BACKGROUND: We previously engineered Bacillus subtilis to express an antigen of interest fused to TasA in a biofilm. B. subtilis has several properties such as sporulation, biofilm formation and probiotic ability that were used for the oral application of recombinant spores harboring Echinococcus granulosus paramyosin and tropomyosin immunogenic peptides that resulted in the elicitation of a specific humoral immune response in a dog model.
RESULTS: In order to advance our understanding of the research in oral immunization practices using recombinant B. subtilis spores, we describe here an affordable animal model. In this study, we show clear evidence indicating that a niche is required for B. subtilis recombinant spores to colonize the densely populated mice intestinal microbiota. The reduction of intestinal microbiota with an antibiotic treatment resulted in a positive elicitation of local humoral immune response in BALB/c mice after oral application of recombinant B. subtilis spores harboring TasA fused to E. granulosus (102-207) EgTrp immunogenic peptide. Our results were supported by a lasting prevalence of spores in mice feces up to 50 days after immunization and by the presence of specific secretory IgA, isolated from feces, against E. granulosus tropomyosin.
CONCLUSIONS: The reduction of mouse intestinal microbiota allowed the elicitation of a local humoral immune response in mice after oral application with spores of B. subtilis harboring immunogenic peptides against E. granulosus.