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Influence of exogenous reproductive hormones on specific antibody production in genital secretions after vaginal vaccination with recombinant cholera toxin B subunit in humans.

Journal article
Authors Lotta Wassén
Marianne Jertborn
Published in Clinical and vaccine immunology : CVI
Volume 13
Issue 2
Pages 202-7
ISSN 1556-6811
Publication year 2006
Published at Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Infectious Medicine
Institute of Clinical Sciences
Pages 202-7
Language en
Keywords Adult, Antibodies, Bacterial, biosynthesis, Cholera Toxin, administration & dosage, immunology, Cholera Vaccines, administration & dosage, Contraceptives, Oral, administration & dosage, Female, Gonadal Steroid Hormones, pharmacology, Humans, Immunity, Mucosal, Immunoglobulin A, biosynthesis, Immunoglobulin G, biosynthesis, Intrauterine Devices, Medicated, Middle Aged, Progesterone, administration & dosage, Vaccines, Synthetic, administration & dosage, Vagina, immunology
Subject categories Medical and Health Sciences


The objective of this study was to investigate the influence of exogenous reproductive hormones on the local and systemic production of specific immunoglobulin A (IgA) and IgG antibodies after vaginal vaccination with recombinant cholera toxin subunit B (CTB). Three groups of women using either progesterone-containing intrauterine devices (n=9), oral contraceptives (n=8), or no hormonal contraceptive methods (n=9) were vaginally immunized twice, 2 weeks apart. Cervical secretions, vaginal fluids, and serum were collected before and after vaccination. Total and CTB-specific IgA and IgG antibodies in genital secretions and serum were analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. A majority of the women presented strong CTB-specific IgA and IgG antibody responses in cervicovaginal secretions after vaccination, whereas the antitoxin responses in serum were weaker. Exogenously administered steroid hormones did not seem to have any impact on the production of specific antibodies. Both the frequencies and the magnitudes of IgA and IgG antitoxin responses in genital secretions were comparable among the three immunization groups. An association, in particular for IgA, was found between the magnitudes of the CTB-specific antibody responses in cervical secretions and vaginal fluids after vaccination. The sensitivities and positive predictive values of vaginal antibody analyses to reflect responses in cervical secretions were also high, suggesting that vaginal fluids alone might be used for evaluation of genital immune responses in large-scale vaccination studies in the future.

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