The theoretic basis for developing conjugate vaccines, to induce immunoglobulin G (IgG) lipopolysaccharide (LPS) antibodies for the prevention of shigellosis, has been described (J. B. Robbins, C.-Y. Chu, and R. Schneerson, Clin. Infect. Dis. 15:346-361, 1992). The O-specific polysaccharides (O-SPs) of Shigella dysenteriae type 1, S. flexneri type 2a, and S. sonnei were covalently bound to carrier proteins. Alone, the O-SPs were not immunogenic in mice. Conjugates of these O-SPs, injected into young outbred mice subcutaneously as saline solutions containing 2.5 micrograms of saccharide, elicited serum IgG and IgM antibodies with booster responses; adsorption onto alum enhanced their immunogenicity. Injection of 25 micrograms of these conjugates into adult volunteers elicited mild local reactions only. Each conjugate induced a significant rise of the geometric mean serum IgG, IgM, and IgA LPS antibody levels. A second injection 6 weeks later did not elicit booster responses, and adsorption of the conjugates onto alum did not enhance their immunogenicity. Conjugate-induced levels of IgA, but not IgG or IgM, declined to preimmunization levels at day 56. The levels of postimmunization antibodies of the three immunoglobulin classes were similar to or higher than those of recruits in the Israel Defense Force following shigellosis caused by S. flexneri type 2a or S. sonnei. These data provide the basis for evaluating these conjugates to prevent shigellosis
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