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Keywords:

  • heat-killed Shigella cells;
  • hexavalent Shigella immunogen;
  • protective immunity;
  • shigellosis

ABSTRACT

The protective efficacy of and immune response to heat-killed cells of monovalent and hexavalent mixtures of six serogroups/serotypes of Shigella strains (Shigella dysenteriae 1, Shigella flexneri 2a, S. flexneri 3a, S. flexneri 6, Shigella boydii 4, and Shigella sonnei) were examined in a guinea pig colitis model. A monovalent or hexavalent mixture containing 1 × 107 of each serogroup/serotype of heat-killed Shigella cells was administered orally on Days 0, 7, 14 and 21. On Day 28, the immunized animals were challenged rectally with 1 × 109 live virulent cells of each of the six Shigella serogroups/serotypes. In all immunized groups, significant levels of protection were observed after these challenges. The serum titers of IgG and IgA against the lipopolysaccharide of each of the six Shigella serogroups/serotypes increased exponential during the course of immunization. High IgA titers against the lipopolysaccharide of each of the six Shigella serogroups/serotypes were also observed in intestinal lavage fluid from all immunized animals. These data indicate that a hexavalent mixture of heat-killed cells of the six Shigella serogroups/serotypes studied would be a possible broad-spectrum candidate vaccine against shigellosis.