[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In Austria, vaccination coverage against Bordetella pertussis infections during infancy is estimated at around 90%. Within the last years, however, the number of pertussis cases has increased steadily, not only in children but also in adolescents and adults, indicating both insufficient herd immunity and vaccine coverage. Waning immunity in the host and/or adaptation of the bacterium to the immunised hosts could contribute to the observed re-emergence of pertussis. In this study we therefore addressed the genetic variability in B. pertussis strains from several Austrian cities. Between the years 2002 and 2008, 110 samples were collected from Vienna (n = 32), Linz (n = 63) and Graz (n = 15) by nasopharyngeal swabs. DNA was extracted from the swabs, and bacterial sequence polymorphisms were examined by MLVA (multiple-locus variable number of tandem repeat analysis) (n = 77), by PCR amplification and conventional Sanger sequencing of the polymorphic regions of the prn (pertactin) gene (n = 110), and by amplification refractory mutation system quantitative PCR (ARMS-qPCR) (n = 110) to directly address polymorphisms in the genes encoding two pertussis toxin subunits (ptxA and ptxB), a fimbrial adhesin (fimD), tracheal colonisation factor (tcfA), and the virulence sensor protein (bvgS). Finally, the ptxP promoter region was screened by ARMS-qPCR for the presence of the ptxP3 allele, which has been associated with elevated production of pertussis toxin. The MLVA analysis revealed the highest level of polymorphisms with an absence of MLVA Type 29, which is found outside Austria. Only Prn subtypes Prn1/7, Prn2 and Prn3 were found with a predominance of the non-vaccine type Prn2. The analysis of the ptxA, ptxB, fimD, tcfA and bvgS polymorphisms showed a genotype mixed between the vaccine strain Tohama I and a clinical isolate from 2006 (L517). The major part of the samples (93%) displayed the ptxP3 allele. The consequences for the vaccination strategy are discussed.
PLoS ONE 07/2015; 10(7-7):e0132623. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0132623 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The four-component meningococcal serogroup B vaccine (4CMenB) vaccine was licensed by the European Medicines Agency in 2013. We evaluated current practice regarding multiple vaccines and the attitudes of paediatricians towards the 4CMenB before it became available in Austria in 2014.
We sent 1,624 Austrian paediatricians an email invitation to participate in our nationwide web-based survey and 231 responded.
Most participants regarded the 4CMenB vaccine as a long needed and necessary tool against meningococcal B disease. However, most participants would not co-administer this vaccine with other routine infant vaccines. The survey showed that 58.9% of paediatricians already co-administered the hexavalent vaccine with the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, but most of them would not add a third vaccine at the same visit. This was mainly due to lack of experience with the vaccine and also because they assumed that parents would not consent. Importantly, paediatricians said they wanted an explicit recommendation in the Austrian Immunisation Plan on the timing of the 4CMenB vaccine before they would confidently and routinely use it for infants.
Paediatricians required more information for themselves and for parents before routinely co-administering the 4CMenB vaccine. They also requested a national recommendation on its timing. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Infection with the ubiquitous parasite Toxoplasma gondii is a threat for immunocompromised patients and pregnant women and effective immune-prophylaxis is still lacking.
Here we tested a mixture of recombinant T. gondii antigens expressed in different developmental stages, i.e., SAG1, MAG1 and GRA7 (SMG), and a lysate derived from T. gondii tachyzoites (TLA) for prophylactic vaccination against cyst formation. Both vaccine formulations were applied systemically followed by an oral TLA-booster in BALB/c mice.
Systemic priming with SMG and oral TLA-booster did not show significant induction of protective immune responses. In contrast, systemic priming and oral booster with TLA induced higher levels of Toxoplasma-specific IgG, IgG1 and IgG2a in sera as well as high levels of Toxoplasma-specific IgG1 in small intestines. Furthermore, high levels of Toxoplasma-specific Th1-, Th17- and Th2-associated cytokines were only detected in restimulated splenocytes of TLA-vaccinated mice. Importantly, in mice orally infected with T. gondii oocysts, only TLA-vaccination and booster reduced brain cysts. Furthermore, sera from these mice reduced tachyzoites invasion of Vero cells in vitro, indicating that antibodies may play a critical role for protection against Toxoplasma infection. Additionally, supernatants from splenocyte cultures of TLA-vaccinated mice containing high levels of IFN-γ lead to substantial production of nitric oxide (NO) after incubation with macrophages in vitro. Since NO is involved in the control of parasite growth, the high levels of IFN-γ induced by vaccination with TLA may contribute to the protection against T. gondii.
In conclusion, our data indicate that prime-boost approach with TLA, but not with the mixture of recombinant antigens SMG, induces effective humoral and cellular Toxoplasma-specific responses and leads to significant reduction of cerebral cysts, thereby presenting a viable strategy for further vaccine development against T. gondii infection.
PLoS ONE 05/2015; 10(5):e0126334. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0126334 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background Our previous studies on intranasal tolerance induction demonstrated reduction of allergic responses with different allergen constructs. The underlying mechanisms varied depending on their conformation or size. Objective The aim of the present study was to compare the uptake of two structurally different allergen molecules within the respiratory tract following intranasal application. Methods The three-dimensional Bet v 1 (Bv1-Protein) and the T cell epitope peptide of Bet v 1 (Bv1- Peptide) were labelled with 5,6-Carboxyfluorescein (FAM) and their uptake was investigated in lung cells and cells of the nasal associated lymphoid tissue from naive and sensitised BALB/c mice. Phenotypic characterisation of FAM+ lung cells after antigen incubation in vitro and after intranasal application was performed by flow cytometry. Impact of Bv1-Protein and Bv1-Peptide on cytokine profiles and gene expression in vivo or in an alveolar epithelial type II (ATII) cell line were assessed in mono- and co-cultures with monocytes using ELISA and quantitative real-time PCR. Results Both antigens were taken up preferably by ATII-like cells (ATII-LCs) in naive mice, and by macrophages in sensitised mice. After intranasal application, Bv1-Peptide was taken up faster and more efficiently than Bv1-Protein. In vivo and in vitro experiments revealed that Bv1-Protein induced the transcription of thymic stromal lymphopoietin mRNA while Bv1- Peptide induced the transcription of IL-10 and MCP1 mRNA in ATII-LCs. Conclusion and Clinical Relevance Both tested antigens were taken up by ATII-LCs under steady state conditions and induced different polarisation of the immune responses. These data may have an important impact for the generation of novel and more effective prophylactic or therapeutic tools targeting the respiratory mucosa.
PLoS ONE 04/2015; 10(4):e0124777. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0124777 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose of review
In order to survive in their host, parasitic worms (helminths) have evolved cunning strategies to manipulate the host immune system, some of which may lead to protection from immune dysregulatory diseases such as allergy. Thus, loss of exposure to helminths due to a highly hygienic life style might have contributed to the fact that living in an industrialized country is being associated with an increased prevalence of allergic diseases. However, it must be pointed out that certain helminth infections can in fact induce an allergic phenotype. Factors such as different parasite species, timing of infection in relation to allergic sensitization, or duration and intensity of infection may influence the association between helminth infections and the development or clinical course of allergic disease. In the present article, we review studies that have explored the interaction between helminth infections and allergy in epidemiological and experimental studies. Furthermore, the possibility of using helminths or helminth-derived molecules for the treatment of allergic diseases is discussed with a focus on evidence from clinical trials.
During the past 10 years, many exciting and important studies have found that certain helminth infections protect against the development of allergic diseases. Not surprisingly, several clinical trials investigated the effects of deliberate exposure to parasites like porcine whipworm (Trichuris suis) or hookworm (Necator americanus) to develop “helminth therapies”. Although they proved to be a safe option to control aberrant inflammation, the final goal is to identify the parasite-derived immunnomodulatory molecules responsible for protective effects.
Wiener Medizinische Wochenschrift 10/2014; 164(19-20). DOI:10.1007/s10354-014-0308-7
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Trees belonging to the order of Fagales show a distinct geographical distribution. While alder and birch are endemic in the temperate zones of the Northern hemisphere, hazel, hornbeam, and oak prefer a warmer climate. However, specific immunotherapy of Fagales pollen allergic patients is mainly performed using birch pollen extracts, thus limiting the success of this intervention in birch-free areas.
T cells are considered key players in the modification of an allergic immune response during SIT, therefore we thought to combine linear T cell epitope-containing stretches of the five most important Fagales allergens from birch, hazel, alder, oak, and hornbeam resulting in a Fagales pollen hybrid molecule (FPH) applicable for SIT.
FPH was generated by PCR-based recombination of low IgE-binding allergen epitopes. Moreover, a structural-variant PH4 was calculated by in silico mutagenesis, rendering the protein unable to adopt the Bet v 1-like fold. Both molecules were produced in E. coli, characterized physico-chemically as well as immunologically and tested in mouse models of allergic sensitization as well as allergy prophylaxis.
Using spectroscopic analyses both proteins were monomeric, the secondary structure elements of FPH resemble the ones typical for Bet v 1-like proteins, whereas FPH4 showed increased amounts of unordered structure. Both molecules displayed reduced binding capacities of Bet v 1-specific IgE antibodies. However, in a mouse model the proteins were able to induce high IgG titers cross-reactive with all parental allergens. Moreover, prophylactic treatment with the hybrid proteins prevented pollen extract-induced allergic lung inflammation in vivo.
The hybrid molecules showed a more efficient uptake and processing by dendritic cells resulting in a modified T cell response. The proteins had a lower IgE-binding capacity compared to the parental allergens, thus the high safety profile and increased efficacy emphasizes clinical application for the treatment of Fagales multi-sensitization. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In Austria the vaccination coverage among health care workers (HCW) - particularly among hospital personnel - is not sufficient. This is of specific concern, because not only the individual protection but also the prevention of disease transmission of vaccine preventable diseases between HCW and patients needs to be guaranteed. Particularly immunosuppressed patients, who are at higher risk for morbidity and mortality due to certain infections, but cannot be vaccination themselves, must be able to rely on herd protection, i.e. not being infected by surrounding/caring persons.The following publication provides for the first time detailed guidelines for vaccination programs for HCWs in Austria, including personnel within hospitals, medical institutions and laboratories, as well as Medical Universities including students. Moreover, these guidelines are also recommended to medical personnel in outpatient clinics, social service institutions and medical practices.Additionally to the vaccination schedules this publication also includes a chapter on ethical as well as legal background underlying these recommendations.
Wiener klinische Wochenschrift 11/2013; 126. DOI:10.1007/s00508-013-0461-9 · 0.84 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Unlabelled:
In a prospective surveillance study covering all pediatric wards in Austria, 308 cases of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) were reported in hospitalized children <5 years of age between 2002 and 2012. Incidence was 7.1 per 100,000 per year for IPD with a case fatality rate of 3 %, and 1.9 per 100,000 per year for pneumococcal meningitis with a case fatality rate of 9 %. At hospital discharge, 17 % of the children were not fully recovered and suffered from problems such as hearing or motor deficits. Persistent sequelae 6 months after hospital discharge were present in 13 % of the children, a finding that emphasizes the seriousness of IPD. From 2007 onwards, we observed a shift of pneumococcal serotypes from those covered by the heptavalent vaccine to serotypes consequently added to 10- and 13-valent vaccines, particularly regarding serotype 19A. Among antimicrobial resistances detected, macrolide resistance was predominant; however, between 2002 and 2012, we saw an overall decrease of resistance rates.
Considering this change of serotypes and the high rate of permanent sequelae after IPD, our data show the importance of pediatric pneumococcal vaccination and the relevance of continuous monitoring of circulating serotypes. By the end of 2012, which was the first year of universal mass vaccination against pneumococcal disease in Austria, no change in the incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease was observed yet.
European Journal of Pediatrics 11/2013; 173(4). DOI:10.1007/s00431-013-2193-2 · 1.89 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The main goal in reversing the allergy epidemic is the development of effective prophylactic strategies. We investigated the prophylactic effect of neonatal mother-to-offspring mono-colonization with Bifidobacterium longum ssp. longum CCM 7952 on subsequent allergic sensitization. Adult male and female germ-free (GF) mice were mono-colonized with B. longum, mated and their offspring, as well as age-matched GF controls, were sensitized with the major birch pollen allergen Bet v 1. Furthermore, signaling pathways involved in the recognition of B. longum were investigated in vitro. Neonatal mono-colonization of GF mice with B. longum suppressed Bet v 1-specific IgE-dependent β-hexosaminidase release as well as levels of total IgE and allergen-specific IgG2a in serum compared to sensitized GF controls. Accordingly, Bet v 1-induced production of both Th1- and Th2-associated cytokines in spleen cell cultures was significantly reduced in these mice. The general suppression of Bet v 1-specific immune responses in B. longum colonized mice was associated with increased levels of regulatory cytokines IL-10 and TGF-β in serum. In vitro, B. longum induced low maturation status of bone marrow-derived dendritic cells and production of IL-10 in TLR2-, MyD88-, and MAPK-dependent manner. Our data demonstrate that neonatal mono-colonization with B. longum reduces allergic sensitization, likely by activation of regulatory responses via TLR2, MyD88, and MAPK signaling pathways. Thus, B. longum might be a promising candidate for perinatal intervention strategies against the onset of allergic diseases in humans.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Low responsiveness/nonresponsiveness is characterized by an insufficient immune response upon primary and/or booster vaccination and affects 1-10% of vaccinees. In the current study, we aimed to investigate whether nonresponsiveness is an Ag/vaccine-specific phenomenon and to clarify underlying immunological mechanisms. Nonresponders to tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) or hepatitis B Ag with a history of previous TBE vaccinations were booster vaccinated with TBE and influenza vaccine and compared with TBE high responders in terms of humoral and cellular immune response. Postboosters in TBE high responder existing TBE titers increased, and solid humoral responses to influenza vaccine were induced. In TBE nonresponders, low to undetectable prevaccination TBE titers remained low, whereas sufficient influenza Abs were induced. In both TBE groups, a positive correlation of humoral and cellular immune response was seen as high/low TBE titers were associated with sufficient/lack of Ag-specific T cell proliferation. Furthermore, responses to influenza were robust in terms of Abs and cytokine production. In contrast, in hepatitis B nonresponders, sufficient humoral responses to TBE and influenza Ags were induced despite lacking specific IL-2 and IFN-γ production. Importantly, these patients showed high IL-10 baseline levels in vitro. HLA-DR subtypes associated with hepatitis B nonresponsiveness were overrepresented in this group, and high IL-10 levels were linked to these subtypes. Whereas TBE and hepatitis B nonresponders had increased IL-10-producing FOXP3(+) T regulatory cells upon vaccination, only in hepatitis B nonresponders, showing elevated prevaccination IL-10 levels, a prominent population of B regulatory cells was detected. We conclude that immunological pathways of nonresponsiveness follow different patterns depending both on vaccine Ag and genetic predisposition of the vaccinee.
The Journal of Immunology 07/2013; 191(5). DOI:10.4049/jimmunol.1300293 · 4.92 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: One third of the human population is currently infected by one or more species of parasitic helminths. Certain helminths establish long-term chronic infections resulting in a modulation of the host's immune system with attenuated responsiveness to "bystander" antigens such as allergens or vaccines. In this study we investigated whether parasite-derived products suppress the development of allergic inflammation in a mouse model. We show that extract derived from adult male Oesophagostomum dentatum (eMOD) induced Th2 and regulatory responses in BALB/c mice. Stimulation of bone marrow-derived dendritic cells induced production of regulatory cytokines IL-10 and TGF-beta. In a mouse model of birch pollen allergy, co-administration of eMOD with sensitizing allergen Bet v 1 markedly reduced the production of allergen-specific antibodies in serum as well as IgE-dependent basophil degranulation. Furthermore, eMOD prevented the development of airway inflammation, as demonstrated by attenuation of bronchoalveolar lavages eosinophil influx, peribronchial inflammatory infiltrate, and mucus secretion in lungs and IL-4 and IL-5 levels in lung cell cultures. Reduced secretion of Th2-related cytokines by birch pollen-re-stimulated splenocytes and mesenteric lymph node cells was observed in eMOD-treated/sensitized and challenged mice in comparison to sensitized and challenged controls. The suppressive effects of eMOD were heat-stable. Immunization with model antigens in the presence of eMOD reduced production of antibodies to thymus-dependent but not to thymus-independent antigen, suggesting that suppression of the immune responses by eMOD was mediated by interference with antigen presenting cell or T helper cell function but did not directly suppress B cell function. In conclusion, we have shown that eMOD possesses immunomodulatory properties and that heat-stable factors in eMOD are responsible for the dramatic suppression of allergic responses in a mouse model of type I allergy. The identification and characterization of parasite-derived immune-modulating molecules might have potential for designing novel prophylactic/therapeutic strategies for immune-mediated diseases.
PLoS ONE 07/2013; 8(7):e67544. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0067544 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Immunologic interventions in a subset of breast cancer patients represent a well-established therapeutic approach reflecting individualized treatment modalities. Thus, the therapeutic administration of monoclonal antibodies targeting tumor-associated antigens (TAA), such as Her-2/neu, represents a milestone in cancer treatment. However, passive antibody administration suffers from several drawbacks, including frequency and long duration of treatment. These undesirables may be avoidable in an approach based on generating active immune responses against these same targets. Only recently has the significance of tumors in relation to their microenvironments been understood as essential for creating an effective cancer vaccine. In particular, the immune system plays an important role in suppressing or promoting tumor formation and growth. Therefore, activation of appropriate triggers (such as induction of Th1 cells, CD8+ T cells, and suppression of regulatory cells in combination with generation of antibodies with anti-tumor activity) is a desirable goal. Current vaccination approaches have concentrated on therapeutic vaccines using certain TAA. Many cancer antigens, including breast cancer antigens, have been described and also given priority ranking for use as vaccine antigens by the US National Cancer Institute. One of the TAA antigens which has been thoroughly examined in numerous trials is Her-2/neu. This review will discuss delivery systems for this antigen with special focus on T and B cell peptide vaccines. Attention will be given to their advantages and limitations, as well as the use of certain adjuvants to improve anti-cancer responses.
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 01/2013; 138(1). DOI:10.1007/s10549-013-2410-8 · 3.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In a sample of originally 430 healthy adults (18-84 years of age) with documented basic and booster immunization against tick borne encephalitis, cumulative seroprotection rates 8 (n=178) and 10 years (n=183) after the last booster dose were 86.8% and 77.3% according to the neutralization test, respectively. In subjects aged 50 years and older, antibody titers were significantly lower compared to subjects younger than 50 years. History of any allergy but not previous exposure to other flaviviral antigens was associated with higher neutralization titers. In subjects with waning immunity, a single booster dose induced a strong anamnestic antibody response.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: IgE antibody-mediated allergies affect more than 25% of the population worldwide. To investigate therapeutic and preventive effects of passive immunization with allergen-specific IgG antibodies on allergy in mouse models we used clinically relevant pollen allergens. In a treatment model, mice were sensitized to the major birch pollen allergen Bet v 1 and to the major grass pollen allergens, Phl p 1 and Phl p 5 and then received passive immunization with rabbit IgG antibodies specific for the sensitizing or an unrelated allergen. In a prevention model, mice obtained passive immunization with allergen-specific rabbit IgG before sensitization. Kinetics of the levels of administered IgG antibodies, effects of administered allergen-specific IgG on allergen-specific IgE reactivity, the development of IgE and IgG responses and on immediate allergic reactions were studied by ELISA, rat basophil leukaemia degranulation assays and skin testing, respectively. Treated mice showed an approximately 80% reduction of allergen-specific IgE binding and basophil degranulation which was associated with the levels of administered allergen-specific IgG antibodies. Preventive administration of allergen-specific IgG antibodies suppressed the development of allergen-specific IgE and IgG(1) antibody responses as well as allergen-induced basophil degranulation and skin reactivity. Our results show that passive immunization with allergen-specific IgG antibodies is effective for treatment and prevention of allergy to clinically important pollen allergens in a mouse model and thus may pave the road for the clinical application of allergen-specific antibodies in humans.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Travelers' diarrhea (TD) is the most important health issue among international travelers. In high risk areas, 50-90% of travelers may experience an episode of TD. The risk of acquiring TD is influenced by factors such as the destination, duration of stay, standard of accommodation, type of travel, age of the traveler, and also by individual risk factors. Most cases of TD are caused by bacteria; treatment for TD are loperamide and antibiotics. Preventive strategies such as hygiene measures have limited impact. Prophylactic intake of antibiotics or vaccines to prevent from TD can be considered in special situations.
Infectious disease clinics of North America 09/2012; 26(3):691-706. DOI:10.1016/j.idc.2012.06.002 · 2.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Indianmeal moth Plodia interpunctella is a highly prevalent food pest in human dwellings, and has been shown to contain a number of allergens. So far, only one of these, the arginine kinase (Plo i 1) has been identified.
The aim of this study was to identify further allergens and characterise these in comparison to Plo i 1.
A cDNA library from whole adult P. interpunctella was screened with the serum of a patient with indoor allergy and IgE to moths, and thioredoxin was identified as an IgE-binding protein. Recombinant thioredoxin was generated in E. coli, and tested together with Plo i 1 and whole moth extracts in IgE immunoblots against a large panel of indoor allergic patients' sera. BALB/c mice were immunised with recombinant thioredoxin and Plo i 1, and antibody production, mediator release from RBL cells, T-cell proliferation and cytokine production were measured.
For the first time a thioredoxin from an animal species was identified as allergen. About 8% of the sera from patients with IgE against moth extracts reacted with recombinant P. interpunctella thioredoxin, compared to 25% reacting with recombinant Plo i 1. In immunised BALB/c mice, the recombinant allergens both induced classical Th2-biased immune responses such as induction IgE and IgG1 antibodies, upregulation of IL-5 and IL-4 and basophil degranulation.
Thioredoxin from moths like Plo i 1 acts like a classical Type I allergen as do the thioredoxins from wheat or corn. This clearly supports the pan-allergen nature of thioredoxin. The designation Plo i 2 is suggested for the new P. interpunctella allergen.
PLoS ONE 07/2012; 7(7):e42026. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0042026 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The hygiene hypothesis implies that microbial agents including probiotic bacteria may modulate foetal/neonatal immune programming and hence offer effective strategies for primary allergy prevention; however their mechanisms of action are poorly understood. We investigated whether oral administration of Lactobacillus paracasei NCC 2461 to mothers during gestation/lactation can protect against airway inflammation in offspring in a mouse model of birch pollen allergy, and examined the immune mechanisms involved.
BALB/c mice were treated daily with L. paracasei in drinking water or drinking water alone in the last week of gestation and during lactation. Their offspring were sensitized with recombinant Bet v 1, followed by aerosol challenge with birch pollen extract.
Maternal exposure to L. paracasei prevented the development of airway inflammation in offspring, as demonstrated by attenuation of eosinophil influx in the lungs; reduction of IL-5 levels in bronchoalveolar lavage, and in lung and mediastinal lymph node cell cultures; and reduced peribronchial inflammatory infiltrate and mucus hypersecretion. While allergen-specific IgE and IgG antibody levels remained unchanged by the treatment, IL-4 and IL-5 production in spleen cell cultures were significantly reduced upon allergen stimulation in offspring of L. paracasei treated mice. Offspring of L. paracasei supplemented mothers had significantly reduced Bet v 1-specific as well as Concanavalin A-induced responses in spleen and mesenteric lymph node cell cultures, suggesting the modulation of both antigen-specific and mitogen-induced immune responses in offspring. These effects were associated with increased Foxp3 mRNA expression in the lungs and increased TGF-beta in serum.
Our data show that in a mouse model of birch pollen allergy, perinatal administration of L. paracasei NCC 2461 to pregnant/lactating mothers protects against the development of airway inflammation in offspring by activating regulatory pathways, likely through TLR2/4 signalling.
PLoS ONE 07/2012; 7(7):e40271. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0040271 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Among birch pollen allergic patients up to 70% develop allergic reactions to Bet v 1-homologue food allergens such as Api g 1 (celery) or Dau c 1 (carrot), termed as birch pollen-related food allergy. In most cases, specific immunotherapy with birch pollen extracts does not reduce allergic symptoms to the homologue food allergens. We therefore genetically engineered a multi-allergen chimer and tested if mucosal treatment with this construct could represent a novel approach for prevention of birch pollen-related food allergy.
BALB/c mice were poly-sensitized with a mixture of Bet v 1, Api g 1 and Dau c 1 followed by a sublingual challenge with carrot, celery and birch pollen extracts. For prevention of allergy sensitization an allergen chimer composed of immunodominant T cell epitopes of Api g 1 and Dau c 1 linked to the whole Bet v 1 allergen, was intranasally applied prior to sensitization.
Intranasal pretreatment with the allergen chimer led to significantly decreased antigen-specific IgE-dependent β-hexosaminidase release, but enhanced allergen-specific IgG2a and IgA antibodies. Accordingly, IL-4 levels in spleen cell cultures and IL-5 levels in restimulated spleen and cervical lymph node cell cultures were markedly reduced, while IFN-γ levels were increased. Immunomodulation was associated with increased IL-10, TGF-β and Foxp3 mRNA levels in NALT and Foxp3 in oral mucosal tissues. Treatment with anti-TGF-β, anti-IL10R or anti-CD25 antibodies abrogated the suppression of allergic responses induced by the chimer.
Our results indicate that mucosal application of the allergen chimer led to decreased Th2 immune responses against Bet v 1 and its homologue food allergens Api g 1 and Dau c 1 by regulatory and Th1-biased immune responses. These data suggest that mucosal treatment with a multi-allergen vaccine could be a promising treatment strategy to prevent birch pollen-related food allergy.
PLoS ONE 06/2012; 7(6):e39409. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0039409 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Excepting tropical Africa, where Plasmodium falciparum prevails, Plasmodium vivax is the most frequent cause of malaria in Asia and Latin America. First reliable reports of chloroquine resistance came in 1989 from the area of the distribution of the Chesson-strain of P. vivax. Since then, reports also came from other areas of the world. This study had the objective of measuring the sensitivity of P.vivax to chloroquine and potential alternative compounds in western Thailand. The study was performed in 2008 in Mae Sot, Tak Province, and followed the method of Tasanor. The IC(50) and IC(90) values for chloroquine were 167 nM and 5445 nM, those for mefloquine were 139 nM and 5282 nM, those for artemisinin were 32 nM and 466 nM, and those for atovaquone 30 nM and 650 nM. The values for chloroquine indicate the existing or imminent occurrence of specific resistance. High prevalence of mefloquine resistance precludes its alternative use. However, atovaquone, in combination with proguanil, may be a possible alternative.