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Francisella tularensis is the causative agent of a fatal human disease, tularemia. F. tularensis was used in bioweapon programs in the past and is now classified as a category A select agent owing to its possible use in bioterror attacks. Despite over a century since its discovery, an effective vaccine is yet to be developed. In this study four transposon insertion mutants of F. tularensis live vaccine strain LVS in Na-H antiporter FTL 0304, aromatic amino acid transporter FTL 0291, outer membrane protein A OmpA-like family protein FTL 0325 and a conserved hypothetical membrane protein gene FTL 0057 were evaluated for their attenuation and protective efficacy against F. tularensis SchuS4 strain. All four mutants were 100–1000 fold attenuated for virulence in mice than parental F. tularensis. Except for the FTL 0304, single intranasal immunization with the other three mutants provided 100% protection in BALB-c mice against intranasal challenge with virulent F. tularensis SchuS4. Differences in the protective ability of the FTL 0325 and FTL 0304 mutant which failed to provide protection against SchuS4 were investigated further. The results indicated that an early pro-inflammatory response and persistence in host tissues established a protective immunity against F. tularensis SchuS4 in the FTL 0325 immunized mice. No differences were observed in the levels of serum IgG antibodies amongst the two vaccinated groups. Recall response studies demonstrated that splenocytes from the FTL 0325 mutant immunized mice induced significantly higher levels of IFN-γ and IL-17 cytokines than the FTL 0304 immunized counterparts indicating development of an effective memory response. Collectively, this study demonstrates that persistence of the vaccine strain together with its ability to induce an early pro-inflammatory innate immune response and strong memory responses can discriminate between successful and failed vaccinations against tularemia. This study describes a live attenuated vaccine which may prove to be an ideal vaccine candidate for prevention of respiratory tularemia.



Autor: Manish Mahawar, Seham M. Rabadi, Sukalyani Banik, Sally V. Catlett, Dennis W. Metzger, Meenakshi Malik, Chandra Shekhar Bakshi

Fuente: http://plos.srce.hr/



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