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Title:
IMMUNOGENIC COMPOSITION AND VACCINE CONTAINING CHLAMYDIA SSP. SURFACE ANTIGENS AND ITS USE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2022/161969
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates in a first aspect to an immunogenic composition comprising at least three Chlamydia ssp. surface antigens selected from the group of PmpA, PmpD, PmpG, PmpH and antigen Ctad1. Further, the present invention relates to the immunogenic composition comprising CDN as adjuvant, in particular, c-diAMP. Moreover, a pharmaceutical composition comprising the immunogenic composition according to the present invention is provided as well as a vaccine comprising said immunogenic composition. The vaccine is particularly useful in eliciting an immune response against Chlamydia ssp. in an animal, including a human, in particular, for use in treating or preventing the infection by Chlamydia ssp. The vaccine, pharmaceutical composition or immunogenic composition may be administered mucosally, preferably is administered at least three times.

Inventors:
KLOS ANDREAS (DE)
LAUDELEY ROBERT (DE)
HEGEMANN JOHANNES H (DE)
GUZMÁN CARLOS ALBERTO (DE)
EBENSEN THOMAS (DE)
WINTGENS SEBASTIAN (DE)
Application Number:
PCT/EP2022/051669
Publication Date:
August 04, 2022
Filing Date:
January 26, 2022
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
MEDIZINISCHE HOCHSCHULE HANNOVER (DE)
HELMHOLTZ ZENTRUM INFEKTIONSFORSCHUNG GMBH (DE)
International Classes:
A61K39/118; A61K39/00; A61P37/04
Domestic Patent References:
WO2005002619A22005-01-13
WO2010042206A12010-04-15
WO2014022936A12014-02-13
WO2014093936A12014-06-19
WO2005002619A22005-01-13
WO2010042206A12010-04-15
WO2014022936A12014-02-13
Other References:
PHILLIPS S. ET AL., FRONT. MICROBIOL., vol. 10, 2019, pages 70
GOTTLIEB SLJOHNSTON C, CURR OPIN INFECT DIS, vol. 30, 2017, pages 77 - 86
STARY ET AL., SCIENCE, vol. 348, no. 6241, 2015, pages aaa8205
WERN JE, FRONT. IMMUNOL., vol. 8, 2017, pages 569
BECKER EHEGEMANN JH, MICROBIOLOGYOPEN, vol. 3, no. 4, 2014, pages 544 - 56
LUCZAK SE ET AL., J BIOL CHEM, vol. 291, no. 43, 2016, pages 22806 - 18
FAVARONI AHEGEMANN JH, FRONT MICROBIOL, vol. 12, 2021, pages 709724
CRANE DD, PROC NATL ACAD SCI USA., vol. 103, no. 6, 2006, pages 1894 - 9
YU H, INFECT IMMUN, vol. 80, no. 4, 2012, pages 1510 - 1518
KARUNAKARAN KP, VACCINE, vol. 33, no. 18, 1 March 2005 (2005-03-01), pages 2159 - 66
MULLER T, VACCINE, vol. 35, 2017
STALLMANN ET AL., CELL MICROBIOL, vol. 18, no. 5, 2016, pages 761 - 775
JORDAN S ET AL.: "Chlamydia Biology: From Genome to Disease", vol. 30, 2020, CAISTER ACADEMIC PRESS
"Remington's Pharmaceutical Sciences", 1990, MACK PUBLISHING CO.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GRAMM, LINS & PARTNER PATENT- UND RECHTSANWÄLTE PARTGMBB (DE)
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Claims:
- 22 -

Claims:

1. An immunogenic composition comprising at least three Chlamydia ssp. surface antigens selected from the group of PmpA, PmpD, PmpG, PmpH and Ctadl .

2. The immunogenic composition according to claim 1 comprising at least three Chlamydia ssp. surface antigens selected from the group of polymorphic membrane protein PmpA, PmpD, PmpG and PmpH in combination with the antigen Ctadl .

3. The immunogenic composition according to claim 1 or 2 comprising at least PmpA, PmpD, PmpG, PmpH, Ctadl .

4. The immunogenic composition according to any one of the previous claims wherein the Chlamydia ssp. is Chlamydia trachomatis.

5. The immunogenic composition according to claim 4 wherein Chlamydia trachomatis is Chlamydia trachomatis serotype E.

6. The immunogenic composition according to any one of the previous claims further comprising an adjuvant.

7. The immunogenic composition according to claim 6 wherein the adjuvant is a compound according to formula (I)

wherein

X is independently from one another S, N, 0, CH2;

Y, Y’ is independently from one another NH, CH2, 0;

Z, Z’ is independently from one another NH, CH2, 0;

R1 is independently from one another hydrogen or 0 or absent;

R2 is independently from one another NH2, 0, H, or a hydrogen;

R3 is independently from one another absent if a covalent bond is present between the Z or Z’ and the C atom, or is hydrogen, OH, halogen, a straight or branched C-i-Ce alkyl group, or a straight or branched C-i-Ce alkoxy group which may optionally be substituted;

R4 is independently from one another hydrogen, halogen, or a straight or branched C-i-Ce alkyl group which may optionally be substituted;

... is a single or double bond; or conjugates thereof, and salts or solvates thereof. The immunogenic composition according to claim 7 characterized in that in the compound according to formula I any one of the purine residue is an adenine, xanthine or hypoxanthine residue or combinations thereof, in particular, both purine residues being adenine.

9. The immunogenic composition for use according to any one of claims 7 or 8 characterized in that in formula I R3 is a OH group, X is an oxygen atom and Y, Y’, Z and Z’ are oxygen.

10. The immunogenic composition according to any one of the claims 7 to 9 characterized in that the compound according to formula I is a cyclic bis (3’-5’) diodenylic acid (CDA) or c-di-AMP, c-di-IMP, c-IAMP, or a cyclic di-AMP thiophosphate, c-di-IMP thiophosphate and c-IAMP thiophosphate.

11 . The immunogenic composition according to any one of the preceding claims wherein the antigens are PmpA of SEQ ID No. 1 , PmpD of SEQ ID No. 2, PmpG of SEQ ID No. 3, PmpH of SEQ ID No. 4, and Ctadl of SEQ ID No. 5 derived from the respective proteins of Chlamydia trachomatis serotype E, PmpA of SEQ ID No. 6, PmpD of SEQ ID No. 7, PmpG of SEQ ID No. 8, PmpH of SEQ ID No. 9, and Ctadl of SEQ ID No. 10 derived from the respective proteins of Chlamydia trachomatis serotype B, PmpA of SEQ ID No. 11 , PmpD of SEQ ID No. 12, PmpG of SEQ ID No. 13, PmpH of SEQ ID No. 14, and Ctadl of SEQ ID No. 5 1 derived from the respective proteins of Chlamydia trachomatis serotype LGV, PmpA of SEQ ID No. 16, PmpD of SEQ ID No. 17, PmpG of SEQ ID No. 18, PmpH of SEQ ID No. 19, and Ctadl of SEQ ID No. 20 derived from the respective proteins of C. muridarum.

12. A vaccine comprising the immunogenic composition according to any one of the claims 1 to 11 .

13. The vaccine according to claim 12 or the immunogenic composition according to any one of the claims 1 to 11 for use in eliciting an immune response against Chlamydia ssp., or a component thereof, in an animal, preferably.

14. The vaccine according to any one of claims 12 or 13 or the immunogenic composition according to any one of claims 1 to 10 for use in treating or preventing the infection by Chlamydia ssp. in an animal. - 25 -

15. The vaccine according to claim 13 or 14, wherein the animal is a human.

16. The vaccine according to any one of the claims 12 to 15 or the immunogenic composition according to any one of the claims 1 to 11 wherein the Chlamydia ssp. is a Chlamydia trachomatis or a Chlamydia muridarum.

17. The vaccine according to any one of claims 12 to 16 or the immunogenic composition according to any one of the claims 1 to 11 wherein the use in the treatment or prevention of infection comprises mucosal administration of the vaccineor the immunogenic composition preferably at least three times.

18. The vaccine or the immunogenic composition for use according to claim 17 comprising intranasal application of the vaccine or the immunogenic composition to the person in need thereof.

19. The vaccine according to any one of claims 12 to 18 for prophylactic vaccination.

20. A method of treating an individual in need thereof for preventing or treating Chlamydia infection and sequelae of Chlamydia infection including the step of administering an immunogenic composition according to any one of claims 1 to 11 or a vaccine according to claim 12 to said person. 1 . The method according to claim 20 for vaccination of an individual, in particular, a human individual. 2. A method for preventing or treating trachoma, infertility, reactive arthritis, conjunctivitis, keratoconjunctivitis or visual impairments triggered by Chlamydia infection, including the step of administering a therapeutically effective amount of an immunogenic composition according to any one of claims 1 to 11 or a vaccine according to claim 12.

Description:
Immunogenic composition and vaccine containing Chlamydia ssp. surface antigens and its use

The present invention relates in a first aspect to an immunogenic composition comprising at least three Chlamydia ssp. surface antigens selected from the group of Pmp A, Pmp D, Pmp G, Pmp H in combination with the antigen Ctadl . Further, the present invention relates to the immunogenic composition comprising CDN as adjuvant, in particular, c-di-AMP. Moreover, a pharmaceutical composition comprising the immunogenic composition according to the present invention is provided as well as a vaccine comprising said immunogenic composition. The vaccine is particularly useful in eliciting an immune response against Chlamydia ssp. in an animal, in particular, for use in treating or preventing the infection by Chlamydia ssp. The vaccine, pharmaceutical composition or immunogenic composition may be administered mucosally, preferably is administered at least three times.

Prior art

Chlamydiae are Gram-negative, intracellular bacteria with a unique reproductive cycle: infective elementary bodies (EBs) induce their uptake into mucosal cells where they remain in inclusions. In this niche, they become metabolically active reticulate bodies (RB) and divide 9 to 11 times. Finally, the hundreds of new RB redifferentiate back to EBs which are released. Chlamydiae cause infections of urogenital, respiratory and gastrointestinal tract, and the eye. Chlamydia trachomatis (Ctr) comprises 19 serovars based on the major outer membrane protein (MOMP), and over 60 genotypes. Serovars D-K (‘genital tract biovar’) and L1 -L3 (‘lymphogranuloma venereum biovar’) lead to infections of urethra or cervix uteri. With an estimated prevalence of 4.2% in 14 to 49 year old men and women worldwide, Ctr is the most reported bacterium causing sexually-transmitted disease (STD). According to WHO, there were 130 million new cases in 2015. Acute genital Ctr infections lead to few physical complaints. Hence, 80% remain unrecognized and untreated. PCR studies suggest that 4.4% of sexually active 17 year-old female teenagers and 4.5% of all 18-19 year- old women in Germany are latently infected with Ctr. Partially due to different serovars, Ctr can repetitively infect the same person (reviewed in Phillips S. et al. (2019) Front. Microbiol. 10:70). It can ascend to the upper genital tract resulting in inflammation of the fallopian tube or ovary, or other painful and difficult to treat pelvic inflammatory diseases. Ectopic pregnancy is one of the feared sequelae of tissue damage. More important, it has been estimated that 1 out of 200 urogenital infections leads to permanent tubal infertility. Additionally, there is a relevant financial burden for society caused by often-unsuccessful therapeutic attempts to satisfy later the wish to have children. Pregnant women can transmit Ctr to newborns in the birth channel leading to conjunctivitis and pneumonia, which do not readily respond to therapy. Men (with a certain genetic background) in particular can suffer from reactive arthritis. Up to years, persistent viable Ctr with reduced metabolism are detectable in the synovia of the affected joints in this rheumatic disease. Additionally, there is an ongoing discussion about a potential link between Ctr infections and urogenital tumors. In developing countries, this STD is even more frequent, and to manage the disease and to avoid its sequelae, routine PCR screening of young woman is impracticable. Even in industrialized countries, only screening for Cfr-DNA during pregnancy has been successful. Attempts to change human risk behavior and to decrease infection rates by information-campaigns and the opportunity for all woman <25 years for an annual PCR screening paid by the health insurance remained ineffective.

The serovars A-C of Ctr (‘trachoma biovar’) are responsible for trachoma. According to the WHO Global Health Observatory 2019, this neglected tropical disease remains a public health problem in 43 countries. It is responsible for partial or total visual impairment of 1 .8 million people. In 2017, 83.5 million people received antibiotics for trachoma, and 231 ,000 people received surgery for its late blinding stage, trachomatous trichiasis. The WHO aims to eliminate trachoma by 2020. Apparently, with the so far applied SAFE Strategy (Surgery, Antibiotics, Facial cleanliness, Environmental improvement) alone, it will be impossible to achieve this ambitious, but highly unrealistic aim.

However, there is still no vaccine available. Most attempts of vaccine development have been unsuccessful, either due to missing protection or even due to increased immunopathology during a subsequent chlamydial infection (reviewed in e.g. Gottlieb SL and Johnston C (2017) Curr Opin Infect Dis. 30:77-86). According to the review “Seventy Years of Chlamydia Vaccine Research - Limitations of the Past and Directions for the Future” (Phillips S. et al. see above), 78 studies have been performed between 1949 and 2017. Its main conclusion is that "... no single antigen type or target, adjuvant, or route of administration has been established as a clear front-runner for effective vaccination. Extensive mouse model trials indicate that whole cell antigenic targets induce an effective response, protecting from disease and reducing shedding rates. However, replication of these results using more commercially acceptable antigenic preparations has proven difficult”.

Although studies on Ctr vaccination have been conducted, most of them had some adverse side effects not desired for application in human. For example, Stary et al., 2015, Science 348 (6241 :aaa8205) applied UV-inactivated EBs alone or with a commonly used adjuvants, 5 to 10 times more Chlamydia were found after a genital challenge infection in the uterus of vaccinated as compared to non-vaccinated mice. That is, inactivated or killed Chlamydia as such are not suitable for vaccination. This is most described already in the 1960. Thus, safety concerns and challenges manufacturing a whole cell Chlamydia vaccine to industry standards are major obstacles and has prompted the search for a subunit vaccine.

Therefore, most alternative approaches are based on recombinant or purified chlamydial surface proteins, particularly the major outer membrane protein (MOMP) and polymorphic membrane proteins (Pmp’s). According to the overview by Phillips S. et al., see above from 2019: “To date, the MOMP has emerged as the most suitable substitute for whole cell targets and its delivery as a combined systemic and mucosal vaccine is most effective.” That refers in particular to a complex vaccine combining immunogenic parts of several MOMP molecules from different serovars in order to cover the most frequent ones combining s.c. and i.n. administration (Wern JE, et. al., (2017) Front. Immunol. 8:569). A phase-1 -clinical trial (https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/ NCT03926728) has been recently finished.

However, without loss of function MOMP can mutate and is subject to immune selective pressure and recombination as demonstrated by the existing various genotypes and serovars. Population-wide vaccination with parts of this molecule - if successful - might raise such pressure leading to the selection of Ctr serovars, which are not targeted by the vaccine and of Ctr MOMP mutants who escape the defense caused by vaccine-induced antibodies or T cells.

The nine Pmp proteins A to I form the largest protein family in Ctr Recombinant production of the native form of the Pmp proteins has been described. rPmp proteins act as adhesins, and proved that all Ctr Pmps are essential for infection (Becker E, Hegemann JH (2014) Microbiologyopen 3(4):544-56. doi: 10.1002/mbo3.186.). Pmps are large proteins (~ 100 to 150 kDa) and share autotransporter characteristics with a short N-terminal Sec signal sequence (24 to 50 amino acids, aa), a large passenger domain (PD, ~ 650 to 1200 aa) and a C-terminal (3-barrel (~ 300 aa) for outer membrane translocation. Evidence suggests that Pmp proteins form homo- and heteromeric oligomers in vitro (Luczak SE, et al., (2016) J Biol Chem 291 (43):22806-

18; Favaroni A and Hegemann JH, (2021 ) Front Microbiol 12:709724). Antibodies to

PmpD neutralize all Ctr serovars in vitro (Crane DD, et. al., (2006) Proc Natl Acad Sci

U S A. 103(6): 1894-9.). Pmp antigens lead to protection in various animal systems.

Vaccination of mice with short PD protein fragments from PmpE, F, G and H from C. muridarum (Cmu, formerly called mouse pneumonitis agent of Ctr) with DDA/MPL as adjuvant, confers protection against a Cmu vaginal challenge (Yu H, et. al., (2012) Infect Immun. 80(4): 1510-1518. doi: 10.1128/IAI.06338-11 ). Moreover, PmpE, F, G and H fragments plus MOMP from Ctr D protect against a Ctr challenge in mice

(Karunakaran KP, et. al., (2015) Vaccine. 33(18):2159-66. doi: 10.1016/j. vaccine.2015.02.055. Epub 2015 Mar 1.).

Pal S, et. al., (2017) Vaccine 35, DOI: 10.1016/j. vaccine.2017.03.070 provided in three Pmp-based cross-species vaccine trials recombinant Pmp proteins. Based on the high protein identity between Ctr serovars and Cmu, short protein fragments from the PD from all nine Ctr serovar E Pmps were tested in mice using s.c. application and CpG-1826 and Montanide ISA 720 VG as adjuvants. Indeed, this results in limited cross-species protection against a subsequent Cmu infection with PmpC protecting best followed by PmpG, E or H. A PD fragment from PmpC from Ctr E applied s.c. and i.m. also cross-protects against a challenge with C. caviae in the guinea pig. Similarly, partial cross-protection was also observed for a PmpA PD fragment from Ctr E plus CpG-ODN 1826 adjuvant against a subsequent Cmu infection; yet, here also adjuvant- induced immunopathology upon challenge of the genital tract was reported (Muller T, et., al. (2017) Vaccine 35, DOI: 10.1016/j. vaccine.2017.04.017). Thus, Pmp proteins can clearly protect against a Ctr infection and show even partial cross-species protection.

WO 2005/002619 A2 describes immunogenic compositions for Chlamydia trachomatis. Therein, compositions comprising various combinations of Ctr antigens and their use in vaccines is described. Namely, the immunogenic composition described therein should include at least a combination consisting of two, three, four or five Ctr antigens of a first antigen group, the first antigen group consisting of PepA, LcrE, ArtJ, DnaK and CT398. A list of all known and hypothetic antigens described in Ctr are identified therein, without detailing specific combinations of Pmp antigens of Chlamydia, in particular, a combination of Pmp with Ctadl .

WO 2010/042206 A1 discloses isolated Chlamydia trachomatis proteins and its use in diagnosis and treatment of Chlamydia infection and disease. However, embodiments with Pmp antigens are not disclosed. Rather, Momp is regarded as being particularly relevant in immunogenic compositions accordingly.

WO 2014/022936 A1 refers to Chlamydia antigen composition and uses thereof. This document describes fusion proteins comprising at least two Chlamydia proteins, in particular, comprising combination of two Pmp proteins or a combination with the Momp protein.

Stallmann et al., 2016, Cell Microbiol, 18(5), 761 -775 describes Ctadl of Chlamydia trachomatis as a new adhesin and invasion allowing binding to human cells.

Hence, there is still a need to develop a vaccine against Ctr preventing urogenital infection with its sequelae, as well as for preventing trachoma and preventing other diseases (e.g. reactive arthritis) associated with a Ctr infection (Jordan S et al., (2020) 30 Chlamydia Biology: From Genome to Disease, Caister Academic Press). Brief description of the present invention

The present invention relates in a first aspect to an immunogenic composition comprising at least three Chlamydia ssp. surface antigens selected from a group of PmpA, PmpD, PmpG, PmpG and Ctadl . In a preferred embodiment, the immunogenic composition is a composition comprising at least three Chlamydia ssp. surface antigens selected from the group of polymorphic membrane protein PmpA, PmpD, PmpG and PmpH in combination with the antigen Ctadl .

In a further aspect, the present invention relates to the immunogenic composition comprising the mentioned Chlamydia ssp. surface antigens according to the present invention in combination with an adjuvant, in particular, a cyclic dinucleotide (CDN) adjuvant including c-di-AMP.

Furthermore, the present invention provides a pharmaceutical composition comprising the immunogenic composition according to the present invention. In an embodiment, the immunogenic composition or the pharmaceutical composition is in form of a vaccine. The vaccine may be used in preventing or treating an infection by Chlamydia ssp. in an animal including humans.

Moreover, the present invention provides methods for treating Chlamydia infection and sequelae of the same including trachoma, infertility and respiratory tract diseases, the vaccine is particularly suitable for mucosal administration.

Brief description of the drawings

Figure 1 : Experimental setup of the mouse vaccination - Chlamydia trachomatis lung challenge infection model

Figure 2: Intranasal (i.n.) vaccination with 5cVAC improves loss of body weight (a-e 1 ) and clinical score (a-e 2) in lung challenge infection with serovar E (a1/a2), D, L2 (c1/c2), or A (e1/e2) of Chlamydia trachomatis. In contrast, subcutaneous (s.c.) vaccination is less effective, as demonstrated for Serovar E (b1/b2) which represents best the antigens the vaccine is consisting of.

Figure 3: Intranasal (i.n.) vaccination with 5cVAC improves bacterial clearance and leads to decreased levels of the granulocyte marker MPO in the lung after i.n. challenge infection with different serovars of Chlamydia trachomatis as determined on day 7 p.i.. In contrast, subcutaneous (s.c.) vaccination is less effective, as demonstrated for Serovar E which represents best the antigens 5cVAC is consisting of.

Figure 4: Intranasal (i.n.) vaccination with 5cVAC leads to decreased levels of the key cytokines TNF-alpha and IFN-gamma in lung challenge infection with different serovars of Chlamydia trachomatis determined on day 7 p.i.. In contrast, subcutaneous (s.c.) vaccination is less effective, as demonstrated for Serovar E.

Figure 5: Intranasal vaccination with 5cVAC diminishes Chlamydia muridarum- induced loss of body weight, the increase in clinical score and the bacterial load on day 7 after challenge infection.

Figure 6: Intranasal vaccination with two-component 2cVAC (PmpD and Ctadl ) is still effective but with a smaller degree pf protection as compared to 5cVAC in lung challenge infection with Ctr E.

Figure 7: IgA, IgM and total IgG antibody response profiles towards the 5cVAC antigen-mix or the single vaccine components in mouse plasma of 5 individual mice after vaccination with 5cVAC, 7 days before or after Ctr E challenge, respectively. Moreover, less limiting anti-5cVac IgG of pool-plasma of n = 9 mice obtained 7 days p.i. was also analyzed.

Detailed description of the present invention

In a first aspect, the present invention relates to an immunogenic composition comprising at least three Chlamydia ssp. surface antigens selected from the group of PmpA, PmpD, PmpG, PmpH and Ctadl . In a preferred embodiment, the present invention relates to an immunogenic composition comprising at least three Chlamydia ssp. surface antigens selected from the group of polymorphic membrane protein PmpA, PmpD, PmpG and PmpH in combination with the antigen Ctadl .

The present inventors recognized that with an immunogenic composition with the Chlamydia ssp. surface antigens selected from the group of PmpA, PmpD, PmpG and PmpH, in particular, in combination with the antigen Ctadl of Chlamydia ssp., good vaccination results against Chlamydia can be achieved.

Namely, at least three of the mentioned surface antigens are suitable for elicit respective immune response against Chlamydia. In an embodiment, the at least three Chlamydia ssp. surface antigens are Ctadl in combination with two out of the four Pmp antigen. PmpA, PmpD, PmpG and PmpH. In an embodiment, at least four Chlamydia ssp. surface antigens are present in the immunogenic composition. In an embodiment, one of said at least four antigens is the Ctadl antigen.

Further, in an embodiment at least one of PmpA and Ctadl in combination with at least one of PmpA, PmpG and PmpH is present.

In an embodiment, the immunogenic composition according to the present invention comprises at least the Chlamydia ssp. surface antigens of PmpA, PmpD, PmpG, PmpH and Ctadl .

In an embodiment, the immunogenic composition according to the present invention may comprise additional immunogenic components and immunogenic principles including additional Pmp antigens but also other antigens derived from Chlamydia ssp.

As used herein, the term “comprise” or “contain” includes the embodiment of “consist of”.

Typically, the antigens are present in the immunogenic composition in form of recombinant polypeptides. For example, the antigens are PmpA of SEQ ID No. 1 , PmpD of SEQ ID No. 2, PmpG of SEQ ID No. 3, PmpH of SEQ ID No. 4, and Ctadl of SEQ ID No. 5 derived from the respective proteins of Chlamydia trachomatis serotype E, PmpA of SEQ ID No. 6, PmpD of SEQ ID No. 7, PmpG of SEQ ID No. 8, PmpH of SEQ ID No. 9, and Ctadl of SEQ ID No. 10 derived from the respective proteins of Chlamydia trachomatis serotype B, PmpA of SEQ ID No. 11 , PmpD of SEQ ID No. 12, PmpG of SEQ ID No. 13, PmpH of SEQ ID No. 14, and Ctadl of SEQ ID No. 5 1 derived from the respective proteins of Chlamydia trachomatis serotype LGV, PmpA of SEQ ID No. 16, PmpD of SEQ ID No. 17, PmpG of SEQ ID No. 18, Pmp H of SEQ ID No. 19, and Ctadl of SEQ ID No. 20 derived from the respective proteins of C. muridarum.

That is, the antigens are recombinant Pmp proteins and Ctadl protein comprising most of the amino acid sequence of the natural Pmp proteins and Ctadl protein, respectively. In an embodiment, the Pmp proteins do not contain the betabarrel and not the N-terminal signal sequence present in the native protein.

In an embodiment, the Ctadl protein is the full Tength Ctadl protein, e.g. ADH1 6779.1 (Ctr E), WP_012728031 .1 (Ctr B), AGJ64368.2 (Ctr LGV), and AID37821.1 (C. muridarum). Further, the PmpA may be encoded by the sequence or a fragment of said sequence of the gene ADH17184.1 (Ctr E), WP_009871764 (Ctr B), YP_001654741.1 (Ctr LGV), and AID38210.1 (C. muridarum). The PmpD protein is a polypeptide encoded by ADH17618.1 (Ctr E), WP_012728194.1 (Ctr B), YP_001654273.1 (Ctr LGV), and AID37735.1 (C. muridarum). The PmpG is a polypeptide or fragment thereof encoded by ADH 17684.1 (Ctr E), WP_011324914.1 (Ctr B), YP_001654335.1 (Ctr LGV), and AID37800.1 (C. muridarum). The PmpH antigen is a polypeptide or fragment thereof encoded by ADH 17685.1 (Ctr E), WP_01 1324915.1 (Ctr B), YP_001654336.1 (Ctr LGV) and AID37801 .1 (C. muridarum).

The antigen according to the present invention may be a homologue of the native antigen. That is, the homologue may have a sequence identify of at least 90 %, at least 91 %, 92 %, 93 %, 94 %, 95 %, 96 %, 97 %, 98 %, 99 % of the respective native surface antigen present in the immunogenic composition according to the present invention. The homologues include said homologues with the specified identify which display similar antigenic activity as the respective polypeptide of said sequence of the surface antigen provided herein.

In an embodiment of the present invention, the Chlamydia ssp. surface antigens are derived or stemming from Chlamydia trachomatis. In an embodiment, the Chlamydia trachomatis is a Chlamydia trachomatis serotype E. Of course, other serotypes are suitable and include at least serovars A, D, and L2 but also others such as B, C, F, G, H, J, K and L1 or L3.

In an embodiment of the present invention, the immunogenic composition according to the present invention comprise further an adjuvant.

Namely, in an embodiment, the adjuvant is a compound according to formula (I)

wherein

X is independently from one another S, N, 0, CH2;

Y, Y’ is independently from one another NH, CH2, 0;

Z, Z’ is independently from one another NH, CH2, 0;

R1 is independently from one another hydrogen or 0 or absent;

R2 is independently from one another NH2, 0, H, or a hydrogen;

R3 is independently from one another absent if a covalent bond is present between the Z or Z’ and the C atom, or is hydrogen, OH, halogen, a straight or branched C-i-Ce alkyl group, or a straight or branched C-i-Ce alkoxy group which may optionally be substituted;

R4 is independently from one another hydrogen, halogen, or a straight or branched C-i-Ce alkyl group, which may optionally be substituted;

... is a single or double bond; or conjugates thereof, and salts or solvates thereof.

In an embodiment, the adjuvant, present in the immunogenic composition according to the present invention being a compound according to formula (I) wherein any one of the purine residue is an adenine, xanthine or hypoxanthine residue of combinations thereof. In an embodiment, both purine residues are adenine. That is, it is preferred that the cyclic di-nucleotide is a cyclic di-adenosine monophosphate. For example, the c-di-AMP is a 2,3’-c-di-AMP or 3,3’-c-di-AMP. Further, the adjuvant may be a biphosphatethioate analog of the c-di-AMP. In an embodiment, the adjuvant of general formula (I) is a compound wherein R3 is a OH group, X is an oxygen and Y, Y’, Z and Z’ are oxygen. Further, the compound according to formula (I) representing an adjuvant present in the immunogenic composition is anyone of the claims 5 to 7 characterized in that the compound according to formula I is a cyclic bis (3’-5’) diodenylic acid (CDA or c-di-AMP, c-di- IMP, c-IAMP, or a cyclic di-AMP thiophosphate, c-di-MP Thiophosphate and cAMP- IMP thiophosphate.

Generally, the term “adjuvant” means substances which are edit and/or coformulated in an immunisation to the active antigen, i.e. the substance which provokes the desired immune response, in order to enhance or elicit or modulate the humoral and/or cell mediated (cellular) immune response against the active antigen: Preferably, the adjuvant, as described herein, is able to enhance or elicit the innate immune response.

The term “therapy” or “treatment” include vaccination of individual. Generally, the term “therapy” or “treatment” refers to a process that is intended to produce a beneficial change in the condition of an individual, like a mammal, e.g. a human, often refer to as a patient, or animal. A beneficial change can, for example, include one or more of: restoration of function, reduction of symptoms, limitation or retardation of progression of a disease, disorder or condition or prevention, limitation or retardation of detonation of a patient’s condition, disease or disorder. Such therapy usually encompasses the administration of an active principal, among others.

As used herein, the term “antigenic structure” or “antigen” refers to a structure capable of causing a cellular or humoral immune response. The antigenic structure, also known as epitope, is the part of the antigen, which is presented by the MHC or MHC like molecules. Further, the epitope or antigenic structure represents the part of an antigen recognized by antibodies direct against said antigen.

As used herein, the term “individual” or “subject” which is used herein interchangeably refers to a human be infected with Chlamydia or being of risk of Chlamydia infection. Preferably, the subject is a mammal, particularly preferred a human. The term “animal” include the term “human”.

As used herein, the term “carrier” refers to a diluent, adjuvant, other than the adjuvant of formula (I) as described herein, excipient or vehicle. With the term “which may be substitute” is meant the substitution with the straight or branched C1 to C6 alkyl group or is straight or branched C1 to C6 alkoxy group and/or with a halogen, hydroxyl group or carboxyl group.

As used herein, the term “CDN” or “cyclic di-nucleotide” refers to the compounds of formula (I) unless otherwise indicated.

The term “CDA” as used herein refer to cyclic di-AMP or c-di-AMP unless otherwise indicated. In an embodiment, CDA or c-di-AMP refer to the non-fluorinated and/or non-thionated CDA molecule.

The linkage between the phosphate and the sugar moiety may be via the C3 atom (3’) or the C2 atom (2’) of the sugar residue. That is, the compound according to formula (I) may be a 2’, 2’-CDN, a 3’, 2’-CDN, a 2’, 3’-CDN, or a 3’, 3’-CDN, like a 2’, 2’- c-di-AMP, a 3’, 2’- c-di-AMP, a 2’, 3’- c-di-AMP, or a 3’, 3’- c-di-AMP. In formula (I) the dotted lines between Z or Z’ and the 0 at position 2 and 3 of the sugar moiety identifies that a covalent bond may be present or absent. Binding is either via the C2 or C3 atom of the sugar moiety. When binding of the phosphate moiety is via the C3 atom, Rs is absent at C3 and is present at C2. That is, Rs is present at the C-atom which is not linked with the phosphate moiety.

In an embodiment of the present invention, the immunogenic composition according to the present invention is for use in the prophylactic or therapeutic treatment of a Chlamydia infection and a disease caused by Chlamydia infection. In this connection, prophylactic treatment of a disease refers to embodiments of vaccination. That is, the immunogenic composition according to the present invention is for use in therapeutic or prophylactic vaccination of individuals.

In a further embodiment, the present invention relates to compounds according to the present invention for use as a mucosal adjuvant, in particular, for intranasal, sublingual, intra-NALT, oral, intra-rectal, intrafollicular, transfollicular, intrapulmonary, intrabronchial, intrathecal, conjunctival, intravaginal or intraurethral administration, administration into the milk ducts of the breast or by inhalation.

Alternatively, the compound is for use according to the present invention for parenteral administration, in particular, for subcutaneous, intravenous, intradermal, intrafollicular or intramuscular administration.

The skilled person is well aware of suitable weight of administration as well as required dosage. In a further embodiment, the present invention relates to a pharmaceutical composition comprising the immunogenic composition according to the present invention. In an embodiment, the immunogenic composition according to the present invention or the pharmaceutical composition according to the present invention is a vaccine. The vaccine according to the present invention as well as the pharmaceutical composition according to the present invention or the immunogenic composition according to the present invention are for use in eliciting an immune response against Chlamydia ssp., or recombinant thereof, in an animal, like a mammal, e.g. a human. The vaccine is particularly suitable for use in treating or preventing the infection by Chlamydia ssp. in an animal. Further, the vaccine is particularly suitable for use in preventing trachoma, infertility, reactive arthritis, conjunctivitis, keratoconjunctivitis, or visual impairments.

The pharmaceutical composition may be administered with a physiologically acceptable carrier to a patient, as described herein. In a specific embodiment, the term “pharmaceutically acceptable” means approved by a regulatory agency or other generally recognized pharmacopoeia for use in animals, and more particularly in humans. The term “carrier” refers to a diluent, adjuvant, excipient, or vehicle with which the therapeutic is administered. Such pharmaceutical carriers can be sterile liquids, such as water and oils, including those of petroleum, animal, vegetable or synthetic origin, such as peanut oil, soybean oil, mineral oil, sesame oil and the like. Water is a preferred carrier when the pharmaceutical composition is administered intravenously. Saline solutions and aqueous dextrose and glycerol solutions can also be employed as liquid carriers, particularly for injectable solutions. Suitable pharmaceutical excipients include starch, glucose, lactose, sucrose, gelatine, malt, rice, flour, chalk, silica gel, sodium stearate, glycerol monostearate, talc, sodium chloride, dried skim milk, glycerol, propylene, glycol, water, ethanol and the like. The composition, if desired, can also contain minor amounts of wetting or emulsifying agents, or pH buffering agents. These compositions can take the form of solutions, suspensions, emulsion, tablets, pills, capsules, powders, sustained-release formulations and the like. The composition can be formulated as a suppository, with traditional binders and carriers such as triglycerides. Oral formulation can include standard carriers such as pharmaceutical grades of mannitol, lactose, starch, magnesium stearate, sodium saccharine, cellulose, magnesium, carbonate, etc. Examples of suitable pharmaceutical carriers are described in “Remington’s Pharmaceutical Sciences” by E.W. Martin (18 th ed., Mack Publishing Co., Easton, PA (1990)). The pharmaceutical should suit the mode of administration.

Typically, pharmaceutically or therapeutically acceptable carrier is a carrier medium which does not interfere with the effectiveness of the biological activity of the active ingredients and which is not toxic to the host or patient.

“Therapeutically- or pharmaceutically-effective amount” as applied to the compositions of the instant invention refers to the amount of composition sufficient to induce a desired biological result. That result can be alleviation of the signs, symptoms, or causes of a disease, or any other desired alteration of a biological system. In the present invention, the result will typically involve an increase in the immunological responses to infection or a suppression of the responses to inflammatory processes.

In vitro assays may optionally be employed to help identifying optimal dosage ranges. The precise dose to be employed in the formulation will also depend on the route of administration, and the seriousness of the disease or disorder, and should be decided according to the judgment of the practitioner and each patient’s circumstances. Effective doses may be extrapolated from dose-response curves derived from in vitro or animal model test systems. Preferably, the pharmaceutical composition is administered directly or in combination with an adjuvant.

The term “administered” means administration of a therapeutically effective dose of the aforementioned pharmaceutical composition to an individual. By “therapeutically effective amount” is meant a dose that produces the effects for which it is administered. The exact dose will depend on the purpose of the treatment, and will be ascertainable by one skilled in the art using known techniques. As is known in the art and described above, adjustments for systemic versus localized delivery, age, body weight, general health, sex, diet, time of administration, drug interaction and the severity of the condition may be necessary, and will be ascertainable with routine experimentation by those skilled in the art.

Further, the pharmaceutical composition may contain additionally components, e.g. compounds like one or more anti-inflammatory molecules, anti-angiogenic molecules, cytotoxic molecules, immunomodulatory molecules, preferably chemokines, cytokines, CD40 ligand, costimulatory molecules or antibodies or mixtures thereof. In addition, the pharmaceutical composition described herein may be characterized in that the components of the pharmaceutical composition are associated and/or incorporated and/or coated to a physical particle, preferably microparticle, nanoparticle, liposome, ISCOM, copolymer and/or biological particle, preferably bacterial ghosts.

The pharmaceuticals according to the present invention or the compounds for use according to the present invention may be used in methods applicable to both human therapy and veterinary applications, in particular, for human application. The compounds for the use as described herein having the desired therapeutic activity may be administered in a physiologically acceptable carrier to a patient, as described herein. Depending upon the manner of introduction, the compounds may be formulated in a variety of ways as discussed below. The concentration of therapeutically active compound in the formulation may vary from about 0.1 -100 wt%. The agents as adjuvant(s) for use in therapeutic or prophylactic vaccination may be administered alone or in combination with other treatments.

Moreover, the vaccine according to the present invention, the pharmaceutical composition according to the present invention or the immunogenic composition elicit an immune response against Chlamydia trachomatis or Chlamydia muridarum, e.g. it is for use in treating or preventing the infection by Chlamydia trachomatis or Chlamydia muridarum but also by Chlamydia pneumoniae.

The vaccine is particularly suitable for use in humans.

In another aspect, the present invention relates to a kit containing the immunogenic composition according to the present invention and, optionally, the adjuvant as described herein. In particular, the kit according to the present invention comprising the immunogenic composition as defined herein in combination with the adjuvant, in particular, c-di-AMP, is described. Said kit is particularly for use in treating or preventing infection by Chlamydia ssp. in a subject. For example, the kit is for use in preventive vaccination against infection by Chlamydia ssp., thus, suitable for preventing or treating infections of urogenital, respiratory and gastrointestinal tract as well as the eye, like trachoma, infertility etc.

Moreover, the present invention relates to a method for vaccination of subjects for prevention or treating infection by Chlamydia ssp. Said vaccination is particularly a preventive vaccination against urogenital, respiratory and gastrointestinal tract, as well as eye disease including trachoma caused by Chlamydia infection. The method is preferably a preventive vaccination of an individual. In an embodiment, the vaccination is by mucosal route including intranasal or sublingual application of the immunogenic composition as described herein.

The method according to the present invention include administration of the immunogenic composition or the pharmaceutical composition or the vaccine as defined herein to a subject for eliciting an immune response against Chlamydia spp. or a component thereof. The method according to the present invention is particularly useful to prevent sequelae diseases triggered by Chlamydia infection including trachoma, infertility, reactive arthritis, conjunctivitis, keratoconjunctivitis, or visual impairments.

That is, the present invention relates to a method for preventing or treatment of Chlamydia infection and sequelae of the same including trachoma, infertility and respiratory tract diseases as well as genitourinary tract disease. It is preferred that the method according to the present invention is mucosal administration of the immunogenic composition according to the present invention in therapeutically effective dosage which may be administered once, twice or more within a predetermined time. In particular, the method comprises the administration of the immunogenic composition including the adjuvant as described herein, like the c-di- AMP adjuvant, to a subject in need thereof by mucosal vaccination. The skilled person is well aware of suitable vaccination schemes or may determine a suitable vaccination scheme accordingly.

These and other embodiments are disclosed and encompassed by the description and examples of the present invention. The present invention will be described further by the way of examples without limiting the same.

Examples

Experimental setup of the mouse vaccination - Chlamydia trachomatis lung challenge infection model

The cycle of 7 weeks old female C57BL/6J mice was synchronized by i.p. application of medroxyprogesterone acetate. To determine the effect of vaccination, the mice were treated with an identical volume of [antigens in buffer plus adjuvant], [buffer plus adjuvant], or [buffer alone] at day 7, 21 and 28. the vaccination experiments were performed with 5cVAC, i.e. an equimolar mix of 5 purified recombinant antigens derived from serovar E of C. trachomatis (Ctr E): PmpA, PmpD, PmpG, Pmp H, Ctadl , namely, an immunogenic composition according to the present invention which are combined with the adjuvant C-di-Amp. One experiment was performed with 2cVAC, an equimolar mix (and the same amount per antigen, with C- di-Amp) of only 2 of them: PmpD and Ctadl . Vaccination was mainly performed by the i.n. route. As indicated, in a few experiments the otherwise identical vaccine was s.c. applied.

On day 49, the cycle of the female mice was synchronized again by the hormone to diminish potential cycle-depending variation. On day 56, i.e. 4 weeks after the last booster vaccination, the 15 weeks old mice were challenged by i.n. application of Chlamydia. To induce a similar severity of the resulting lung disease, different amounts of inclusion forming units (IFU) of the genital serovars E, D, L2 and the ocular serovar A of C. trachomatis per mouse had to be used (1.3x10 6 for E, 2x10 6 for D, 4x10 5 for L2, and 4x10 6 for A). The mice were additionally challenged (6x10 3 IFU) with the closely related species C. muridarum (former name: mouse pneumoniae strain of C. trachomatis). Some control animals received mock-material instead. In order to reduce variation within experiments with a specific serovar or C. muridarum, as far as possible, mice of the vaccinated and the non-vaccinated control groups were housed in mixed cages, and handled in parallel. Figure 1 provides a scheme of the experimental setup. The results depicted in the following usually combine data obtained in 2 to 3 staggered, otherwise identical experiments.

Under close monitoring and using humane endpoint defining criteria, body weight and clinical score were determined daily. On day 63, i.e. day 7 of challenge infection and developing pneumonia, all mice were sacrificed painlessly for analysis: In one of their lungs the histological score was determined. In the homogenate of the other lung, chlamydial load (IFU), and the levels of the granulocyte marker myeloperoxidase (MPO) as well as of the key cytokines IFN-y and TNF-a were quantified.

For statistical analysis the following tests have been used: Two-way ANOVA with Bonferroni post-test for comparison of body weight and Kruskal-Wallis test with Dunn's multiple comparison post-test (> 3 groups) or Mann-Whitney t-test (2 groups) for the clinical score. For bacterial load, MPO, IFN-y and TNF-a, One-way ANOVA with Bonferroni’s multiple comparison were used. In the majority of cases logarithmic transformation of parametric data was performed in order to accomplish Gaussian distribution. If not indicated otherwise, *-*** indicate statistical significances between the 5cVAC group and the buffer control group with p<0.05, <0.01 , and <0.001 , respectively.

All animal experiments were approved by the Lower Saxony state government and the corresponding authorities of the LAVES, and performed in accordance with the law of animal welfare used for experiments (TierSchVersV), with the German regulations of the GV-SOLAS for the protection of animal life and the FELASA.

Intranasal (i.n.) vaccination with 5cVAC improves loss of body weight and clinical score in lung challenge infection with serovar E, D, L2, or A of Chlamydia trachomatis.

Following the protocol of the mouse “vaccination - chlamydial lung challenge model”, n = 8-11 differently pretreated animals per group for Ctr E, D, and L2, and 7- 9 mice per group for Ctri , respectively, were i.n. infected or mock-infected. During the following 7 days body weight [%] (a1-e1 ) and clinical score (a2-e2) were assessed daily. Mice which were i.n. vaccinated with 5cVAC showed from day 4 on protection against the genital serovar E and cross-serovar protection against Ctr D, L2, and the ocular serovar A (a1/a2, c1 -e1/c2-e2). In contrast, s.c. application of the identical vaccine, i.e. 5cVAC plus adjuvant had less effect on body weight or clinical score (b1 and b2), see figure 2. Experimental setup, statistical analysis and meaning of the * are described above.

Intranasal (i.n.) vaccination with 5cVAC improves bacterial clearance and leads to decreased levels of the granulocyte marker MPO in the lung after i.n. challenge infection with different serovars of Chlamydia trachomatis as determined on day 7 p.i..

Following the protocol of the mouse “vaccination - chlamydial lung challenge model”, differently pretreated animals were i.n. infected with Ctr E, D, L2, and A - or mock-infected, respectively. On day 7 of challenge, the amount of viable, infectious chlamydia (a1 -e1 ) and the level of MPO (a2-e2) were determined in lung homogenate of the mice surviving that period see figure 3. Experimental setup, statistical analysis and meaning of the * are described above. LOD = limit of detection; n.d. = not determined; ns = not significant.

Intranasal (i.n.) vaccination with 5cVAC leads to decreased levels of the key cytokines TNF-a and IFN^y in lung challenge infection with different serovars of Chlamydia trachomatis determined on day 7 p.i

Following the protocol of the “vaccination - chlamydial lung challenge model”, mice were either pre-treated with [antigens in buffer plus adjuvant], [buffer plus adjuvant], or [buffer alone]. On day 7 after i.n. challenge-infection with Ctr E, D, L2, and A, or mock-material, respectively, the animals were sacrificed for determination of the level of TNF-a (a1 -e1 ) and IFN-y (a2-e2) in their lung homogenate, see figure 4. Experimental setup, statistical analysis and meaning of the * are described above. LOD = limit of detection; n.d. = not determined; ns = not significant.

Intranasal vaccination with 5cVAC diminishes Chlamydia muridarum-induced loss of body weight, the increase in clinical score and the bacterial load on day 7 after challenge infection.

Following the protocol of the “vaccination - chlamydial lung challenge model”, mice were either pre-treated with [antigens in buffer plus adjuvant] or [buffer alone]. Per group, n = 7-9 differently pretreated animals were i.n. infected with C. muridarum, or mock-infected. During the following 7 days body weight [%] (a) and clinical score (b) were assessed daily. On day 7 of challenge-infection, the surviving animals were sacrificed to determine the amount of viable, infectious chlamydia (IFU, c), and the levels of MPO (d), TNF-a (e) and IFN-y (f) in their lung homogenate, see figure 5. Experimental setup, statistical analysis and meaning of the * are described above. LOD = limit of detection; ns = not significant.

Intranasal vaccination with two-component 2cVAC is still effective but with a smaller degree pf protection as compared to 5cVAC in lung challenge infection with Ctr E.

In this modified “vaccination - Ctr E lung challenge experiment”, vaccinated mice received only 2 (2cVAC) of the 5 components contained in 5cVAC plus adjuvant (triangles) by the i.n. route. Animals pretreated with [buffer plus adjuvant] (open grey squares), or [buffer alone] (black circles), served as negative controls. For better comparability, data obtained in a previous experiment with i.n. 5cVAC pretreatment are also depicted (triangles). Per group, n = 8-9 differently pretreated animals were i.n. infected with Ctr E, or mock-infected (open triangles). On each of the following days, body weight [%] (a) and clinical score (b) were assessed. On day 7 after i.n. challengeinfection, the surviving animals were sacrificed for determination of the amount of viable, infectious chlamydia (IFU, c), and the levels of MPO (d), TNF-a (e) and IFN-y (f) in the lung homogenate, see figure 5. Experimental setup, the antigens contained in 2cVAC, statistical analysis and meaning of the * are described above. Statistical significance (p<0.05) between the 5cVAC and the adjuvant/buffer control groups is marked with # in the panels a, c, d, e and f. LOD = limit of detection; ns = not significant.

IgA, IgM and total IgG antibody response profiles towards the 5cVAC antigenmix or the single vaccine components in mouse plasma of 5 individual mice after vaccination with 5cVAC, 7 days before or after Ctr E challenge, respectively.

Moreover, less limiting anti-5cVac IgG of pool-plasma of n = 9 mice obtained 7 days p.i. was also analyzed. To get insight into individual antibody responses, microtiter plates were coated for an ELISA with 5cVAC or its single five protein components as antigens. To get an impression of individual immune responses before and after challenge infection, plasma of the first 5 mice which were i.n. vaccinated with 5cVAC was analyzed (18 upper panels). A small amount of blood was drawn for analysis 7 days before (and 7 days after) i.n. Ctr E infection. Thus, the plasma samples had to be diluted starting at 1 :316 for IgA and IgM, or 1 :3, 160 for IgG, respectively. As secondary antibodies, enzyme-bound mAbs against mouse IgA (left row), IgM (middle row), or IgG (right row), see figure 7, respectively, were used. To permit direct comparison of the obtained results, the microtiter plates were coated with equimolar amounts of all individual recombinant antigens, and arbitrary units of the 3 different Ig’s [II] were calculated in relation to a standard curve obtained with pool plasma from mice after 5cVAC application and Ctr E challenge. Negative controls with plasma of individual non-vaccinated Ctr E-challenged or non-challenged mice remained for <1 II (data not shown). The experimental setup of the mouse model can be found above. Moreover, in less limited pool plasma of n = 9 5cVAC-treated and Ctr E challenged mice, total IgG against the 5cVAC mix and the individual recombinant antigens was also determined - this time starting with a dilution of 1 :316 (right lower panel of figure 7). Pool plasma of non-vaccinated control mice which were i.n. challenged for 7 days with Ctr E served as negative control. Even only 1 :100 diluted, its OD depending on total IgG against the 5cVAC mix remained <0.3. The broken vertical line at 1 :3,160 indicates the lowest dilution used in the total IgG analysis of the plasma samples of the 5 individual mice.

The antibody responses against the different antigens varied largely from mouse to mouse. The highest responses were obtained against PmpD and Ctadl , and partially also against PmpH. Compared to the negative control, no antibody response against PmpA could be detected within the sensitivity of this assay.

As demonstrated, the immunogenic composition is useful as a vaccine against Chlamydia infection. In particular, combining the antigens with the adjuvant c-diAMP as representative of CDN demonstrates usefulness of the Vaccine according to the present invention. Especially mucosal administration is favorable.