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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 6747482, 8 pages
Research Article

Recombinant Lactococcus lactis Expressing Haemagglutinin from a Polish Avian H5N1 Isolate and Its Immunological Effect in Preliminary Animal Trials

Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland

Correspondence should be addressed to Agnieszka K. Szczepankowska

Received 19 December 2016; Revised 20 January 2017; Accepted 24 January 2017; Published 22 February 2017

Academic Editor: Bernd H. Rehm

Copyright © 2017 Agnieszka K. Szczepankowska et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are Gram-positive, nonpathogenic microorganisms that are gaining much interest as antigen producers for development of live vaccine vectors. Heterologous proteins of different origin have been successfully expressed in various LAB species, including Lactococcus lactis. Recombinant L. lactis strains have been shown to induce specific local and systemic immune responses against various antigens. Our study aimed at constructing a L. lactis strain expressing haemagglutinin of a Polish avian H5H1 influenza isolate and examining its effect on animals. Expression of the cloned H5 gene was achieved using the nisin-controlled gene expression system. Detection of the intracellular H5 antigen produced in L. lactis was performed by Western blot analysis and confirmed using mass spectrometry. The potential of L. lactis recombinant cells to induce an immune response was examined by setting up preliminary immunization trials on chickens and mice. Obtained sera were tested for specific antibodies by ELISA assays. The results of these studies are a promising step toward developing a vaccine against the bird flu using Lactococcus lactis cells as bioreactors for efficient antigen production and delivery to the mucosal surface.