Patricia C D Ferreira

University of California, San Diego, San Diego, California, United States

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Publications (8)16.31 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Streptococcus pneumoniae is a pathogen of great importance worldwide. We have previously described the efficacy of a nasal vaccine composed of the pneumococcal surface protein A and the whole-cell pertussis vaccine as an adjuvant against a pneumococcal invasive challenge in mice. Spread of bacteria to the bloodstream was probably prevented by the high levels of systemic antibodies induced by the vaccine, but bacteria were only cleared from the lungs 3 weeks later, indicating that local immune responses may contribute to survival. Here we show that a strict control of inflammatory responses in lungs of vaccinated mice occurs even in the presence of high numbers of pneumococci. This response was characterized by a sharp peak of neutrophils and lymphocytes with a simultaneous decrease in macrophages in the respiratory mucosa at 12 h postchallenge. Secretion of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and gamma interferon (IFN-γ) was reduced at 24 h postchallenge, and the induction of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) secretion, observed in the first hours postchallenge, was completely abolished at 24 h. Before challenge and at 12 h postchallenge, vaccinated mice displayed higher numbers of CD4(+) T, CD8(+) T, and B lymphocytes in the lungs. However, protection still occurs in the absence of each of these cells during the challenge, indicating that other effectors may be related to the prevention of lung injuries in this model. High levels of mucosal anti-PspA antibodies were maintained in vaccinated mice during the challenge, suggesting an important role in protection.
    Clinical and vaccine Immunology: CVI 07/2012; 19(9):1382-92. · 2.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) is a common cause of diarrhea in children from developing countries. Intimate adhesion of the bacteria to intestinal cells occurs via binding of the adhesin intimin to the TIR receptor exposed on cell surfaces. Here, Lactobacillus casei expressing a fragment of β-intimin (L. casei-Int(cv)) was tested as mucosal vaccines in mice against intestinal colonization with the murine pathogen Citrobacter rodentium. Oral or sublingual immunization of C57BL/6 mice with L. casei-Int(cv) induced anti-Int(cv) IgA in feces but no IgG in sera. Conversely, anti-Int(cv) IgG was induced in the sera of mice after sublingual immunization with purified Int(cv). All vaccines were able to decrease C. rodentium recovery from feces. However, this reduction was more evident and sustained over time in mice immunized with L. casei-Int(cv) by the sublingual route. These mice also displayed an increase in interleukin 6 (IL-6) and gamma interferon (IFN-γ) secretion by spleen cells 10 days after infection. Additionally, oral or sublingual immunization of C3H/HePas mice, which are highly susceptible to C. rodentium infection, with L. casei-Int(cv) induced anti-Int(cv) antibodies and significantly increased survival after challenge. Immunohistological analysis of colon sections revealed that C. rodentium was located in deep fractions of the tissue from C3H/HePas mice immunized with L. casei whereas superficial staining was observed in colon sections from mice immunized with L. casei-Int(cv.) The results indicate that vaccines composed of L. casei expressing intimin may represent a promising approach and that the C3H/HePas infection model with C. rodentium can be used to evaluate potential vaccines against EPEC.
    Clinical and vaccine Immunology: CVI 09/2011; 18(11):1823-33. · 2.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are technologically and commercially important and have various beneficial effects on human health. Several studies have demonstrated that certain LAB strains can exert their beneficial effect on the host through their immunomudulatory activity. Although most research concerning LAB-mediated enhanced immune protection is focused on gastrointestinal tract pathogens, recent studies have centered on whether these immunobiotics might sufficiently stimulate the common mucosal immune system to provide protection to other mucosal sites as well. In this sense, LAB have been used for the development of probiotic foods with the ability to stimulate respiratory immunity, which would increase resistance to infections, even in immunocompromised hosts. On the other hand, the advances in the molecular biology of LAB have enabled the development of recombinant strains expressing antigens from respiratory pathogens that have proved effective to induce protective immunity. In this review we examine the current scientific literature concerning the use of LAB strains to prevent respiratory infections. In particular, we have focused on the works that deal with the capacity of probiotic and recombinant LAB to improve the immune response against Streptococcus pneumoniae. Research from the last decade demonstrates that LAB represent a promising resource for the development of prevention strategies against respiratory infections that could be effective tools for medical application.
    International immunopharmacology 06/2011; 11(11):1633-45. · 2.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Streptococcus pneumoniae colonizes the upper respiratory tract of healthy individuals, from where it can be transmitted to the community. Occasionally, bacteria invade sterile niches, causing diseases. The pneumococcal surface protein C (PspC) is a virulence factor that is important during colonization and the systemic phases of the diseases. Here, we have evaluated the effect of nasal or sublingual immunization of mice with Lactobacillus casei expressing PspC, as well as prime-boosting protocols using recombinant PspC, on nasopharyngeal pneumococcal colonization. None of the protocols tested was able to elicit significant levels of anti-PspC antibodies before challenge. However, a significant decrease in pneumococcal recovery from the nasopharynx was observed in animals immunized through the nasal route with L. casei-PspC. Immune responses evaluated after colonization challenge in this group of mice were characterized by an increase in mucosal anti-PspC immunoglobulin A (IgA) 5 days later, a time point in which the pneumococcal loads were already low. A negative correlation between the concentrations of anti-PspC IgA and pneumococcal recovery from the nasopharynx was observed, with animals with the lowest colonization levels having higher IgA concentrations. These results show that nasal immunization with L. casei-PspC primes the immune system of mice, prompting faster immune responses that result in a decrease in pneumococcal colonization.
    FEMS Immunology & Medical Microbiology 04/2011; 62(3):263-72. · 2.68 Impact Factor
  • International Journal of Infectious Diseases - INT J INFECT DIS. 01/2010; 14.
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    ABSTRACT: Streptococcus pneumoniae is the leading cause of respiratory acute infections around the world. In Latin America, approximately 20,000 children under 5 years of age die of pneumococcal diseases annually. Pneumococcal surface protein A (PspA) is among the best-characterized pneumococcal antigens that confer protection in animal models of pneumococcal infections and, as such, is a good alternative for the currently available conjugated vaccines. Efficient immune responses directed to PspA in animal models have already been described. Nevertheless, few low cost adjuvants for a subunit pneumococcal vaccine have been proposed to date. Here, we have tested the adjuvant properties of the whole cell Bordetella pertussis vaccine (wP) that is currently part of the DTP (diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis) vaccine administrated to children in several countries, as an adjuvant to PspA. Nasal immunization of BALB/c mice with a combination of PspA5 and wP or wP(low)--a new generation vaccine that contains low levels of B. pertussis LPS--conferred protection against a respiratory lethal challenge with S. pneumoniae. Both PspA5-wP and PspA5-wP(low) vaccines induced high levels of systemic and mucosal antibodies against PspA5, with similar profile, indicating no essential requirement for B. pertussis LPS in the adjuvant properties of wP. Accordingly, nasal immunization of C3H/HeJ mice with PspA5-wP conferred protection against the pneumococcal challenge, thus ruling out a role for TLR4 responses in the adjuvant activity and the protection mechanisms triggered by the vaccines. The high levels of anti-PspA5 antibodies correlated with increased cross-reactivity against PspAs from different clades and also reflected in cross-protection. In addition, passive immunization experiments indicated that antibodies played an important role in protection in this model. Finally, subcutaneous immunization with a combination of PspA5 with DTP(low) protected mice against challenge with two different pneumococcal strains, opening the possibility for the development of a combined infant vaccine composed of DTP and PspA.
    PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(5):e10863. · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • International Journal of Infectious Diseases - INT J INFECT DIS. 01/2010; 14.
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    ABSTRACT: Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) are frequently isolated as a cause of infantile diarrhea in developing countries. Its pathogenicity is distinguished by histopathological alterations at the site of infection, known as attaching and effacing (A/E) lesions, in which bacterial virulence factors and host proteins participate. Intimin, a bacterial adhesin expressed by all EPEC described to date, is responsible for the intimate adherence of the bacteria to host cells and is essential for the formation of A/E lesions. Mucosal vaccination may represent an efficacious intervention to prevent EPEC infection and lower morbidity and mortality rates. Strategies for mucosal vaccinations that use lactic acid bacteria for the delivery of heterologous antigens rely on their safety profile and ability to stimulate the immune system. In the present work, we have constructed Lactobacillus casei strains expressing different fragments of intimin beta, a subtype that is frequently expressed by EPEC strains. Mucosal immunization of mice with L. casei expressing intimin fragments induced specific systemic and mucosal antibodies. These antibodies were able to recognize native intimin on the surface of EPEC and to inhibit in vitro EPEC binding to epithelial cells.
    FEMS Immunology & Medical Microbiology 10/2008; 54(2):245-54. · 2.68 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

47 Citations
16.31 Total Impact Points


  • 2011
    • University of California, San Diego
      • Department of Medicine
      San Diego, California, United States
  • 2008
    • Instituto Butantan
      • Centro de Biotecnologia
      São Paulo, Estado de Sao Paulo, Brazil