Safety and immunogenicity of improved Shigella O-specific polysaccharide-protein conjugate vaccines in adults in Israel

J. H. Passwell*, E. Harlev, S. Ashkenazi, C. Chu, D. Miron, R. Ramon, N. Farzan, J. Shiloach, D. A. Bryla, F. Majadly, R. Roberson, J. B. Robbins, R. Schneerson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Data suggest that the O-specific polysaccharide (O-SP) domain of the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of Shigella species is both an essential virulence factor and a protective antigen and that a critical level of serum immunoglobulin G (IgG) to this antigen will confer immunity to shigellosis. Because covalent attachment of polysaccharides to proteins increases their immunogenicity, especially in infants and in young children, the O-SP of Shigella species were bound to medically useful proteins, and the safety and immunogenicity of the resultant conjugates were confirmed in adults and 4- to 7-year-old children. Succinylation of the carrier protein improved the immunogenicity of Shigella conjugates in mice and increased their yield. Based on these results, a clinical trial of O-SP conjugates of Shigella sonnei and Shigella flexneri 2a bound to succinylated mutant Pseudomonas aeruginosa exotoxin A (rEPAsucc) or native or succinylated Corynebacterium diphtheriae toxin mutant (CRM9 or CRM9succ) was conducted in healthy adults. The conjugates were safe and immunogenic. S. sonnei-CRM9, S. sonnei-CRM9succ, and S. sonnei-rEPAsucc elicited significant rises of geometric mean (GM) IgG anti-LPS within 1 week of injection (P < 0.001). At 26 weeks, the GM anti-LPS levels elicited by these three conjugates were similar and higher than their prevaccination levels (P < 0.0001). GM IgG anti-LPS revels elicited by S. flexneri 2a-rEPAsucc were significantly higher than those elicited by S. flexneri 2a-rCRM9succ at all intervals after injection. At 26 weeks, the levels of IgG anti-LPS in vaccinees were higher than their prevaccination levels (P < 0.0001). The serum antibody responses were specific, as there was no significant rise of anti-LPS to the heterologous O-SP in any vaccinee. Both conjugates elicited statistically significant rises of serum antibodies to the injected carrier protein. At 6 months, these five Shigella conjugates elicited higher fold rises than similar conjugates (D. N. Taylor et al., Infect. Immun. 61:3678-3687, 1993). Based on these data, we chose S. sonnei-CRM9 and S. flexneri 2a-rEPAsucc for evaluation in children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1351-1357
Number of pages7
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human DevelopmentZIAHD001301


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