[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have reported previously that a recombinant DNA vaccine consisting of four Ehrlichia ruminantium (Welgevonden) open reading frames (ORFs) known as the 1H12 cocktail provided protection against a virulent E. ruminantium (Welgevonden) needle challenge in sheep. In this study, we have investigated the vaccine effectiveness of two other cocktails of E. ruminantium (Welgevonden) ORFs, as well as single ORFs from the 1H12 cocktail, to protect sheep against a virulent needle challenge with the homologous strain. Each individual 1H12 ORF provided protection, but all the animals vaccinated with the other cocktails succumbed to the challenge.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The causative agent of heartwater, Ehrlichia ruminantium, is a tick-transmitted pathogen that infects bovine endothelial cells. Due to the obligate intracellular nature of this organism obtaining pure material in sufficient quantities for challenge studies is difficult. A murine model is frequently used to study potential vaccine candidates but giving reproducible challenges in this model for heartwater has always been problematic. We have therefore performed a series of experiments to optimize the parameters governing the reproducibility of challenge material. Two cryoprotectants were compared for the preparation of challenge material, buffered lactose peptone (BLP) and sucrose-potassium-glutamate (SPG). In addition two sources of virulent E. ruminantium were used, infected bovine endothelial cultures and infected mouse spleen homogenates. We also examined practical parameters affecting the reproducibility of challenge experiments: the time it takes to deliver the challenge material, the length of time a mouse remains immune to E. ruminantium challenge, and the effect of a given challenge dose. Finally, we performed a pilot study to determine whether mice could be used to titrate challenge material to be used for experiments in sheep. We found that: (a) E. ruminantium-infected mouse spleen homogenate provides more reproducible challenges than tissue culture material; (b) SPG is a better cryoprotectant than BLP; (c) challenge material should be used within 20min of thawing; (d) it is not essential to use syngeneic material for murine challenge experiments; (e) Balb/c mice are more sensitive to E. ruminantium challenge than C57BL/6J mice; (f) mice immunized by infection and treatment for use as positive immune controls should be challenged within 3 months of immunization; and (g) mice should be challenged with a dose not exceeding 10 LD(50)s.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A 1.2 kb polymorphic fragment from the Gardel isolate of Ehrlichia (formerly Cowdria) ruminantium was used to isolate a 15kb clone from the E. ruminantium Welgevonden LambdaGEM-11 library. This clone, WL2EL1, was subcloned and sequenced. Eight open reading frames (ORFs) were identified. The ORF in WL2EL1 which contained the Welgevonden homologue of the 1.2 kb polymorphic fragment was designated Cowdria polymorphic gene 1 (cpg1). The cpg1 ORF was cloned into pCMViUB, a genetic vaccine vector. Mice and sheep were immunized with pCMViUB/cpg1 by intramuscular injection and gene gun inoculation. Although all of the immunized mice died, there was a trend for mice that received larger amounts of pCMViUB/cpg1 DNA to survive longer. Four out of five sheep immunized with the construct survived lethal challenge.
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 11/2002; 969(1):147-50. DOI:10.1111/j.1749-6632.2002.tb04367.x · 4.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ehrlichia ruminantium GroEL and GroES genes were amplified from E. ruminantium Welgevonden genomic DNA and were cloned into genetic vaccine and Salmonella expression vectors. These constructs were used to inoculate Balb/c and C57BL/6J mice. Both GroEL and GroES induced low levels of protection in Balb/c and C57BL/6J mice immunized with the Salmonella expression vectors. None of the mice inoculated with the genetic vaccine survived. Immunological memory was also tested in these mice and a correlation between splenocyte proliferation and the survival rate was observed.
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 11/2002; 969:151-4. DOI:10.1111/j.1749-6632.2002.tb04368.x · 4.38 Impact Factor