In this study, the efficacy of two experimental vaccines against Bacillus anthracis toxinaemia was evaluated in the rabbit model. A recombinant Protective Antigen (rPA) mutant and a trivalent vaccine (TV) composed by the rPA, a inactive mutant of Lethal Factor (mLF-Y728A; E735A) and a inactive mutant of Edema Factor (mEF-K346R), both emulsified with mineral oils, were evaluated for their immunogenicity and protective activity in New Zealand white rabbits. Rabbits vaccinated subcutaneously with rPA and TV rapidly produced high level of anti-PA, anti-LF and anti-EF antibodies, which were still present 6 months later. In the efficacy test, these vaccines protected 100% of rabbits challenged with B. anthracis virulent strain 0843 one week after the vaccination. Moreover, all animals vaccinated twice with rPA and TV, resisted B. anthracis infection 6 months later. Our data indicate that rPA and TV could be good vaccine candidates for inducing protection against B. anthracis infection in target animal host. They could successfully be used in an emergency with simultaneous long-acting antibiotics to halt incubating infections or during an anthrax epidemic.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Anthrax is a non-contagious disease, known since ancient times. However, it became a matter of global public interest after the bioterrorist attacks in the U.S.A. during the autumn of 2001. The concern of politicians and civil authorities everywhere towards this emergency necessitated a significant research effort and the prevention of new bioterrorist acts. Anthrax is primarily a disease that affects livestock and wildlife; its distribution is worldwide; and it can represent a danger to humans but especially more so when it occurs in areas considered to be free and in atypical seasons and climatic conditions. The atypicality of the phenomenon may lead health workers to misdiagnose and, consequently, an inappropriately manage of affected carcasses with a consequent and inevitable increase in the risk of human infection. This article emphasises the importance of paying increasing attention to this zoonosis. The biggest risk is its underestimation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The anthrax protective antigen (PA) is the receptor-binding subunit common to lethal toxin (LT) and edema toxin (ET), which are responsible for the high mortality rates associated with inhalational Bacillus anthracis infection. Although recombinant PA (rPA) is likely to be an important constituent of any future anthrax vaccine, evaluation of the efficacies of the various candidate rPA vaccines is currently difficult, because the specific B-cell epitopes involved in toxin neutralization have not been completely defined. In this study, we describe the identification and characterization of two murine monoclonal immunoglobulin G1 antibodies (MAbs), 1-F1 and 2-B12, which recognize distinct linear neutralizing epitopes on domain 4 of PA. 1-F1 recognized a 12-mer peptide corresponding to residues 692 to 703; this epitope maps to a region of domain 4 known to interact with the anthrax toxin receptor CMG-2 and within a conformation-dependent epitope recognized by the well-characterized neutralizing MAb 14B7. As expected, 1-F1 blocked PA's ability to associate with CMG-2 in an in vitro solid-phase binding assay, and it protected murine macrophage cells from intoxication with LT. 2-B12 recognized a 12-mer peptide corresponding to residues 716 to 727, an epitope located immediately adjacent to the core 14B7 binding site and a stretch of amino acids not previously identified as a target of neutralizing antibodies. 2-B12 was as effective as 1-F1 in neutralizing LT in vitro, although it only partially inhibited PA binding to its receptor. Mice passively administered 1-F1 or 2-B12 were partially protected against a lethal challenge with LT. These results advance our fundamental understanding of the mechanisms by which antibodies neutralize anthrax toxin and may have future application in the evaluation of candidate rPA vaccines.
Infection and immunity 09/2009; 77(11):4859-67. DOI:10.1128/IAI.00117-09 · 3.73 Impact Factor
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