In vitro antibody response to tetanus in the MIMIC system is a representative measure of vaccine immunogenicity

Biologicals. 2009 Jun;37(3):148-51. doi: 10.1016/j.biologicals.2009.02.018. Epub 2009 Mar 9.


In response to the recurrent failure of animal vaccine protection studies to accurately predict human trial results, we have developed a fully human modular immune in vitroconstruct (MIMIC) to serve as a preliminary screen for efficacy testing of potential vaccine formulations. To validate the potential of this approach, we monitored the in vitro-generated tetanus (TT)-specific antibody levels in a cohort of donors before and after receiving tetanus vaccination. Purified CD4_T cell and B cell populations were combined with autologous tetanus vaccine-pulsed dendritic cells to generate specific antibody. Enumeration of TT-specific IgG antibody-secreting cells by ELISPOT displayed a significant increase in the magnitude of this population after vaccination. The relative magnitudes of the in vitro-generated TT-specific antibody response before and after vaccination largely recapitulated the TT-specific IgG serum titer profiles measured in the same individuals. These findings provide evidence that the MIMIC system can be a rapid and representative in vitro method for measuring vaccine immunogenicity via induction of the memory B cell response.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Bacterial / biosynthesis*
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Bacterial Vaccines / immunology*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Clostridium tetani / immunology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Bacterial Vaccines