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Vaccine Development Platform Using E. coli/Heat-Stable Toxoid as the Adjuvant Delivery-System

Reference Number: 2014-20
Inventor: Weiping Zhang and Ying Fang

Research at Kansas State University has created a new vaccine platform for the development of vaccine candidates. This platform uses a detoxified bacterial toxin LT (heat-labile) as a carrier protein to carry immunogenic epitopes/domains/peptides from a pathogen to construct a fusion antigen and also as a self-adjuvant to enhance immunogenicity of the carried epitopes/domains/peptides. This fusion antigen, subsequently cloned in a plasmid which is introduced into a non-pathogenic E. coli strain, binds at the animal and human mucosal epithelial cells. The live E. coli strain will proliferate in the small intestine and constantly deliver the holotoxin-structured fusion antigen and deliver the antigen to receptors of the intestinal epithelial cells to induce specific host mucosal immune responses.

This E. coli/heat-labile toxoid can serve as the vector system to expressing any target antigens, enhance antigenicity of expressed antigens, and deliver antigens of interest to host mucosal area for mucosal vaccine development. In addition, since multiple epitopes/domains/peptides can be carried by this system, it can be used to develop multivalent vaccines for broad protection. Such type of vaccines are safer, cheaper to produce, and easy to deliver. In the future, it could be packaged with outside coating/feed materials to be produced as powder or pills and delivered as feed-additives, which would be easy to apply and prevent the traditional labor intensive immunization procedures. In addition, epitopes can be easily modified and new epitopes can be included in the construct based on the field epidemic strains.

  • Epitope-based vaccines are safer to use than MLV vaccines, since there is no concern about MLV being reverted to virulent strain and subsequently shedding the viruses
  • It includes the protective B-cell and T-cell epitopes
  • A non-pathogenic E. coli strain will carry the epitope-toxin chimera construct to the animal, and the epitope-toxin antigen will be expressed while the E. coli colonizes and replicates on the mucosal surface; and
  • the LT toxoid not only delivers the epitope-toxin antigen to eptithelial cells via the binding of its B-subunit pentamer to the receptors, it also enhances antigenigicity of the epitopes as a self-adjuvant.
Patent Status
  • Provisional patent application was filed in July 2014.

Kansas State University Research Foundation seeks to have discussions with companies that are interested in licensing and/or research collaborations.

Interested parties should contact:

Kansas State University Institute for Commercialization (KSU-IC)
2005 Research Park Circle Manhattan, KS 66502
Tel: 785-532-3900 Fax: 785-532-3909
E-Mail: ic@k-state.edu