[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Microbial pathogens with the ability to establish chronic infections have evolved strategies to actively modulate the host immune response. Brucellosis is a disease caused by a Gram-negative intracellular pathogen that if not treated during the initial phase of the infection becomes chronic as the bacteria persist for the lifespan of the host. How this pathogen and others achieve this action is a largely unanswered question. We report here the identification of a Brucella abortus gene (prpA) directly involved in the immune modulation of the host. PrpA belongs to the proline-racemase family and elicits a B lymphocyte polyclonal activation that depends on the integrity of its proline-racemase catalytic site. Stimulation of splenocytes with PrpA also results in IL-10 secretion. Construction of a B. abortus-prpA mutant allowed us to assess the contribution of PrpA to the infection process. Mice infected with B. abortus induced an early and transient nonresponsive status of splenocytes to both Escherichia coli LPS and ConA. This phenomenon was not observed when mice were infected with a B. abortus-prpA mutant. Moreover, the B. abortus-prpA mutant had a reduced capacity to establish a chronic infection in mice. We propose that an early and transient nonresponsive immune condition of the host mediated by this B cell polyclonal activator is required for establishing a successful chronic infection by Brucella.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/2006; 103(44):16514-9. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Brucella abortus S19 is the vaccine most frequently used against bovine brucellosis. Although it induces good protection levels, it cannot be administered to pregnant cattle, revaccination is not advised due to interference in the discrimination between infected and vaccinated animals during immune-screening procedures, and the vaccine is virulent for humans. Due to these reasons, there is a continuous search for new bovine vaccine candidates that may confer protection levels comparable to those conferred by S19 but without its disadvantages. A previous study characterized the phenotype associated with the phosphoglucomutase (pgm) gene disruption in Brucella abortus S2308, as well as the possible role for the smooth lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in virulence and intracellular multiplication in HeLa cells (J. E. Ugalde, C. Czibener, M. F. Feldman, and R. A. Ugalde, Infect. Immun. 68:5716-5723, 2000). In this report, we analyze the protection, proliferative response, and cytokine production induced in BALB/c mice by a deltapgm deletion strain. We show that this strain synthesizes O antigen with a size of approximately 45 kDa but is rough. This is due to the fact that the deltapgm strain is unable to assemble the O side chain in the complete LPS. Vaccination with the deltapgm strain induced protection levels comparable to those induced by S19 and generated a proliferative splenocyte response and a cytokine profile typical of a Th1 response. On the other hand, we were unable to detect a specific anti-O-antigen antibody response by using the fluorescence polarization assay. In view of these results, the possibility that the deltapgm mutant could be used as a vaccination strain is discussed.
Infection and Immunity 12/2003; 71(11):6264-9. · 4.07 Impact Factor