Research Papers: Immunology:

Hepatitis B virus core antigen as a carrier for Chlamydia trachomatis MOMP multi-epitope peptide enhances protection against genital chlamydial infection

Pengfei Jiang, Wangqi Du, Yirong Xiong, Yan Lv, Juan Feng, Shanli Zhu, Xiangyang Xue, Shao Chen and Lifang Zhang _

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:43281-43292. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.6533

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Pengfei Jiang1,*, Wangqi Du1,*, Yirong Xiong1, Yan Lv1, Juan Feng1, Shanli Zhu1, Xiangyang Xue1, Shao Chen1 and Lifang Zhang1

1 Institute of Molecular Virology and Immunology, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, Zhejiang, P. R. China

* These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Lifang Zhang, email:

Keywords: HBcAg, chlamydia trachomatis, major outer membrane protein, multi-epitope peptide, vaccine, Immunology and Microbiology Section, Immune response, Immunity

Received: September 15, 2015 Accepted: November 26, 2015 Published: December 09, 2015


Chlamydia trachomatis (Ct) is the leading cause of sexually transmitted diseases worldwide. There is no safe and effective vaccine to control the spread of Ct. In development of Ct vaccine, selection of appropriate candidate antigens and an effective delivery system may be the main challenges. Multi-epitope of major outer membrane protein (MOMPm) is the most suitable candidate for a Ct vaccine, while hepatitis B virus core antigen (HBcAg) has unique advantages as vaccine delivery system. Therefore, in this study, we evaluated the immunogenicity and protective immune response of a novel candidate vaccine in a murine model of chlamydial genital infection. This candidate vaccine comprises MOMPm peptide delivered with HBcAg. Our results of Ct-specific serum IgG and secretory IgA assay, cytokine assay, and cytotoxic T-lymphocyte assay revealed that immunogenicity of the candidate vaccine was much better than that of the corresponding synthetic MOMPm peptide. Furthermore, the protective effect of the candidate vaccine was also shown much better than that of the synthetic peptide by calculating the isolation of Chlamydia from vaginal swabs and histopathological analysis. Taken together, our results indicate that HBcAg carrying Ct MOMPm could be an effective immune prophylactic for chlamydial infection.

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