A protective vaccine against chlamydia genital infection using vault nanoparticles without an added adjuvant

Janina Jiang, Guangchao Liu, Valerie A. Kickhoefer, Leonard H. Rome, Lin Xi Li, Stephen J. McSorley, Kathleen A. Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Chlamydia trachomatis genital infection is the most common sexually transmitted bacterial disease, causing a significant burden to females due to reproductive dysfunction. Intensive screening and antibiotic treatment are unable to completely prevent female reproductive dysfunction, thus, efforts have become focused on developing a vaccine. A major impediment is identifying a safe and effective adjuvant which induces cluster of differentiation 4 (CD4) cells with attributes capable of halting genital infection and inflammation. Previously, we described a natural nanocapsule called the vault which was engineered to contain major outer membrane protein (MOMP) and was an effective vaccine which significantly reduced early infection and favored development of a cellular immune response in a mouse model. In the current study, we used another chlamydial antigen, a polymorphic membrane protein G-1 (PmpG) peptide, to track antigen-specific cells and evaluate, in depth, the vault vaccine for its protective capacity in the absence of an added adjuvant. We found PmpG-vault immunized mice significantly reduced the genital bacterial burden and histopathologic parameters of inflammation following a C. muridarum challenge. Immunization boosted antigen-specific CD4 cells with a multiple cytokine secretion pattern and reduced the number of inflammatory cells in the genital tract making the vault vaccine platform safe and effective for chlamydial genital infection. We conclude that vaccination with a Chlamydia-vault vaccine boosts antigen-specific immunities that are effective at eradicating infection and preventing reproductive tract inflammation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • CD4
  • Chlamydia
  • Infectious diseases
  • Mucosal immunology
  • Tetramer
  • Vaults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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