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Protective Antigen-Mediated Antibody Response against a Heterologous Protein Produced In Vivo by Bacillus anthracis

By Fabien Brossier, Martine Weber-Levy, Michèle Mock and Jean-Claude Sirard


Bacillus anthracis secretes a lethal toxin composed of two proteins, the lethal factor (LF) and the protective antigen (PA), which interact within the host or in vitro at the surfaces of eukaryotic cells. Immunization with attenuated B. anthracis strains induces an antibody response against PA and LF. The LF-specific response is potentiated by the binding of LF to PA. In this study, we investigated the capacity of PA to increase the antibody response against a foreign antigen. We constructed a chimeric gene encoding the PA-binding part of LF (LF254) fused to the C fragment of tetanus toxin (ToxC). The construct was introduced by allelic exchange into the locus encoding LF. Two recombinant B. anthracis strains secreting the hybrid protein LF254-ToxC were generated, one in a PA-producing background and the other in a PA-deficient background. Mice were immunized with spores of the strains, and the humoral response and protection against tetanus toxin were assessed. The B. anthracis strain producing both PA and LF254-ToxC induced significantly higher antibody titers and provided better protection against a lethal challenge with tetanus toxin than did its PA-deficient counterpart. Thus, PA is able to potentiate protective immunity against a heterologous antigen, demonstrating the potential of B. anthracis recombinant strains for use as live vaccine vehicles

Topics: Microbial Immunity and Vaccines
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
Year: 2000
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:101530
Provided by: PubMed Central
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