Recombinant lactic acid bacteria as promising vectors for mucosal vaccination

Schematic illustration of the locations of expressed antigen by recombinant lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and vaccine strategies applicated in LAB vaccines for enhancing immune responses.


Lactic acid bacteria (LAB), a diverse family of gram-positive bacteria, has been proven effective in delivering varieties of therapeutic and prophylactic molecules such as antigens and cytokines. Featuring the properties of acid-resistant, high uptake into Peyer’s patches, and superior capacity for inducing secretory IgA antibodies, LAB have good potential to be used as vaccine vectors for mucosal vaccination. Mucosal immunization enables both mucosal and systemic immune responses, which are critical for resisting pathogens that invade the host through the mucosal surfaces. With the development of genetic engineering, LAB strains, primarily Lactococcus and Lactobacillus have been exploited to express a range of heterologous antigens. Numerous studies have demonstrated that LAB mucosal vaccines can stimulate all arms of the immune system to provide adequate protection against pathogen infections. Additionally, several LAB-based human papillomavirus vaccines have entered the clinical trial studies, which suggest the great promise of LAB vaccines for new interventions in mucosal transport diseases. Herein, we will discuss the factors that influence the immunogenicity of LAB vaccines, including LAB strains, the location of antigens, and administration routes, and focus on the current strategies that have been reported for optimizing LAB vaccines.

Author list:

Nan Qiao, Guangsheng Du, Xiaofang Zhong, Xun Sun*

How to cite:

N. Qiao, G. Du, X. Zhong, X. Sun, Exploration 2021, 1, 20210026.