Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 11
  • Publication
    Comparison of the abilities of different attenuated Salmonella typhimurium strains to elicit humoral immune responses against a heterologous antigen
    (1998-02-01) Simmons, Cameron
    We compared the abilities of different Salmonella enterica var. Typhimurium (S. typhimurium) strains harboring mutations in the genes aroA, aroAD, purA, ompR, htrA, and cya crp to present the heterologous antigen, C fragment of tetanus toxin, to the mouse immune system. Plasmid pTETtac4, encoding C fragment, was transferred into the various S. typhimurium mutants, and the levels of antigen expression were found to be equivalent. After primary oral immunization of BALB/c mice, all attenuated strains were capable of penetrating the gut epithelium and colonizing the Peyer's patches and spleens of mice. Of all strains compared, the delta purA mutant colonized and persisted in the Peyer's patches at the lowest level, whereas the delta htrA mutant colonized and persisted in the spleen at the lowest level. The level of specific antibody elicited by the different strains against either S. typhimurium lipopolysaccharide or tetanus toxoid was strain dependent and did not directly correlate to the mutants' ability to colonize the spleen. The level of immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) and IgG2a antibody specific for tetanus toxoid was determined in mice immunized with four S. typhimurium mutants. The level of antigen-specific IgG1 and IgG2a was significantly lower in animals immunized with S. typhimurium delta purA. Antigen-specific T-cell proliferation assays indicated a degree of variability in the capacity of some strains to elicit T cells to the heterologous antigen. Cytokine profiles (gamma interferon and interleukin-5) revealed that the four S. typhimurium mutants tested induced a Th1-type immune response. Mice were challenged with a lethal dose of tetanus toxin 96 days after oral immunization. With the exception of the S. typhimurium delta purA mutant, all strains elicited a protective immune response. These data indicate that the level of total Ig specific for the carried antigen, C fragment, does not correlate with the relative invasiveness of the vector, but it is determined by the carrier mutation and the background of the S. typhimurium strain.
  • Publication
    Use of in vivo-regulated promoters to deliver antigens from attenuated Salmonella enterica var. typhimurium
    (1999-10-01) Simmons, Cameron
    This study describes the construction and analysis of three in vivo-inducible promoter expression plasmids, containing pnirB, ppagC, and pkatG, for the delivery of foreign antigens in the DeltaaroAD mutant of Salmonella enterica var. Typhimurium (hereafter referred to as S. typhimurium). The reporter genes encoding beta-galactosidase and firefly luciferase were used to assess the comparative levels of promoter activity in S. typhimurium in vitro in response to different induction stimuli and in vivo in immunized mice. It was determined that the ppagC construct directed the expression of more beta-galactosidase and luciferase in S. typhimurium than the pnirB and pkatG constructs, both in vitro and in vivo. The gene encoding the C fragment of tetanus toxin was expressed in the aroAD mutant of S. typhimurium (BRD509) under the control of the three promoters. Mice orally immunized with attenuated S. typhimurium expressing C fragment under control of the pagC promoter [BRD509(pKK/ppagC/C frag)] mounted the highest tetanus toxoid-specific serum antibody response. Levels of luciferase expression in vivo and C-fragment expression in vitro from the pagC promoter appeared to be equivalent to if not lower than the levels of expression detected with the constitutive trc promoter. However, mice immunized with BRD509(pKK/ppagC/C frag) induced significantly higher levels of tetanus toxoid-specific antibody than BRD509(pKK/C frag)-immunized mice, suggesting that the specific location of foreign antigen expression may be important for immunogenicity. Mutagenesis of the ribosome binding sites (RBS) in the three promoter/C fragment expression plasmids was also performed. Despite optimization of the RBS in the three different promoter elements, the expression levels in vivo and overall immunogenicity of C fragment when delivered to mice by attenuated S. typhimurium were not affected. These studies suggest that in vivo-inducible promoters may give rise to enhanced immunogenicity and increase the efficacy of S. typhimurium as a vaccine vector.
  • Publication
    Attenuation and vaccine potential of aroQ mutants of Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis
    (1997-08-01) Simmons, Cameron
    Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis, a gram-positive intracellular bacterial pathogen, is the etiological agent of the disease caseous lymphadenitis (CLA) in both sheep and goats. Attenuated mutants of C. pseudotuberculosis have the potential to act as novel live veterinary vaccine vectors. We have cloned and sequenced the aroB and aroQ genes from C. pseudotuberculosis C231. By allelic exchange, aroQ mutants of both C231, designated CS100, and a pld mutant strain TB521, designated CS200, were constructed. Infection of BALB/c mice indicated that introduction of the aroQ mutation into C231 and TB521 attenuated both strains. In sublethally infected BALB/c mice, both CS100 and CS200 were cleared from spleens and livers by day 8 postinfection. The in vivo persistence of these strains was increased when the intact aroQ gene was supplied on a plasmid in trans. Mice infected with TB521 harbored bacteria in organs at least till day 8 postinfection without ill effect. When used as a vaccine, only the maximum tolerated dose of CS100 had the capacity to protect mice from homologous challenge. Vaccination with TB521 also elicited protective immunity, and this was associated with gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) production from splenocytes stimulated 7 days postvaccination. The role of IFN-gamma in controlling primary infections with C. pseudotuberculosis was examined in mice deficient for the IFN-gamma receptor (IFN-gammaR(-/-) mice). IFN-gammaR(-/-) mice cleared an infection with CS100 but were significantly more susceptible than control littermates to infection with C231 or TB521. These studies support an important role for IFN-gamma in control of primary C. pseudotuberculosis infections and indicate that aroQ mutants remain attenuated even in immunocompromised animals. This is the first report of an aroQ mutant of a bacterial pathogen, and the results may have implications for the construction of aromatic mutants of Mycobacterium tuberculosis for use as vaccines.
  • Publication
    Vaccine potential of attenuated mutants of Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis in sheep
    (1998-02-01) Simmons, Cameron
    Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis, a gram-positive facultative intracellular bacterial pathogen, is the etiological agent of the economically important disease caseous lymphadenitis (CLA) in both sheep and goats. Attenuated mutants of C. pseudotuberculosis have the potential to act as novel vaccines against CLA and as veterinary vaccine vectors. In this report, we have assessed the virulence of both aroQ and pld mutants of C. pseudotuberculosis in sheep and concurrently their capacity to act as vaccines against homologous challenge. The results suggest that aroQ mutants of C. pseudotuberculosis are attenuated with regard to both lymph node persistence and vaccination site reactogenicity. Immunologically, aroQ mutants failed to elicit detectable specific gamma interferon (IFN-gamma)-secreting lymphocytes and induced low levels of antibodies to C. pseudotuberculosis culture supernatant antigens. Following subcutaneous vaccination, the immune responses induced by aroQ mutants did not protect sheep from infection with the wild-type strain but did appear to reduce the clinical severity of disease resulting from challenge. Conversely, an attenuated C. pseudotuberculosis strain expressing an enzymatically inactive phospholipase D exotoxin, when used as a vaccine, elicited a protective immune response. Protection appeared to correlate with in vivo persistence of the vaccine strain, the induction of IFN-gamma-secreting lymphocytes, and relatively high levels of antibodies to culture supernatant antigens. The results suggest that aroQ mutants of C. pseudotuberculosis may be overly attenuated for use as a CLA vaccines or as vaccine vectors.
  • Publication
    DNA vaccines for bacterial infections
    (1997-08-01) Simmons, Cameron
    DNA vaccines are an exciting development in vaccine technology which may have a special role in preventing viral infections and as 'theracines' for cancer. Their use in preventing bacterial infections has, by comparison, been less well documented. While it is unlikely that traditional, highly successful and cheap vaccines for diseases such as diphtheria will be replaced by DNA vaccines, naked DNA may be particularly appropriate for preventing bacterial infections where cytotoxic T cells confer protection, or where a Th1 type T cell response mediates resistance. For example, DNA vaccines containing different mycobacterial antigens have been shown to inhibit overt infections by Mycobacterium tuberculosis in rodent models. The use of DNA vaccines in bacterial infections may be complicated by fundamental differences between prokaryotic and eukaryotic genes and gene products, including mRNA stability, codon bias, secondary structures surrounding native start sequences and glycosylation. These problems can be solved by re-synthesis of bacterial genes to produce 'new' sequences which are more highly expressed by eukaryotic cells.
  • Publication
  • Publication
    MHC class I-restricted cytotoxic lymphocyte responses induced by enterotoxin-based mucosal adjuvants
    (1999-12-15) Simmons, Cameron
    The ability of enterotoxin-based mucosal adjuvants to induce CD8+ MHC class I-restricted CTL responses to a codelivered bystander Ag was examined. Escherichia coli heat-labile toxin (LT), or derivatives of LT carrying mutations in the A subunit (LTR72, LTK63), were tested in parallel with cholera toxin (CT) or a fusion protein consisting of the A1 subunit of CT fused to the Ig binding domain of Staphylococcus aureus protein A (called CTA1-DD). Intranasal (i.n.) immunization of C57BL/6 mice with CT, CTA1-DD, LT, LTR72, LTK63, but not rLT-B, elicited MHC class I-restricted CD8+ T cell responses to coadministered OVA or the OVA CTL peptide SIINFEKL (OVA257-264). CT, LT, and LTR72 also induced CTL responses to OVA after s.c. or oral coimmunization whereas LTK63 only activated responses after s.c. coimmunization. rLT-B was unable to adjuvant CTL responses to OVA or OVA257-264 administered by any route. Mice treated with an anti-CD4 mAb to deplete CD4+ T cells mounted significant OVA-specific CTL responses after i.n. coadministration of LT with OVA or OVA257-264. Both 51Cr release assays and IFN-gamma enzyme-linked immunospot assays indicated that IFN-gamma-/- and IL-12 p40-/- gene knockout mice developed CTL responses equivalent to those detected in normal C57BL/6 mice. The results highlight the versatility of toxin-based adjuvants and suggest that LT potentiates CTL responses independently of IL-12 and IFN-gamma and probably by a mechanism unrelated to cross-priming.
  • Publication
    Cloning and manipulation of the Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis recA gene for live vaccine vector development
    (1996-09-01) Simmons, Cameron
    Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis is an intracellular bacterial pathogen causing a chronic abscessing disease in sheep and goats called caseous lymphadenitis. We are developing this bacterial species as a live vector system to deliver vaccine antigens to the animal immune system. Foreign genes expressed in bacterial hosts can be unstable so we undertook to delete the C. pseudotuberculosis chromosomal recA gene to determine whether a recA- background would reduce the frequency of recombination in cloned DNA. Homologous DNA recombination within an isogenic recA- C. pseudotuberculosis was 10-12-fold lower than that in the recA+ parental strain. Importantly, the recA mutation had no detectable affect upon the virulence of C. pseudotuberculosis in a mouse model. Taken together these results suggest that a recA- background may be useful in the further development of C. pseudotuberculosis as a vaccine vector.
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  • Publication
    Identification and characterization of a K88- and CS31A-like operon of a rabbit enteropathogenic Escherichia coli strain which encodes fimbriae involved in the colonization of rabbit intestine
    (1997-12-01) Simmons, Cameron
    Initiation of attaching-effacing lesions, which characterize infections with rabbit enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (REPEC), requires bacteria to adhere to the intestinal epithelium. This adherence is reflected in vitro by the affinity of these E. coli strains for various types of eukaryotic cells. TnphoA mutants of REPEC 83/39 (O15:H-) which had lost the ability to adhere to HEp-2 epithelial cells, guinea pig ileal brush borders, and mouse erythrocytes were generated. DNA sequencing of the region surrounding the inactivating transposon insertions within a 95-kb plasmid, designated pRAP for REPEC adherence plasmid, revealed extensive homology between that region and the structural genes of enterotoxigenic E. coli operons encoding the K88 and CS31A fimbrial adhesins and the genes for the afr2 adhesin from REPEC B10 (O103:H2). Seven genes of the ral operon (for REPEC adherence locus), including three putative minor fimbrial subunit genes (ralC, ralF, and ralH), a major fimbrial subunit gene (ralG), a gene of unknown function (ralI), and genes for two fimbrial subunit chaperones (ralD and ralE), were sequenced. When inoculated perorally into weanling rabbits, a mutant with a TnphoA insertion in the ralE gene showed a 10-fold reduction in colonizing ability, with only 1 of 10 rabbits excreting bacteria compared to all 5 of those infected with the wild-type parent strain (P = 0.002). The severity of the diarrheal illness caused by the mutant strain was also reduced. Western blotting of surface protein extracts of strain 83/39 with hyperimmune anti-83/39 antiserum, adsorbed with the ralE mutant, revealed a 32-kDa protein which was absent from protein extracts of two nonadherent mutants. The adsorbed antiserum also bound to the surface of strain 83/39 but not to nonadherent mutants, as detected by immunogold labeling. These results indicate that the ral operon of REPEC 83/39 contains genes necessary for the biosynthesis of fine fimbriae which are responsible for in vitro adherence of the bacteria and play a role in their colonization of, and hence virulence for, rabbits. The putative major fimbrial subunit is a protein with an observed molecular size of approximately 32 kDa which, when assembled, appears to form a capsule of fimbriae surrounding the bacterium similar to that described for CS31A.