Development of an auxotrophic oral live Shigella flexneri vaccine

Vaccine. 1988 Apr;6(2):146-50. doi: 10.1016/s0264-410x(88)80018-5.


An oral live attenuated Shigella flexneri vaccine candidate strain was constructed by making it auxotrophic and dependent on aromatic metabolites not available in mammalian tissues. An aroD gene of Escherichia coli K12 strain NK 5131, inactivated by insertion in it of the Tn 10 transposon, was transduced using phage P1 into a virulent S. flexneri serotype Y strain (Sfl 1) isolated from a patient with bacillary dysentery. One of the transductant strains Sfl 114 was found to invade HeLa cells in vitro, to cause plaque formation in HeLa monolayers (i.e. maintain intracellular multiplication in vitro), but to be unable to cause keratoconjunctivitis in guinea-pig eyes. When the strain was fed to Macacca fascicularis monkeys it was well tolerated, excreted for 1-4 days, and found to elicit a local intestinal sIgA and serum IgA, IgM and IgG responses. Monkeys challenged with 100 ID50 dose (1 X 10(11) bacteria) of the virulent parent Sfl 1 strain were completely protected from development of diarrhoea. Coloscopy of the monkeys and the sampling of intestinal biopsies showed that the vaccine protected against the surface epithelial erosions and ulcerations seen in unimmunized monkeys. Killing of invading virulent shigellae apparently took place intracellularly in the mucosa suggesting that cellular immune mechanisms played a role in the elicited host defence. The constructed S. flexneri Sfl 114 strain has the properties of a promising shigella vaccine and will next be the subject of studies with human volunteers.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / biosynthesis
  • Bacterial Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Bacterial Vaccines / isolation & purification*
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • Dysentery, Bacillary / prevention & control
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Shigella flexneri / immunology*
  • Shigella flexneri / pathogenicity
  • Vaccines, Attenuated / administration & dosage
  • Vaccines, Attenuated / isolation & purification
  • Virulence


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Bacterial Vaccines
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • Vaccines, Attenuated