Yersinia pestis is a causative agent of plague. F1 and V antigen based vaccines have shown remarkable protection in experimental animals. In order to develop epitope based immunogen, three B and one T-cell epitopes of F1 antigen with palmitate residue at amino terminal were assembled on a lysine backbone as multiple antigen peptide (MAP or F1-MAP). MAP was characterized by SDS-PAGE, immunoblot and immunoreactivity with anti F1 sera. MAP was entrapped in PLGA (polylactide-co-glycolide) microparticles and humoral, mucosal immune responses were studied after intranasal immunization with/without CpG ODN 1826 (CpG)/murabutide in different strains of mice. Serum and mucosal washes were measured for MAP specific IgG, IgA, sIgA and IgG subclasses in three strains of mice. F1-MAP showed high serum antibody and mucosal IgG and IgA peak antibody titers. MAP with CpG showed significantly high (p<0.001) peak antibody titer ranging from 102,400 to 204,800 for IgG and 6400 to 12,800 for IgA. High mucosal sIgA and its secretary component detection confirmed generation of mucosal response in intestinal and lung washes. MAP antisera also showed significant immunoreactivity with individual peptides. Moreover, antibody specific activity (IgG, IgA and sIgA) positively correlates with peak antibody titers. Predominantly IgG2a/IgG2b subclass was observed with CpG formulation but in other formulation a mixed IgG1 and IgG2a response was observed. The present study highlights the importance of multiple antigen peptide approach of F1-antigen with CpG as an alternative approach for subunit vaccine.
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