BackgroundHelicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infect more than half of the world population, and they cause different serious diseases such as gastric carcinomas. This study aims to design a vaccine on the basis of cagW against H. pylori infection. After pcDNA3.1 (+)-cagW–CS-NPs complex is produced, it will be administered into the muscles of healthy BALB/c mice in order to study the effect of this DNA vaccine on the interleukin status of mice, representing its effect on the immune system. After that, the results will be compared with the control groups comprising the administration of cagW-pCDNA3.1 (+) vaccine, the administration of chitosan and the administration of PBS in the muscles of mice.MethodsThe cagW gene of H. pylori was amplified by employing PCR, whose product was then cloned into the pcDNA3.1 (+) vector, and this cloning was confirmed by PCR and BamHI/EcoRV restriction enzyme digestion. CagW gene DNA vaccine was encapsulated in chitosan nanoparticles (pcDNA3.1 (+)-cagW-CS-NPs) using a complex coacervation method. The stability and in vitro expression of chitosan nanoparticles were studied by DNase I digestion and transfection, and the immune responses elicited in specific pathogen-free (SPF) mice by the pcDNA3.1 (+)-cagW-CS-NPs were evaluated. Apart from that, the protective potential pcDNA3.1 (+)-cagW-CS-NPs was evaluated by challenging with H. pylori.ResultsThe pcDNA3.1 (+)-cagW-CS-NPs comprises cagW gene of H. pylori that is encapsulated in chitosan nanoparticles, produced with good morphology, high stability, a mean diameter of 117.7 nm, and a zeta potential of + 5.64 mV. Moreover, it was confirmed that chitosan encapsulation protects the DNA plasmid from DNase I digestion, and the immunofluorescence assay showed that the cagW gene could express in HDF cells and maintain good bioactivity at the same time. In comparison to the mice immunized with the control plasmid, in vivo immunization revealed that mice immunized with pcDNA3.1 (+)-cagW-NPs showed better immune responses and prolonged release of the plasmid DNA.ConclusionsThis research proves chitosan-DNA nanoparticles as potent immunization candidates against H. pylori infection and paves the way for further developments in novel vaccines encapsulated in chitosan nanoparticles.