• Sub-unit;
  • Vaccine;
  • Plague

Abstract In this study, we have determined the limit of protection achievable by immunisation with sub-units of Yersinia pestis against the development of plague in an experimental animal model. Co-immunisation with the purified culture-derived F1 and the recombinant V sub-units afforded a greater level of protection than with either sub-unit alone. The protection given by the combined sub-units was several orders of magnitude greater than that afforded by the whole cell killed (Cutter USP) vaccine and was equivalent to that achieved by vaccination with EV76, the live attenuated Y. pestis vaccine strain. However, the combined sub-unit vaccine has clear advantages over the live vaccine in terms of safety of use and absence of side-effects.