A Chlamydia trachomatis VD1-MOMP vaccine elicits cross-neutralizing and protective antibodies against C/C-related complex serovars
Ocular and urogenital infections with Chlamydia trachomatis (C.t.) are caused by a range of different serovars. The first C.t. vaccine in clinical development (CTH522/CAF®01) induced neutralizing antibodies directed to the variable domain 4 (VD4) region of major outer membrane protein (MOMP), covering predominantly B and intermediate groups of serovars. The VD1 region of MOMP contains neutralizing B-cell epitopes targeting serovars of the C and C-related complex. Using an immuno-repeat strategy, we extended the VD1 region of SvA and SvJ to include surrounding conserved segments, extVD1A and extVD1J, and repeated this region four times. The extVD1A*4 was most immunogenic with broad cross-surface and neutralizing reactivity against representative members of the C and C-related complex serovars. Importantly, in vitro results for extVD1A*4 translated into in vivo biological effects, demonstrated by in vivo neutralization of SvA and protection/cross-protection against intravaginal challenge with both SvA and the heterologous SvIa strain.