11 research outputs found

    Intranasal Immunization with an Archaeal Lipid Mucosal Vaccine Adjuvant and Delivery Formulation Protects against a Respiratory Pathogen Challenge

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    Archaeal lipid mucosal vaccine adjuvant and delivery (AMVAD) is a safe mucosal adjuvant that elicits long lasting and memory boostable mucosal and systemic immune responses to model antigens such as ovalbumin. In this study, we evaluated the potential of the AMVAD system for eliciting protective immunity against mucosal bacterial infections, using a mouse model of intranasal Francisella tularensis LVS (LVS) challenge. Intranasal immunization of mice with cell free extract of LVS (LVSCE) adjuvanted with the AMVAD system (LVSCE/AMVAD) induced F. tularensis-specific antibody responses in sera and bronchoalveolar lavage fluids, as well as antigen-specific splenocyte proliferation and IL-17 production. More importantly, the AMVAD vaccine partially protected the mice against a lethal intranasal challenge with LVS. Compared to LVSCE immunized and naΓ―ve mice, the LVSCE/AMVAD immunized mice showed substantial to significant reduction in pathogen burdens in the lungs and spleens, reduced serum and pulmonary levels of proinflammatory cytokines/chemokines, and longer mean time to death as well as significantly higher survival rates (p<0.05). These results suggest that the AMVAD system is a promising mucosal adjuvant and vaccine delivery technology, and should be explored further for its applications in combating mucosal infectious diseases

    Generation of a Convalescent Model of Virulent Francisella tularensis Infection for Assessment of Host Requirements for Survival of Tularemia

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    Francisella tularensis is a facultative intracellular bacterium and the causative agent of tularemia. Development of novel vaccines and therapeutics for tularemia has been hampered by the lack of understanding of which immune components are required to survive infection. Defining these requirements for protection against virulent F. tularensis, such as strain SchuS4, has been difficult since experimentally infected animals typically die within 5 days after exposure to as few as 10 bacteria. Such a short mean time to death typically precludes development, and therefore assessment, of immune responses directed against virulent F. tularensis. To enable identification of the components of the immune system that are required for survival of virulent F. tularensis, we developed a convalescent model of tularemia in C57Bl/6 mice using low dose antibiotic therapy in which the host immune response is ultimately responsible for clearance of the bacterium. Using this model we demonstrate Ξ±Ξ²TCR+ cells, Ξ³Ξ΄TCR+ cells, and B cells are necessary to survive primary SchuS4 infection. Analysis of mice deficient in specific soluble mediators shows that IL-12p40 and IL-12p35 are essential for survival of SchuS4 infection. We also show that IFN-Ξ³ is required for survival of SchuS4 infection since mice lacking IFN-Ξ³R succumb to disease during the course of antibiotic therapy. Finally, we found that both CD4+ and CD8+ cells are the primary producers of IFN-Ξ³and that Ξ³Ξ΄TCR+ cells and NK cells make a minimal contribution toward production of this cytokine throughout infection. Together these data provide a novel model that identifies key cells and cytokines required for survival or exacerbation of infection with virulent F. tularensis and provides evidence that this model will be a useful tool for better understanding the dynamics of tularemia infection

    Host-Adaptation of Francisella tularensis Alters the Bacterium's Surface-Carbohydrates to Hinder Effectors of Innate and Adaptive Immunity

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    The gram-negative bacterium Francisella tularensis survives in arthropods, fresh water amoeba, and mammals with both intracellular and extracellular phases and could reasonably be expected to express distinct phenotypes in these environments. The presence of a capsule on this bacterium has been controversial with some groups finding such a structure while other groups report that no capsule could be identified. Previously we reported in vitro culture conditions for this bacterium which, in contrast to typical methods, yielded a bacterial phenotype that mimics that of the bacterium's mammalian, extracellular phase.SDS-PAGE and carbohydrate analysis of differentially-cultivated F. tularensis LVS revealed that bacteria displaying the host-adapted phenotype produce both longer polymers of LPS O-antigen (OAg) and additional HMW carbohydrates/glycoproteins that are reduced/absent in non-host-adapted bacteria. Analysis of wildtype and OAg-mutant bacteria indicated that the induced changes in surface carbohydrates involved both OAg and non-OAg species. To assess the impact of these HMW carbohydrates on the access of outer membrane constituents to antibody we used differentially-cultivated bacteria in vitro to immunoprecipitate antibodies directed against outer membrane moieties. We observed that the surface-carbohydrates induced during host-adaptation shield many outer membrane antigens from binding by antibody. Similar assays with normal mouse serum indicate that the induced HMW carbohydrates also impede complement deposition. Using an in vitro macrophage infection assay, we find that the bacterial HMW carbohydrate impedes TLR2-dependent, pro-inflammatory cytokine production by macrophages. Lastly we show that upon host-adaptation, the human-virulent strain, F. tularensis SchuS4 also induces capsule production with the effect of reducing macrophage-activation and accelerating tularemia pathogenesis in mice.F. tularensis undergoes host-adaptation which includes production of multiple capsular materials. These capsules impede recognition of bacterial outer membrane constituents by antibody, complement, and Toll-Like Receptor 2. These changes in the host-pathogen interface have profound implications for pathogenesis and vaccine development

    Characterization of Monoclonal Antibodies to Terminal and Internal O-Antigen Epitopes of Francisella tularensis Lipopolysaccharide

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    The lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of Francisella tularensis (Ft), the Gram negative bacterium that causes tularemia, has been shown to be a main protective antigen in mice and humans; we have previously demonstrated that murine anti-Ft LPS IgG2a monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) can protect mice against otherwise lethal intranasal infection with the Ft live vaccine strain (LVS). Here we show that four IgG2a anti-LPS MAbs are specific for the O-polysaccharide (O-antigen [OAg]) of Ft LPS. But whereas three of the MAbs bind to immunodominant repeating internal epitopes, one binds to a unique terminal epitope of Ft OAg. This was deduced from its even binding to both long and short chains of the LPS ladder in Western blots, its rapid decrease in ELISA binding to decreasing solid-phase LPS concentrations, its inability to compete for LPS binding with a representative of the other three MAbs, and its inability to immunoprecipitate OAg despite its superior agglutination titer. Biacore analysis showed the end-binding MAb to have higher bivalent avidity for Ft OAg than the internal-binding MAbs and provided an immunogenicity explanation for the predominance of internal-binding anti-Ft OAg MAbs. These findings demonstrate that non-overlapping epitopes can be targeted by antibodies to Ft OAg, which may inform the design of vaccines and immunotherapies against tularemia