Expression of Shigella sonnei lipopolysaccharide in Vibrio cholerae


Jean-François Viret Tel. (31) 980 63 63; Fax (31) 980 67 85.


Making use of a newly designed mobilizable suicide vector, the genetic determinants encoding Shigella sonnei lipopolysaccharide (LPS) were stably integrated into the chromosome of the live attenuated Vibrio cholerae vaccine strain CVD103-HgR. Expression studies showed that the production of complete S. sonnei O-polysaccharide (O-PS)-bearing LPS was limited in bivalent recombinant strains that were also proficient in the synthesis of the host-encoded Inaba O-PS. Conversely, high amounts of LPS carrying S. sonnei O-PS are produced in monovalent Inaba-deficient derivatives, even in those strains which do not co-express the compatible R1 LPS core. Thus, the non-enterobacterial V. cholerae LPS core efficiently acts as a receptor for covalent binding of S. sonnei O-PS provided that competition with the host O-PS is avoided. Expression of the R1 core interferes with cell division in recombinant V. cholerae without affecting other physiological properties of vaccine strain CVD103-HgR. Both monovalent and bivalent strains stimulated high serum-antibody titres specific for their respective O-serotype(s) when administered to rabbits. The potential of V. cholerae as an expression carrier for heterologous O-serotypes is discussed.