Salmonella typhimurium antigens were displayed on the capsid of a T2 bacteriophage to explore the potential of phage display for an oral vaccine. Segments of the flagellin proteins FliC (H1 antigen) and FljB (H2) were fused to the N-terminal of T2 phage SOC to give two recombinant phages, T2FliCm and T2FljBm. Over 14 days, 19 BALB/c mice were orally administered twice, either with purified recombinant FliCm and FljBm protein, or T2FliCm and T2FljBm with or without host Escherichia coli. Feces were sampled over 10 weeks and examined for phage by plaque assay and for the presence of mucosal IgA by ELISA. Relatively few phages were detected relative to the amount administered (up to 8.21 ×103 PFU/ g faeces) and none were detected five days after initial administration. The administration of a large number of phages appeared to cause no clinical symptoms. IgA concentration in feces peaked around four weeks after the second administration and subsided after eight weeks. The highest relative titers were observed in the protein group (0.37% for anti-FliCm and 0.22% for anti-FljBm) and the mouse group which received no E. coli (0.33% and 0.35%) despite the theoretical amount of protein contained in a phage dose being at least 80-465 times lower than the protein dose administered. The possibility that the immunostimulatory properties of the phage create an adjuvant effect to enhance the immunogenic properties of the displayed proteins is discussed. We conclude that phage may be valuable as a vector for oral vaccines.
ASJC Scopus subject areas