine formulation.
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