Dissecting serotype-specific contributions to live oral cholera vaccine efficacy
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
The O1 serogroup of Vibrio cholerae causes pandemic cholera and is divided into the Ogawa and Inaba serotypes. The O-antigen is V. cholerae's immunodominant antigen, and the two serotypes, which differ by the presence or absence of a terminally methylated O-antigen, likely influence development of immunity to cholera and oral cholera vaccines (OCVs). However, there is no consensus regarding the relative immunological potency of each serotype, in part because previous studies relied on
... y heterogeneous strains. Here, we engineered matched serotype variants of a live OCV candidate, HaitiV, and used a germfree mouse model to evaluate the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of each vaccine serotype. By combining vibriocidal antibody quantification with single- and mixed-strain infection assays, we found that all three HaitiV variants—InabaV, OgawaV, and HikoV (bivalent Inaba/Ogawa)—were immunogenic and protective. None of the vaccine serotypes were superior across both of these vaccine metrics, suggesting that the impact of O1-serotype variation in OCV design, although detectable, is subtle. However, all three live vaccines significantly outperformed formalin-killed HikoV, supporting the idea that live OCV usage will bolster current cholera control practices. The potency of OCVs was found to be challenge strain-dependent, emphasizing the importance of appropriate strain selection for cholera challenge studies. Our findings and experimental approaches will be valuable for guiding the development of live OCVs and oral vaccines for additional pathogens.