Here we report on the safety, immunogenicity, and vaccine efficacy of the naturally occurring plasmid-free attenuated Chlamydia trachomatis L2-25667R (L2R) strain in a murine infection model. Intravaginal immunization induced both chlamydial specific serum antibody and systemic CD4(+) Th1 biased immune responses but failed to induce local IgA antibodies. Immunization induced no pathological changes in the urogenital tract. Protective immunity was evaluated by vaginal challenge with a natural occurring non-attenuated plasmid positive C. trachomatis urogenital strain (serovar D). Vaccinated mice were not protected from colonization/infection but exhibited a reduction in infectious burden at early time periods (1-2 weeks) post-challenge. Partial protective immunity did not protect against inflammatory disease. Thus, intravaginal vaccination with the live-attenuated L2R stain is safe, induces a systemic antibody and CD4(+) Th1 biased immune response, but its protective efficacy is limited to reducing chlamydial burden at early time periods post-infection.
Published by Elsevier Ltd.