Laura Stoeker

North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, United States

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Publications (6)16.42 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: HIV infection is associated with intestinal mucosal dysfunction and probiotics offer the therapeutic potential to enhance the mucosal barrier in HIV+ patients. To evaluate the response of immunocompromised hosts to probiotics, we orally administered Lactobacillus acidophilus to cats with chronic feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) infection. FIV infection significantly affected transcellular, but not paracellular, transport of small molecules across the intestinal epithelium. Additionally, probiotic treatment of FIV+ cats resulted in changes in cytokine release and mucosal leukocyte percentages that were not paralleled in FIV- cats. These results suggest a novel role for FIV in upregulating transcellular transport across the gastrointestinal epithelial barrier and demonstrate the potential therapeutic use of probiotic bacteria to restore intestinal homeostasis.
    Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 02/2013; · 1.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Oral vaccines that elicit a mucosal immune response may be effective against human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) because its transmission occurs mainly at the mucosa. The aim of this study was to construct recombinant Lactobacillus for oral delivery of oral vaccines against HIV-1 and to evaluate their immunogenicity. A recombinant Lactobacillus acidophilus strain expressing the HIV-1 Gag on the bacterial cell surface was established by fusion with the signal peptide and anchor motif of a mucus binding protein (Mub) from L. acidophilus with or without coexpression of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium flagellin (FliC) fused to a different Mub signal peptide and anchor. Using HEK293 cells engineered to express Toll-like receptor 5 (TLR5), the biological activity of FliC on the bacterial cell surfaces was determined. The surface-exposed flagellin retained its TLR5-stimulating activity, suggesting that the recombinant strain with Gag and FliC dual display might provide a different immunopotency than the strain expressing only Gag. The immunological properties of the recombinant strains were assessed by coculture with human myeloid dendritic cells (DCs). The heterologous antigens on the cell surface affected maturation and cytokine responses of DCs. Acquired immune responses were also investigated by intragastric immunization of mice. The enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot assay showed induction of gamma interferon-producing cells at local mucosa after immunization of mice with the Gag-producing strain. Meanwhile, the immunization with L. acidophilus displaying both Gag and FliC resulted in an increase of Gag-specific IgA-secreting cells. These results suggested that the Gag-displaying L. acidophilus elicited specific immune responses and the coexistence of FliC conferred an adjuvant effect on local IgA production.
    Clinical and vaccine Immunology: CVI 07/2012; 19(9):1374-81. · 2.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lactobacillus species are commensal bacteria that have long been recognized as probiotic microbes and are generally regarded as safe (GRAS) for human consumption. We have investigated the use of L. gasseri as a vaccine vector for oral immunization against mucosal pathogens. Recent research has shown that the immune response to different lactobacilli can vary widely depending on the species or subspecies of Lactobacillus being studied. While some lactobacilli seem to induce oral tolerance, others induce an adaptive immune response. This study characterized the systemic and mucosal immune response to wild-type and genetically modified L. gasseri. L. gasseri primarily activates TLR2/6, with additional activation through the TLR2 homodimer. To expand the Toll-like receptor (TLR) activation profile of L. gasseri and the immunogenicity of the vector, a plasmid containing fliC, the gene encoding bacterial flagellin, was introduced which resulted in the strong activation of TLR5. The treatment of human myeloid dendritic cells with recombinant lactobacilli expressing flagellin triggered phenotypic maturation and the release of proinflammatory cytokines. In contrast, bacterial treatment also resulted in a statistically significant increase in IL-10 production. In vivo studies established that treatment with L. gasseri led to a diversification of B-cell populations in the lamina propria of the murine colon. Furthermore, treatment with genetically modified L. gasseri led to a significant decrease in the percentage of FoxP3(+) colonic lymphocytes. Taken together, these data clarify the interaction of L. gasseri with the host immune system and support further investigation of the in vivo immunogenicity of L. gasseri expressing both flagellin and candidate vaccine antigens.
    Clinical and vaccine Immunology: CVI 09/2011; 18(11):1834-44. · 2.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Display of heterologous antigens on the cell surface is considered a useful technique for vaccine delivery by recombinant lactobacilli. In this study, two recombinant Lactobacillus acidophilus derivatives displaying Salmonella flagellin (FliC) were constructed using different anchor motifs. In one instance, the FliC protein was fused to the C-terminal region of a cell envelope proteinase (PrtP) and was bound to the cell wall by electrostatic bonds. In the other case, the same antigen was conjugated to the anchor region of mucus binding protein (Mub) and was covalently associated with the cell wall by an LPXTG motif. These two recombinant L. acidophilus cell surface displays resulted in dissimilar maturation and cytokine production by human myeloid dendritic cells. The surface-associated antigen was highly sensitive to simulated gastric and small intestinal juices. By supplementation with bicarbonate buffer and soybean trypsin inhibitor, the cell surface antigen was protected from proteolytic enzymes during gastric challenge in vitro. The protective reagents also increased the viability of the L. acidophilus cells upon challenge with simulated digestive juices. These results demonstrate the importance of protecting cells and their surface-associated antigens during oral immunization.
    Applied and environmental microbiology 07/2011; 77(18):6587-96. · 3.69 Impact Factor
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    Retrovirology 01/2009; · 5.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Arterial base deficit is used in assessing trauma patient oxygen debt, life saving intervention requirements, resuscitation adequacy, and mortality risk. Venous blood samples are simpler and less painful to obtain than arterial samples. Theoretically, venous base deficit values might substitute for arterial values. Methods: 8 anesthetized, ventilated dogs were hemorrhaged (H, 90min mean arterial pressure [MAP]=35-40mmHg or MAP<30mmHg>10min or MAP<25mmHg>1min), hypotensively stabilized (S, 120min enalaprilat 0.01mg/kg/hr + hemoglobin based oxygen carrier [HBOC] or 7.8% hypertonic saline dextran 70 [HSD] for MAP=40-45mmHg), resuscitated (60min lactated Ringer’s for MAP=75-80mmHg), monitored (60min no fluids), and euthanized. Arterial and venous base deficit were measured every 30 minutes using the clinical laboratory and a point of care device. Results: Almost all venous base deficit values were larger than matched arterial values. The smallest arterial to venous differences detected with the two different measurement methods matched. Conclusions: When systemic blood flow is high, venous base deficit can be used in lieu of arterial. When blood flow is low, venous base deficit values do not reflect arterial values. IA Space Grant Consortium, Eagles