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Bacillus subtilis spores as a vaccine adjuvante.

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Renata Damasio de Souza
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: São Paulo.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas (ICB/SDI)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Luis Carlos de Souza Ferreira; Paulo Lee Ho; Nilton Erbet Lincopan Huenuman; Daniela Santoro Rosa; Marco Antonio Stephano
Advisor: Luis Carlos de Souza Ferreira

Bacillus subtilis spores have been shown to behave as vaccine adjuvants, promoting the increase of antibody responses after co-administration with antigens either admixed or adsorbed on the spore surface. Nonetheless, such specialized application requires highly purified spore preparations at high yields. In this work, we successfully performed a systematic quantitative analysis of sporulation conditions and spore purification methods, which improved the reproducibility of the process and the obtainment of samples with high purity and yield. Afterwards, we further evaluated the immune modulatory properties of these spores using a recombinant HIV-1 Gag-p24 protein as a model antigen. The co-administration, but not adsorption to the spore surface, enhanced the immunogenicity of that target antigen, without inducing deleterious effects, after subcutaneous administration to BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice. Besides promoting activation of antigen presenting cells, spores interact with receptors related to innate immunity, due to the absence of the adjuvant effect on TLR2 knockout mice. These results open interesting perspectives for the use of B. subtilis spores as vaccine adjuvants. (AU)