Bacterial ghosts (BGs) have been applied through oral, aerogenic, intraocular or intranasal routes for mucosal immunization using a wide range of experimental animals. All these applications required a booster after primary immunization to achieve protective immunity against the lethal challenge. Here we report for the first time that a single rectal dose of BGs produced from enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) O157:H7 fully protects mice against a 50% lethal challenge with a heterologous EHEC strain given at day 55. BGs from EHEC O157:H7 were prepared by a combination of protein E-mediated cell lysis and expression of staphylococcal nuclease A guaranteeing the complete degradation of pathogen residual DNA. The lack of genetic material in the EHEC BGs vaccine abolished any potential hazard for horizontal gene transfer of plasmid encoded antibiotic resistance genes or pathogenic islands to the recipients gut flora. Single rectal immunization using EHEC O157:H7 BGs without any addition of adjuvant significantly stimulated efficient humoral and cellular immune responses, and was equally protective as two immunizations, which indicates the possibility to develop a novel efficacious single dose mucosal EHEC O157:H7 BGs vaccine using a simplified immunization regimen.
Severe dengue infection in humans causes a disease characterized by thrombocytopenia, increased levels of cytokines, increased vascular permeability, hemorrhage, and shock. Treatment is supportive. Activation of platelet-activating factor (PAF) receptor (PAFR) on endothelial cells and leukocytes induces increase in vascular permeability, hypotension, and production of cytokines. We hypothesized that activation of PAFR could account for the major systemic manifestations of dengue infection. Inoculation of adult mice with an adapted strain of Dengue virus caused a systemic disease, with several features of the infection in humans. In PAFR(-/-) mice, there was decreased thrombocytopenia, hemoconcentration, decreased systemic levels of cytokines, and delay of lethality, when compared with WT infected mice. Treatment with UK-74,505, an orally active PAFR antagonist, prevented the above-mentioned manifestations, as well as hypotension and increased vascular permeability, and decreased lethality, even when started 5 days after virus inoculation. Similar results were obtained with a distinct PAFR antagonist, PCA-4246. Despite decreased disease manifestation, viral loads were similar (PAFR(-/-)) or lower (PAFR antagonist) than in WT mice. Thus, activation of PAFR plays a major role in the pathogenesis of experimental dengue infection, and its blockade prevents more severe disease manifestation after infection with no increase in systemic viral titers, suggesting that there is no interference in the ability of the murine host to deal with the infection. PAFR antagonists are disease-modifying agents in experimental dengue infection.
Loss of vascular barrier function causes leak of fluid and proteins into tissues, extensive leak leads to shock and death. Barriers are largely formed by endothelial cell-cell contacts built up by VE-cadherin and are under the control of RhoGTPases. Here we show that a natural plasmin digest product of fibrin, peptide Bbeta15-42 (also called FX06), significantly reduces vascular leak and mortality in animal models for Dengue shock syndrome. The ability of Bbeta15-42 to preserve endothelial barriers is confirmed in rats i.v.-injected with LPS. In endothelial cells, Bbeta15-42 prevents thrombin-induced stress fiber formation, myosin light chain phosphorylation and RhoA activation. The molecular key for the protective effect of Bbeta15-42 is the src kinase Fyn, which associates with VE-cadherin-containing junctions. Following exposure to Bbeta15-42 Fyn dissociates from VE-cadherin and associates with p190RhoGAP, a known antagonists of RhoA activation. The role of Fyn in transducing effects of Bbeta15-42 is confirmed in Fyn(-/-) mice, where the peptide is unable to reduce LPS-induced lung edema, whereas in wild type littermates the peptide significantly reduces leak. Our results demonstrate a novel function for Bbeta15-42. Formerly mainly considered as a degradation product occurring after fibrin inactivation, it has now to be considered as a signaling molecule. It stabilizes endothelial barriers and thus could be an attractive adjuvant in the treatment of shock.
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