Clin Exp Vaccine Res.  2015 Jan;4(1):59-67. 10.7774/cevr.2015.4.1.59.

Tetanus toxin fragment C fused to flagellin makes a potent mucosal vaccine

  • 1Clinical Vaccine R&D Center, Chonnam National University Hwasun Hospital, Chonnam National University Medical School, Hwasun, Korea.
  • 2Department of Pharmacology and Dental Therapeutics, School of Dentistry, Chonnam National University, Gwangju, Korea.
  • 3Department of Microbiology, Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju, Korea.


Recombinant subunit vaccines provide safe and targeted protection against microbial infections. However, the protective efficacy of recombinant subunit vaccines tends to be less potent than the whole cell vaccines, especially when they are administered through mucosal routes. We have reported that a bacterial flagellin has strong mucosal adjuvant activity to induce protective immune responses. In this study, we tested whether FlaB could be used as a fusion partner of subunit vaccine for tetanus.
We constructed fusion proteins consisted with tetanus toxin fragment C (TTFC), the nontoxic C-terminal portion of tetanus toxin, and a Toll-like receptor 5 agonist from Vibrio vulnificus (FlaB). Mice were intranasally administered with fusion protein and protective immune responses of the vaccinated mice were analyzed.
FlaB-TTFC recombinant protein induced strong tetanus-specific antibody responses in both systemic and mucosal compartments and prolonged the survival of mice after challenge with a supra-lethal dose of tetanus toxin.
This study establishes FlaB as a successful fusion partner for recombinant subunit tetanus vaccine applicable through mucosal route, and it further endorses our previous observations that FlaB could be a stable adjuvant partner for mucosal vaccines.


Flagellin; Tetanus toxin fragment C; Adjuvant; Subunit vaccine
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