?Persons with blood stage Plasmodium falciparum parasitemia in the absence of symptoms are considered to be clinically immune. We hypothesized that asymptomatic P. falciparum-parasitemic subjectswould differentially recognize a subset of P. falciparum proteins on a genomic scale.
With increasing efficiency, accuracy, and speed we can access complete genome sequences from thousands of infectious microorganisms; however, the ability to predict antigenic targets of the immune system based on amino acid sequence alone is still needed. Here we use a Leptospira interrogans microarray expressing 91% (3359) of all leptospiral predicted ORFs (3667) and make an empirical accounting of all antibody reactive antigens recognized in sera from naturally infected humans; 191 antigens elicited an IgM or IgG response, representing 5% of the whole proteome. We classified the reactive antigens into 26 annotated COGs (clusters of orthologous groups), 26 JCVI Mainrole annotations, and 11 computationally predicted proteomic features. Altogether, 14 significantly enriched categories were identified, which are associated with immune recognition including mass spectrometry evidence of in vitro expression and in vivo mRNA up-regulation. Together, this group of 14 enriched categories accounts for just 25% of the leptospiral proteome but contains 50% of the immunoreactive antigens. These findings are consistent with our previous studies of other Gram-negative bacteria. This genome-wide approach provides an empirical basis to predict and classify antibody reactive antigens based on structural, physical-chemical, and functional proteomic features and a framework for understanding the breadth and specificity of the immune response to L. interrogans.
Parasite antigen diversity poses an obstacle to developing an effective malaria vaccine. A protein microarray containing Plasmodium falciparum apical membrane antigen 1 (AMA1, n = 57) and merozoite surface protein 1 19-kD (MSP119, n = 10) variants prevalent at a malaria vaccine testing site in Bandiagara, Mali, was used to assess changes in seroreactivity caused by seasonal and lifetime exposure to malaria. Malian adults had significantly higher magnitude and breadth of seroreactivity to variants of both antigens than did Malian children. Seroreactivity increased over the course of the malaria season in children and adults, but the difference was more dramatic in children. These results help to validate diversity-covering protein microarrays as a promising tool for measuring the breadth of antibody responses to highly variant proteins, and demonstrate the potential of this new tool to help guide the development of malaria vaccines with strain-transcending efficacy.
Vaccinia virus (VACV) is a useful model system for understanding the immune response to a complex pathogen. Proteome-wide Ab profiling studies reveal the humoral response to be strongly biased toward virion-associated Ags, and several membrane proteins induce Ab-mediated protection against VACV challenge in mice. Some studies have indicated that the CD4 response is also skewed toward proteins with virion association, whereas the CD8 response is more biased toward proteins with early expression. In this study, we have leveraged a VACV strain Western Reserve (VACV-WR) plasmid expression library, produced previously for proteome microarrays for Ab profiling, to make a solubilized full VACV-WR proteome for T cell Ag profiling. Splenocytes from VACV-WR-infected mice were assayed without prior expansion against the soluble proteome in assays for Th1 and Th2 signature cytokines. The response to infection was polarized toward a Th1 response, with the distribution of reactive T cell Ags comprising both early and late VACV proteins. Interestingly, the proportions of different functional subsets were similar to that present in the whole proteome. In contrast, the targets of Abs from the same mice were enriched for membrane and other virion components, as described previously. We conclude that a "nonbiasing" approach to T cell Ag discovery reveals a T cell Ag profile in VACV that is broader and less skewed to virion association than the Ab profile. The T cell Ag mapping method developed in the present study should be applicable to other organisms where expressible "ORFeome" libraries are also available, and it is readily scalable for larger pathogens.
The cervix and/or fallopian tubes of pigtailed macaques were experimentally infected with Chlamydia trachomatis. Their sera were collected at varying time points and screened for identification of immunodominant antigens using a whole-genome protein microarray. The effect of doxycycline treatment on the antibody response generated in these macaques was also investigated. Twenty-five female macaques were infected with C. trachomatis serovars D or E in the cervix and/or fallopian tubes. Bloods were collected at baseline and at various intervals after challenge. Serum samples were tested for antibodies using a C. trachomatis serovar D protein microarray. Twenty chlamydial antigens reacted with sera from at least 68% (17/25) of the macaques. In addition to some well-known chlamydial antigens, nine different proteins, not previously recognized as immunodominant, including four hypothetical proteins (CT005, CT066, CT360 and CT578), were identified. Monkeys infected in the fallopian tubes developed a more robust antibody response than animals inoculated in the cervix. Treatment with doxycycline significantly decreased Chlamydia-specific antibody levels. In summary, using protein microarray serum samples from experimentally infected pigtailed macaques were screened for immunodominant chlamydial antigens. These antigens can now be tested in animal models for their ability to protect and as markers of disease progression.
Schistosomiasis is a neglected tropical disease that is responsible for almost 300,000 deaths annually. Mass drug administration (MDA) is used worldwide for the control of schistosomiasis, but chemotherapy fails to prevent reinfection with schistosomes, so MDA alone is not sufficient to eliminate the disease, and a prophylactic vaccine is required. Herein, we take advantage of recent advances in systems biology and longitudinal studies in schistosomiasis endemic areas in Brazil to pilot an immunomics approach to the discovery of schistosomiasis vaccine antigens. We selected mostly surface-derived proteins, produced them using an in vitro rapid translation system and then printed them to generate the first protein microarray for a multi-cellular pathogen. Using well-established Brazilian cohorts of putatively resistant (PR) and chronically infected (CI) individuals stratified by the intensity of their S. mansoni infection, we probed arrays for IgG subclass and IgE responses to these antigens to detect antibody signatures that were reflective of protective vs. non-protective immune responses. Moreover, probing for IgE responses allowed us to identify antigens that might induce potentially deleterious hypersensitivity responses if used as subunit vaccines in endemic populations. Using multi-dimensional cluster analysis we showed that PR individuals mounted a distinct and robust IgG1 response to a small set of newly discovered and well-characterized surface (tegument) antigens in contrast to CI individuals who mounted strong IgE and IgG4 responses to many antigens. Herein, we show the utility of a vaccinomics approach that profiles antibody responses of resistant individuals in a high-throughput multiplex approach for the identification of several potentially protective and safe schistosomiasis vaccine antigens.
The hookworm Necator americanus is the predominant soil-transmitted human parasite. Adult worms feed on blood in the small intestine, causing iron-deficiency anemia, malnutrition, growth and development stunting in children, and severe morbidity and mortality during pregnancy in women. We report sequencing and assembly of the N. americanus genome (244 Mb, 19,151 genes). Characterization of this first hookworm genome sequence identified genes orchestrating the hookworm's invasion of the human host, genes involved in blood feeding and development, and genes encoding proteins that represent new potential drug targets against hookworms. N. americanus has undergone a considerable and unique expansion of immunomodulator proteins, some of which we highlight as potential treatments against inflammatory diseases. We also used a protein microarray to demonstrate a postgenomic application of the hookworm genome sequence. This genome provides an invaluable resource to boost ongoing efforts toward fundamental and applied postgenomic research, including the development of new methods to control hookworm and human immunological diseases.
We have previously shown that an assay based on detection of anti-Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi antibodies in supernatant of lymphocytes harvested from patients presenting with typhoid fever (antibody-in-lymphocyte supernatant [ALS] assay) can identify 100% of patients with blood culture-confirmed typhoid fever in Bangladesh. In order to define immunodominant proteins within the S. Typhi membrane preparation used as antigen in these prior studies, and to identify potential biomarkers unique to S. Typhi bacteremic patients, we probed microarrays containing 2,724 S. Typhi proteins with ALS collected at the time of clinical presentation from 10 Bangladeshis with acute typhoid fever. We identified 62 immunoreactive antigens when evaluating both the IgG and the IgA response. Immune responses to ten of these antigens discriminated between individuals with acute typhoid infection and healthy typhoid-endemic zone controls, as well as Bangladeshi patients presenting with fever who were subsequently confirmed to have a non-typhoid illness. Using an ALS ELISA format and purified antigen, we then confirmed that immune responses against the antigen with the highest immunoreactivity (hemolysin E [HlyE]) correctly identified individuals with acute typhoid or paratyphoid fever in Dhaka, Bangladesh. These observations suggest that purified antigens could be used with ALS and corresponding acute phase activated B lymphocytes in diagnostic platforms to identify acutely infected patients, even in endemic zones.
Brucella melitensis, one of the causative agents of human brucellosis, causes acute, chronic, and relapsing infection. While T cell immunity in brucellosis has been extensively studied in mice, no recognized human T cell epitopes that might provide new approaches to classifying and prognosticating B. melitensis infection have ever been delineated. Twenty-seven pools of 500 major histocompatibility complex class II (MHC-II) restricted peptides were created by computational prediction of promiscuous MHC-II CD4(+) T cell derived from the top 50 proteins recognized by IgG in human sera on a genome level B. melitensis protein microarray. Gamma interferon (IFN-?) and interleukin-5 (IL-5) enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) analyses were used to quantify and compare Th1 and Th2 responses of leukapheresis-obtained peripheral blood mononuclear cells from Peruvian subjects cured after acute infection (n = 9) and from patients who relapsed (n = 5). Four peptide epitopes derived from 3 B. melitensis proteins (BMEI 1330, a DegP/HtrA protease; BMEII 0029, type IV secretion system component VirB5; and BMEII 0691, a predicted periplasmic binding protein of a peptide transport system) were found repeatedly to produce significant IFN-? ELISPOT responses in both acute-infection and relapsing patients; none of the peptides distinguished the patient groups. IL-5 responses against the panel of peptides were insignificant. These experiments are the first to systematically identify B. melitensis MHC-II-restricted CD4(+) T cell epitopes recognized by the human immune response, with the potential for new approaches to brucellosis diagnostics and understanding the immunopathogenesis related to this intracellular pathogen.
Leptospirosis is a widespread zoonotic disease worldwide. The lack of an adequate laboratory test is a major barrier for diagnosis, especially during the early stages of illness, when antibiotic therapy is most effective. Therefore, there is a critical need for an efficient diagnostic test for this life threatening disease.
Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) antigens mediate parasite sequestration and host immune evasion. Reactivity to 21 PfEMP1 fragments on a protein microarray was measured in serum samples from Malian children aged 1-6 years and adults. Seroreactivity to PfEMP1 fragments was higher in adults than in children; intracellular conserved fragments were more widely recognized than were extracellular hypervariable fragments. Over a malaria season, children maintained this differential seroreactivity and recognized additional intracellular PfEMP1 fragments. This approach has the potential to identify conserved, seroreactive extracellular PfEMP1 domains critical for protective immunity to malaria.
A novel Chlamydia muridarum antigen (TC0582) was used to vaccinate BALB/c mice. Mice were also immunized with other components of the ATP synthase complex (TC0580, TC0581, and TC0584), or with the major outer membrane protein (MOMP). TC0582 was also formulated in combination with TC0580, TC0581 or MOMP. TC0582 alone, or in combination with the other antigens, elicited strong Chlamydia-specific humoral and cellular immune responses. Vaccinated animals were challenged intranasally and the course of the infection was followed for 10 days. Based on percentage change in body weight, lung weight, and number of Chlamydia inclusion forming units recovered from the lungs, mice immunized with TC0582, TC0581 or MOMP, as single antigens, showed significant protection. Mice immunized with combinations of two antigens were also protected but the level of protection was not additive. TC0582 has sequence homology with the eukaryotic ATP synthase subunit A (AtpA). Therefore, to determine if immunization with TC0582, or with Chlamydia, elicited antibodies that cross-reacted with the mouse AtpA, the two proteins were printed on a microarray. Sera from mice immunized with TC0582 and/or live Chlamydia, strongly reacted with TC0582 but did not recognize the mouse AtpA. In conclusion, TC0582 may be considered as a Chlamydia vaccine candidate.
Complete sterile protection to Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) infection mediated by pre-erythrocytic immunity can be experimentally induced under chloroquine prophylaxis, through immunization with sporozoites from infected mosquitoes bites (CPS protocol). To characterize the profile of CPS induced antibody (Ab) responses, we developed a proteome microarray containing 809 Pf antigens showing a distinct Ab profile with recognition of antigens expressed in pre-erythrocytic life-cycle stages. In contrast, plasma from naturally exposed semi-immune individuals from Kenya was skewed toward antibody reactivity against asexual blood stage antigens. CPS-immunized and semi-immune individuals generated antibodies against 192 and 202 Pf antigens, respectively, but only 60 antigens overlapped between the two groups. Although the number of reactive antigens varied between the CPS-immunized individuals, all volunteers reacted strongly against the pre-erythrocytic antigens circumsporozoite protein (CSP) and liver stage antigen 1 (LSA1). Well classified merozoite and erythrocytic antigens were strongly reactive in semi-immune individuals but lacking in the CPS immunized group. These data show that the antibody profile of CPS-immunized and semi-immune groups have quite distinct profiles reflecting their protective immunity; antibodies from CPS immunized individuals react strongly against pre-erythrocytic while semi-immune individuals mainly react against erythrocytic antigens.
Current serological diagnostic assays for typhoid fever are based on detecting antibodies against Salmonella LPS or flagellum, resulting in a high false-positive rate. Here we used a protein microarray containing 2,724 Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi antigens (>63% of proteome) and identified antibodies against 16 IgG antigens and 77 IgM antigens that were differentially reactive among acute typhoid patients and healthy controls. The IgG target antigens produced a sensitivity of 97% and specificity of 80%, whereas the IgM target antigens produced 97% and 91% sensitivity and specificity, respectively. Our analyses indicated certain features such as membrane association, secretion, and protein expression were significant enriching features of the reactive antigens. About 72% of the serodiagnostic antigens were within the top 25% of the ranked antigen list using a Naïve bayes classifier. These data provide an important resource for improved diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccine development against an important human pathogen.
Pemphigus vulgaris (PV) is a mucocutaneous blistering disease characterized by IgG autoantibodies against the stratified squamous epithelium. Current understanding of PV pathophysiology does not explain the mechanism of acantholysis in patients lacking desmoglein antibodies, which justifies a search for novel targets of pemphigus autoimmunity. We tested 264 pemphigus and 138 normal control sera on the multiplexed protein array platform containing 701 human genes encompassing many known keratinocyte cell-surface molecules and members of protein families targeted by organ-non-specific PV antibodies. The top 10 antigens recognized by the majority of test patients sera were proteins encoded by the DSC1, DSC3, ATP2C1, PKP3, CHRM3, COL21A1, ANXA8L1, CD88 and CHRNE genes. The most common combinations of target antigens included at least one of the adhesion molecules DSC1, DSC3 or PKP3 and/or the acetylcholine receptor CHRM3 or CHRNE with or without the MHC class II antigen DRA. To identify the PV antibodies most specific to the disease process, we sorted the data based on the ratio of patient to control frequencies of antigen recognition. The frequency of antigen recognition by patients that exceeded that of control by 10 and more times were the molecules encoded by the CD33, GP1BA, CHRND, SLC36A4, CD1B, CD32, CDH8, CDH9, PMP22 and HLA-E genes as well as mitochondrial proteins encoded by the NDUFS1, CYB5B, SOD2, PDHA1 and FH genes. The highest specificity to PV showed combinations of autoantibodies to the calcium pump encoded by ATP2C1 with C5a receptor plus DSC1 or DSC3 or HLA-DRA. The results identified new targets of pemphigus autoimmunity. Novel autoantibody signatures may help explain individual variations in disease severity and treatment response, and serve as sensitive and specific biomarkers for new diagnostic assays in PV patients.
Malaria represents a major public health problem in Africa. In the East African highlands, the high-altitude areas were previously considered too cold to support vector population and parasite transmission, rendering the region particularly prone to epidemic malaria due to the lack of protective immunity of the population. Since the 1980s, frequent malaria epidemics have been reported and these successive outbreaks may have generated some immunity against Plasmodium falciparum amongst the highland residents. Serological studies reveal indirect evidence of human exposure to the parasite, and can reliably assess prevalence of exposure and transmission intensity in an endemic area. However, the vast majority of serological studies of malaria have been, hereto, limited to a small number of the parasites antigens. We surveyed and compared the antibody response profiles of age-stratified sera from residents of two endemic areas in the western Kenyan highlands with differing malaria transmission intensities, during two distinct seasons, against 854 polypeptides of P. falciparum using high-throughput proteomic microarray technology. We identified 107 proteins as serum antibody targets, which were then characterized for their gene ontology biological process and cellular component of the parasite, and showed significant enrichment for categories related to immune evasion, pathogenesis and expression on the hosts cell and parasites surface. Additionally, we calculated age-fitted annual seroconversion rates for the immunogenic proteins, and contrasted the age-dependent antibody acquisition for those antigens between the two sampling sites. We observed highly immunogenic antigens that produce stable antibody responses from early age in both sites, as well as less immunogenic proteins that require repeated exposure for stable responses to develop and produce different seroconversion rates between sites. We propose that a combination of highly and less immunogenic proteins could be used in serological surveys to detect differences in malaria transmission levels, distinguishing sites of unstable and stable transmission.
Cytauxzoonosis is an emerging infectious disease of domestic cats (Felis catus) caused by the apicomplexan protozoan parasite Cytauxzoon felis. The growing epidemic, with its high morbidity and mortality points to the need for a protective vaccine against cytauxzoonosis. Unfortunately, the causative agent has yet to be cultured continuously in vitro, rendering traditional vaccine development approaches beyond reach. Here we report the use of comparative genomics to computationally and experimentally interpret the C. felis genome to identify a novel candidate vaccine antigen for cytauxzoonosis. As a starting point we sequenced, assembled, and annotated the C. felis genome and the proteins it encodes. Whole genome alignment revealed considerable conserved synteny with other apicomplexans. In particular, alignments with the bovine parasite Theileria parva revealed that a C. felis gene, cf76, is syntenic to p67 (the leading vaccine candidate for bovine theileriosis), despite a lack of significant sequence similarity. Recombinant subdomains of cf76 were challenged with survivor-cat antiserum and found to be highly seroreactive. Comparison of eleven geographically diverse samples from the south-central and southeastern USA demonstrated 91-100% amino acid sequence identity across cf76, including a high level of conservation in an immunogenic 226 amino acid (24 kDa) carboxyl terminal domain. Using in situ hybridization, transcription of cf76 was documented in the schizogenous stage of parasite replication, the life stage that is believed to be the most important for development of a protective immune response. Collectively, these data point to identification of the first potential vaccine candidate antigen for cytauxzoonosis. Further, our bioinformatic approach emphasizes the use of comparative genomics as an accelerated path to developing vaccines against experimentally intractable pathogens.
Heterozygous states of hemoglobin (Hb) A and HbS (HbAS, sickle-cell trait) or HbC (HbAC) protect against Plasmodium falciparum malaria by unclear mechanisms. Several studies suggest that HbAS and HbAC accelerate the acquisition of immunity to malaria, possibly by enhancing P. falciparum-specific antibody responses.
Humoral immune responses play a pivotal role in naturally acquired immunity to malaria. Understanding which humoral responses are impaired among individuals at higher risk for malaria may improve our understanding of malaria immune control and contribute to vaccine development.
A complete understanding of the factors that determine selection of antigens recognized by the humoral immune response following infectious agent challenge is lacking. Here we illustrate a systems biology approach to identify the antibody signature associated with Brucella melitensis (Bm) infection in humans and predict proteomic features of serodiagnostic antigens. By taking advantage of a full proteome microarray expressing previously cloned 1406 and newly cloned 1640 Bm genes, we were able to identify 122 immunodominant antigens and 33 serodiagnostic antigens. The reactive antigens were then classified according to annotated functional features (COGs), computationally predicted features (e.g., subcellular localization, physical properties), and protein expression estimated by mass spectrometry (MS). Enrichment analyses indicated that membrane association and secretion were significant enriching features of the reactive antigens, as were proteins predicted to have a signal peptide, a single transmembrane domain, and outer membrane or periplasmic location. These features accounted for 67% of the serodiagnostic antigens. An overlay of the seroreactive antigen set with proteomic data sets generated by MS identified an additional 24%, suggesting that protein expression in bacteria is an additional determinant in the induction of Brucella-specific antibodies. This analysis indicates that one-third of the proteome contains enriching features that account for 91% of the antigens recognized, and after B. melitensis infection the immune system develops significant antibody titers against 10% of the proteins with these enriching features. This systems biology approach provides an empirical basis for understanding the breadth and specificity of the immune response to B. melitensis and a new framework for comparing the humoral responses against other microorganisms.
Individuals that are exposed to malaria eventually develop immunity to the disease with one possible mechanism being the gradual acquisition of antibodies to the range of parasite variant surface antigens in their local area. Major antibody targets include the large and highly polymorphic Plasmodium falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1 (PfEMP1) family of proteins. Here, we use a protein microarray containing 123 recombinant PfEMP1-DBL? domains (VAR) from Papua New Guinea to seroprofile 38 nonimmune children (<4 years) and 29 hyperimmune adults (?15 years) from the same local area. The overall magnitude, prevalence and breadth of antibody response to VAR was limited at <2 years and 2-2.9 years, peaked at 3-4 years and decreased for adults compared with the oldest children. An increasing proportion of individuals recognized large numbers of VAR proteins (>20) with age, consistent with the breadth of response stabilizing with age. In addition, the antibody response was limited in uninfected children compared with infected children but was similar in adults irrespective of infection status. Analysis of the variant-specific response confirmed that the antibody signature expands with age and infection. This also revealed that the antibody signatures of the youngest children overlapped substantially, suggesting that they are exposed to the same subset of PfEMP1 variants. VAR proteins were either seroprevalent from early in life, (<3 years), from later in childhood (?3 years) or rarely recognized. Group 2 VAR proteins (Cys2/MFK-REY+) were serodominant in infants (<1-year-old) and all other sequence subgroups became more seroprevalent with age. The results confirm that the anti-PfEMP1-DBL? antibody responses increase in magnitude and prevalence with age and further demonstrate that they increase in stability and complexity. The protein microarray approach provides a unique platform to rapidly profile variant-specific antibodies to malaria and suggests novel insights into the acquisition of immunity to malaria.
Antigen profiling using comprehensive protein microarrays is a powerful tool for characterizing the humoral immune response to infectious pathogens. Coxiella burnetii is a CDC category B bioterrorist infectious agent with worldwide distribution. In order to assess the antibody repertoire of acute and chronic Q fever patients we have constructed a protein microarray containing 93% of the proteome of Coxiella burnetii, the causative agent of Q fever. Here we report the profile of the IgG and IgM seroreactivity in 25 acute Q fever patients in longitudinal samples. We found that both early and late time points of infection have a very consistent repertoire of IgM and IgG response, with a limited number of proteins undergoing increasing or decreasing seroreactivity. We also probed a large collection of acute and chronic Q fever patient samples and identified serological markers that can differentiate between the two disease states. In this comparative analysis we confirmed the identity of numerous IgG biomarkers of acute infection, identified novel IgG biomarkers for acute and chronic infections, and profiled for the first time the IgM antibody repertoire for both acute and chronic Q fever. Using these results we were able to devise a test that can distinguish acute from chronic Q fever. These results also provide a unique perspective on isotype switch and demonstrate the utility of protein microarrays for simultaneously examining the dynamic humoral immune response against thousands of proteins from a large number of patients. The results presented here identify novel seroreactive antigens for the development of recombinant protein-based diagnostics and subunit vaccines, and provide insight into the development of the antibody response.
A novel, centrifugal disk-based micro-total analysis system (?TAS) for low cost and high throughput semi-automated immunoassay processing was developed. A key innovation in the disposable immunoassay disk design is in a fluidic structure that enables very efficient micro-mixing based on a reciprocating mechanism in which centrifugal acceleration acting upon a liquid element first generates and stores pneumatic energy that is then released by a reduction of the centrifugal acceleration, resulting in a reversal of direction of flow of the liquid. Through an alternating sequence of high and low centrifugal acceleration, the system reciprocates the flow of liquid within the disk to maximize incubation/hybridization efficiency between antibodies and antigen macromolecules during the incubation/hybridization stage of the assay. The described reciprocating mechanism results in a reduction in processing time and reagent consumption by one order of magnitude.
Modified Vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) is an attenuated strain of vaccinia virus that is being considered as a safer alternative to replicating vaccinia vaccine strains such as Dryvax(®) and ACAM2000. Its excellent safety profile and large genome also make it an attractive vector for the delivery of heterologous genes from other pathogens. MVA was attenuated by prolonged passage through chick embryonic fibroblasts in vitro. In human and most mammalian cells, production of infectious progeny is aborted in the late stage of infection. Despite this, MVA provides high-level gene expression and is immunogenic in humans and other animals. A key issue for vaccine developers is the ability to be able to monitor an immune response to MVA in both vaccinia naïve and previously vaccinated individuals. To this end we have used antibody profiling by proteome microarray to compare profiles before and after MVA and Dryvax vaccination to identify candidate serodiagnostic antigens. Six antigens with diagnostic utility, comprising three membrane and three non-membrane proteins from the intracellular mature virion, were purified and evaluated in ELISAs. The membrane protein WR113/D8L provided the best sensitivity and specificity of the six antigens tested for monitoring both MVA and Dryvax vaccination, whereas the A-type inclusion protein homolog, WR148, provided the best discrimination. The ratio of responses to membrane protein WR132/A13L and core protein WR070/I1L also provided good discrimination between primary and secondary responses to Dryvax, whereas membrane protein WR101/H3L and virion assembly protein WR118/D13L together provided the best sensitivity for detecting antibody in previously vaccinated individuals. These data will aid the development novel MVA-based vaccines.
The development of an effective malaria vaccine remains a global public health priority. Less than 0.5% of the Plasmodium falciparum genome has been assessed as potential vaccine targets and candidate vaccines have been based almost exclusively on single antigens. It is possible that the failure to develop a malaria vaccine despite decades of effort might be attributed to this historic focus. To advance malaria vaccine development, we have fabricated protein microarrays representing 23% of the entire P. falciparum proteome and have probed these arrays with plasma from subjects with sterile protection or no protection after experimental immunization with radiation attenuated P. falciparum sporozoites. A panel of 19 pre-erythrocytic stage antigens was identified as strongly associated with sporozoite-induced protective immunity; 16 of these antigens were novel and 85% have been independently identified in sporozoite and/or liver stage proteomic or transcriptomic data sets. Reactivity to any individual antigen did not correlate with protection but there was a highly significant difference in the cumulative signal intensity between protected and not protected individuals. Functional annotation indicates that most of these signature proteins are involved in cell cycle/DNA processing and protein synthesis. In addition, 21 novel blood-stage specific antigens were identified. Our data provide the first evidence that sterile protective immunity against malaria is directed against a panel of novel P. falciparum antigens rather than one antigen in isolation. These results have important implications for vaccine development, suggesting that an efficacious malaria vaccine should be multivalent and targeted at a select panel of key antigens, many of which have not been previously characterized.
Toxoplasmosis, caused by infection of the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii, is associated with mild disease in healthy individuals, whereas individuals with depressed immunity may develop encephalitis, neurologic disorders, and other organ diseases. Women who develop acute toxoplasmosis during pregnancy are at risk of transmitting the infection to the fetus, which may lead to fetal damage. A diagnosis is usually confirmed by measuring IgG, or IgM where it is important to determine the onset of infection. A negative IgM result essentially excludes acute infection, whereas a positive IgM test is largely uninterpretable because IgM can persist for up to 18 months after infection. To identify antigens for improved diagnosis of acute infection, we probed protein microarrays displaying the polypeptide products of 1357 Toxoplasma exons with well-characterized sera from Turkey. The sera were classified according to conventional assays into (1) seronegative individuals with no history of T. gondii infection; (2) acute infections defined by clinical symptoms, high IgM titers, and low avidity IgG; (3) chronic/convalescent cases with high avidity IgG but persisting IgM; (iv) true chronic infections, defined by high avidity IgG and no IgM. We have identified 38 IgG target antigens and 108 IgM target antigens that can discriminate infected patients from healthy controls, one or more of which could form the basis of a tier-1 test to determine current or previous exposure. Of these, three IgG antigens and five IgM antigens have the potential to discriminate chronic/IgM persisting or true chronics from recent acutely infected patients (a tier-2 test). Our analysis of the antigens revealed several enriched features relative to the whole proteome, which include transmembrane domains, signal peptides, or predicted localization at the outer membrane. This is the first protein microarray survey of the antibody response to T. gondii, and will help in the development of improved serodiagnostics and vaccines.
Burkholderia pseudomallei is the etiological agent of human melioidosis, a disease with a broad spectrum of clinical manifestations ranging from fatal septicemia to chronic localized infection or asymptomatic latent infection. Most clinical and immunological studies to date have focused on the acute disease process; however, little is known about pathology and immune response in chronic melioidosis. Here, we have developed a murine model of chronic disease by challenging C57BL/6 mice intranasally with a low dose of B. pseudomallei and monitoring them up to 100 days postinfection. Bacterial burdens were heterogeneous in different animals at all time points, consistent with the spectrum of clinical severity observed in humans. Proinflammatory cytokines such as gamma interferon (IFN-?), interleukin-6 (IL-6), monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), and tumor necrosis factor-? (TNF-?) were induced during chronic infection, and histopathological analysis showed features in common with human melioidosis. Interestingly, many of these features were similar to those induced by Mycobacterium tuberculosis in humans, such as development of a collagen cord that encapsulates the lesions, the presence of multinucleated giant cells, and granulomas with a caseous necrotic center, which may explain why chronic melioidosis is often misdiagnosed as tuberculosis. Our model now provides a relevant and practical tool to define the immunological features of chronic melioidosis and aid in the development of more effective treatment of this disease in humans.
We performed partial evaluation of pemphigus vulgaris (PV) autoantibody profile using the protein array technology. The sera from seven patients with acute PV and five healthy donors were probed for the presence of autoantibodies characteristic of the organ-non-specific autoimmune disorders rheumatoid arthritis, lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, diabetes and some other autoimmune disorders, but not to desmosomal proteins. The array targeted 785 human genes amplified using Mammalian Gene Clone Collection with gene-specific primers containing 20-bp nucleotide extension complementary to ends of linear pXT7 vector. The array identified PV antibodies significantly (P<0.05) differentially reactive with 16 antigens, most of which were cell-surface proteins, such as CD2, CD31, CD33, CD36, CD37, CD40, CD54, CD66c and CD84 molecules, nicotinamide/nicotinic acid mononucleotide adenylyltransferase, immunoglobulin heavy chain constant region gamma 2 and others. Reactivity with Fc-IgG helps explain an ability of the chimeric desmoglein constructs to absorb out all disease-causing PV antibodies. Anti-M(1) muscarinic receptor antibody was also identified, consistent with the facts that while blockade of this receptor causes keratinocyte detachment, its activation is therapeutic in PV. Further proteomics analysis of PV antibodies should help elucidate the immunopathogenic mechanisms underlying keratinocyte detachment and blistering.
Detection of microbial antigens in clinical samples can lead to rapid diagnosis of an infection and administration of appropriate therapeutics. A major barrier in diagnostics development is determining which of the potentially hundreds or thousands of antigens produced by a microbe are actually present in patient samples in detectable amounts against a background of innumerable host proteins. In this report, we describe a strategy, termed in vivo microbial antigen discovery (InMAD), that we used to identify circulating bacterial antigens. This technique starts with "InMAD serum," which is filtered serum that has been harvested from BALB/c mice infected with a bacterial pathogen. The InMAD serum, which is free of whole bacterial cells, is used to immunize syngeneic BALB/c mice. The resulting "InMAD immune serum" contains antibodies specific for the soluble microbial antigens present in sera from the infected mice. The InMAD immune serum is then used to probe blots of bacterial lysates or bacterial proteome arrays. Bacterial antigens that are reactive with the InMAD immune serum are precisely the antigens to target in an antigen immunoassay. By employing InMAD, we identified multiple circulating antigens that are secreted or shed during infection using Burkholderia pseudomallei and Francisella tularensis as model organisms. Potential diagnostic targets identified by the InMAD approach included bacterial proteins, capsular polysaccharide, and lipopolysaccharide. The InMAD technique makes no assumptions other than immunogenicity and has the potential to be a broad discovery platform to identify diagnostic targets from microbial pathogens.
Melioidosis is a severe infectious disease caused by the saprophytic facultative intracellular pathogen Burkholderia pseudomallei. The disease is endemic in Southeast Asia and Northern Australia, and no effective vaccine exists. To describe human cell-mediated immune responses to B. pseudomallei and to identify candidate antigens for vaccine development, the ability of antigen-pulsed monocyte-derived dendritic cells (moDCs) to trigger autologous T-cell responses to B. pseudomallei and its products was tested. moDCs were prepared from healthy individuals exposed or not exposed to B. pseudomallei, based on serological evidence. These were pulsed with heat-killed B. pseudomallei or purified antigens, including ABC transporters (LolC, OppA, and PotF), Bsa type III secreted proteins (BipD and BopE), tandem repeat sequence-containing proteins (Rp1 and Rp2), flagellin, and heat shock proteins (Hsp60 and Hsp70), prior to being mixed with autologous T-cell populations. After pulsing of cells with either heat-killed B. pseudomallei, LolC, or Rp2, coculturing the antigen-pulsed moDCs with T cells elicited gamma interferon production from CD4(+) T cells from seropositive donors at levels greater than those for seronegative donors. These antigens also induced granzyme B (cytotoxic) responses from CD8(+) T cells. Activation of antigen-specific CD4(+) T cells required direct contact with moDCs and was therefore not dependent on soluble mediators. Rp peptide epitopes recognized by T cells in healthy individuals were identified. Our study provides valuable novel data on the induction of human cell-mediated immune responses to B. pseudomallei and its protein antigens that may be exploited in the rational development of vaccines to combat melioidosis.
Chlamydia trachomatis infections can lead to severe chronic complications, including trachoma, ectopic pregnancy, and infertility. The only effective approach to disease control is vaccination. The goal of this work was to identify new potential vaccine candidates through a proteomics approach. We constructed a protein chip array (Antigen Discovery, Inc.) by expressing the open reading frames (ORFs) from C. trachomatis mouse pneumonitis (MoPn) genomic and plasmid DNA and tested it with serum samples from MoPn-immunized mice. Two groups of BALB/c female mice were immunized either intranasally or intravaginally with live elementary bodies (EB). Another two groups were immunized by a combination of the intramuscular and subcutaneous routes with UV-treated EB (UV-EB), using either CpG and Montanide as adjuvants to favor a Th1 response or alum to elicit a Th2 response. Serum samples collected at regular intervals postimmunization were tested in the proteome array. The microarray included the expression products of 909 proteins from a total of 921 ORFs of the Chlamydia MoPn genome and plasmid. A total of 185 immunodominant proteins elicited an early and sustained antibody response in the mice immunized with live EB, and of these, 71 were also recognized by the sera from mice immunized with UV-EB. The reactive antigens included some proteins that were previously described as immunogenic, such as the major outer membrane protein, OmpB, Hsp60, and IncA and proteins from the type III secretion system. In addition, we identified in mice several new immunogens, including 75 hypothetical proteins. In summary, we have identified a new group of immunodominant chlamydial proteins that can be tested for their ability to induce protection.
Discovery of novel protective antigens is fundamental to the development of vaccines for existing and emerging pathogens. Most computational methods for predicting protein antigenicity rely directly on homology with previously characterized protective antigens; however, homology-based methods will fail to discover truly novel protective antigens. Thus, there is a significant need for homology-free methods capable of screening entire proteomes for the antigens most likely to generate a protective humoral immune response.
Considerable effort has been directed toward controlling tuberculosis, which kills almost two million people yearly. High on the research agenda is the discovery of biomarkers of active tuberculosis (TB) for diagnosis and for monitoring treatment outcome. Rational biomarker discovery requires understanding host-pathogen interactions leading to biomarker expression. Here we report a systems immunology approach integrating clinical data and bacterial metabolic and regulatory information with high-throughput detection in human serum of antibodies to the entire Mycobacterium tuberculosis proteome. Sera from worldwide TB suspects recognized approximately 10% of the bacterial proteome. This result defines the M. tuberculosis immunoproteome, which is rich in membrane-associated and extracellular proteins. Additional analyses revealed that during active tuberculosis (i) antibody responses focused on an approximately 0.5% of the proteome enriched for extracellular proteins, (ii) relative target preference varied among patients, and (iii) responses correlated with bacillary burden. These results indicate that the B cell response tracks the evolution of infection and the pathogen burden and replicative state and suggest functions associated with B cell-rich foci seen in tuberculous lung granulomas. Our integrated proteome-scale approach is applicable to other chronic infections characterized by diverse antibody target recognition.
Comprehensive evaluation of the humoral immune response to Coxiella burnetii may identify highly needed diagnostic antigens and potential subunit vaccine candidates. Here we report the construction of a protein microarray containing 1901 C. burnetii ORFs (84% of the entire proteome). This array was probed with Q-fever patient sera and naïve controls in order to discover C. burnetii-specific seroreactive antigens. Among the 21 seroreactive antigens identified, 13 were significantly more reactive in Q-fever cases than naïve controls. The remaining eight antigens were cross-reactive in both C. burnetii infected and naïve patient sera. An additional 64 antigens displayed variable seroreactivity in Q-fever patients, and underscore the diversity of the humoral immune response to C. burnetii. Nine of the differentially reactive antigens were validated on an alternative immunostrip platform, demonstrating proof-of-concept development of a consistent, safe, and inexpensive diagnostic assay alternative. Furthermore, we report here the identification of several new diagnostic antigens and potential subunit vaccine candidates for the highly infectious category B alphaproteobacteria, C. burnetii.
Abs are central to malaria immunity, which is only acquired after years of exposure to Plasmodium falciparum (Pf). Despite the enormous worldwide burden of malaria, the targets of protective Abs and the basis of their inefficient acquisition are unknown. Addressing these knowledge gaps could accelerate malaria vaccine development. To this end, we developed a protein microarray containing approximately 23% of the Pf 5,400-protein proteome and used this array to probe plasma from 220 individuals between the ages of 2-10 years and 18-25 years in Mali before and after the 6-month malaria season. Episodes of malaria were detected by passive surveillance over the 8-month study period. Ab reactivity to Pf proteins rose dramatically in children during the malaria season; however, most of this response appeared to be short-lived based on cross-sectional analysis before the malaria season, which revealed only modest incremental increases in Ab reactivity with age. Ab reactivities to 49 Pf proteins measured before the malaria season were significantly higher in 8-10-year-old children who were infected with Pf during the malaria season but did not experience malaria (n = 12) vs. those who experienced malaria (n = 29). This analysis also provided insight into patterns of Ab reactivity against Pf proteins based on the life cycle stage at which proteins are expressed, subcellular location, and other proteomic features. This approach, if validated in larger studies and in other epidemiological settings, could prove to be a useful strategy for better understanding fundamental properties of the human immune response to Pf and for identifying previously undescribed vaccine targets.
Brucellosis is a widespread zoonotic disease that is also a potential agent of bioterrorism. Current serological assays to diagnose human brucellosis in clinical settings are based on detection of agglutinating anti-LPS antibodies. To better understand the universe of antibody responses that develop after B. melitensis infection, a protein microarray was fabricated containing 1,406 predicted B. melitensis proteins. The array was probed with sera from experimentally infected goats and naturally infected humans from an endemic region in Peru. The assay identified 18 antigens differentially recognized by infected and non-infected goats, and 13 serodiagnostic antigens that differentiate human patients proven to have acute brucellosis from syndromically similar patients. There were 31 cross-reactive antigens in healthy goats and 20 cross-reactive antigens in healthy humans. Only two of the serodiagnostic antigens and eight of the cross-reactive antigens overlap between humans and goats. Based on these results, a nitrocellulose line blot containing the human serodiagnostic antigens was fabricated and applied in a simple assay that validated the accuracy of the protein microarray results in the diagnosis of humans. These data demonstrate that an experimentally infected natural reservoir host produces a fundamentally different immune response than a naturally infected accidental human host.
Candida albicans in the immunocompetent host is a benign member of the human microbiota. Though, when host physiology is disrupted, this commensal-host interaction can degenerate and lead to an opportunistic infection. Relatively little is known regarding the dynamics of C. albicans colonization and pathogenesis. We developed a C. albicans cell surface protein microarray to profile the immunoglobulin G response during commensal colonization and candidemia. The antibody response from the sera of patients with candidemia and our negative control groups indicate that the immunocompetent host exists in permanent host-pathogen interplay with commensal C. albicans. This report also identifies cell surface antigens that are specific to different phases (i.e. acute, early and mid convalescence) of candidemia. We identified a set of thirteen cell surface antigens capable of distinguishing acute candidemia from healthy individuals and uninfected hospital patients with commensal colonization. Interestingly, a large proportion of these cell surface antigens are involved in either oxidative stress or drug resistance. In addition, we identified 33 antigenic proteins that are enriched in convalescent sera of the candidemia patients. Intriguingly, we found within this subset an increase in antigens associated with heme-associated iron acquisition. These findings have important implications for the mechanisms of C. albicans colonization as well as the development of systemic infection.
A major component of the adaptive immune response to infection is the generation of protective and long-lasting humoral immunity. Traditional approaches to understanding the hosts humoral immune response are unable to provide an integrated understanding of the antibody repertoire generated in response to infection. By studying multiple antigenic responses in parallel, we can learn more about the breadth and dynamics of the antibody response to infection. Measurement of antibody production following vaccination is also a gauge for efficacy, as generation of antibodies can protect from future infections and limit disease. Protein microarrays are well suited to identify, quantify and compare individual antigenic responses following exposure to infectious agents. This technology can be applied to the development of improved serodiagnostic tests, discovery of subunit vaccine antigen candidates, epidemiologic research and vaccine development, as well as providing novel insights into infectious disease and the immune system. In this review, we will discuss the use of protein microarrays as a powerful tool to define the humoral immune response to bacteria and viruses.
Bartonella henselae is the zoonotic agent of cat scratch disease and causes potentially fatal infections in immunocompromised patients. Understanding the complex interactions between the hosts immune system and bacterial pathogens is central to the field of infectious diseases and to the development of effective diagnostics and vaccines.
The recent publication of the Schistosoma japonicum and S. mansoni genomes has expanded greatly the opportunities for post-genomic schistosomiasis vaccine research. Immunomics protein microarrays provide an excellent application of this new schistosome sequence information, having been utilised successfully for vaccine antigen discovery with a range of bacterial and viral pathogens, and malaria.Accordingly, we have designed and manufactured a Schistosoma immunomics protein microarray as a vaccine discovery tool. The microarray protein selection combined previously published data and in silico screening of available sequences for potential immunogens based on protein location, homology to known protective antigens, and high specificity to schistosome species. Following cloning, selected sequences were expressed cell-free and contact-printed onto nitrocellulose microarrays. The reactivity of microarray proteins with antisera from schistosomiasis-exposed/resistant animals or human patients can be measured with labelled secondary antibodies and a laser microarray scanner; highly reactive proteins can be further assessed as putative vaccines. This highly innovative technology has the potential to transform vaccine research for schistosomiasis and other parasitic diseases of humans and animals.
Chlamydia trachomatis is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted pathogen in the world. In order to control this infection there is an urgent need to formulate a vaccine. Identification of protective antigens is required to implement a subunit vaccine. To identify potential antigen vaccine candidates, three strains of mice, BALB/c, C3H/HeN and C57BL/6, were inoculated with live and inactivated C. trachomatis mouse pneumonitis (MoPn) by different routes of immunization. Using a protein microarray, serum samples collected after immunization were tested for the presence of antibodies against specific chlamydial antigens. A total of 225 open reading frames (ORF) of the C. trachomatis genome were cloned, expressed, and printed in the microarray. Using this protein microarray, a total of seven C. trachomatis dominant antigens were identified (TC0052, TC0189, TC0582, TC0660, TC0726, TC0816 and, TC0828) as recognized by IgG antibodies from all three strains of animals after immunization. In addition, the microarray was probed to determine if the antibody response exhibited a Th1 or Th2 bias. Animals immunized with live organisms mounted a predominant Th1 response against most of the chlamydial antigens while mice immunized with inactivated Chlamydia mounted a Th2-biased response. In conclusion, using a high throughput protein microarray we have identified a set of novel proteins that can be tested for their ability to protect against a chlamydial infection.
Understanding the way in which the immune system responds to infection is central to the development of vaccines and many diagnostics. To provide insight into this area, we fabricated a protein microarray containing 1,205 Burkholderia pseudomallei proteins, probed it with 88 melioidosis patient sera, and identified 170 reactive antigens. This subset of antigens was printed on a smaller array and probed with a collection of 747 individual sera derived from 10 patient groups including melioidosis patients from Northeast Thailand and Singapore, patients with different infections, healthy individuals from the USA, and from endemic and nonendemic regions of Thailand. We identified 49 antigens that are significantly more reactive in melioidosis patients than healthy people and patients with other types of bacterial infections. We also identified 59 cross-reactive antigens that are equally reactive among all groups, including healthy controls from the USA. Using these results we were able to devise a test that can classify melioidosis positive and negative individuals with sensitivity and specificity of 95% and 83%, respectively, a significant improvement over currently available diagnostic assays. Half of the reactive antigens contained a predicted signal peptide sequence and were classified as outer membrane, surface structures or secreted molecules, and an additional 20% were associated with pathogenicity, adaptation or chaperones. These results show that microarrays allow a more comprehensive analysis of the immune response on an antigen-specific, patient-specific, and population-specific basis, can identify serodiagnostic antigens, and contribute to a more detailed understanding of immunogenicity to this pathogen.
Finding diagnostic patterns for fighting diseases like Burkholderia pseudomallei using biomarkers involves two key issues. First, exhausting all subsets of testable biomarkers (antigens in this context) to find a best one is computationally infeasible. Therefore, a proper optimization approach like evolutionary computation should be investigated. Second, a properly selected function of the antigens as the diagnostic pattern which is commonly unknown is a key to the diagnostic accuracy and the diagnostic effectiveness in clinical use.
Infection with the Gram-negative bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei is an important cause of community-acquired lethal sepsis in endemic regions in southeast Asia and northern Australia and is increasingly reported in other tropical areas. In animal models, production of interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) is critical for resistance, but in humans the characteristics of IFN-gamma production and the bacterial antigens that are recognized by the cell-mediated immune response have not been defined.
The extracellular virion form (EV) of vaccinia virus (VACV) is essential for viral pathogenesis and is difficult to neutralize with antibodies. Why this is the case and how the smallpox vaccine overcomes this challenge remain incompletely understood. We previously showed that high concentrations of anti-B5 antibodies are insufficient to directly neutralize EV (M. R. Benhnia, et al., J. Virol. 83:1201-1215, 2009). This allowed for at least two possible interpretations: covering the EV surface is insufficient for neutralization, or there are insufficient copies of B5 to allow anti-B5 IgG to cover the whole surface of EV and another viral receptor protein remains active. We endeavored to test these possibilities, focusing on the antibody responses elicited by immunization against smallpox. We tested whether human monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against the three major EV antigens, B5, A33, and A56, could individually or together neutralize EV. While anti-B5 or anti-A33 (but not anti-A56) MAbs of appropriate isotypes were capable of neutralizing EV in the presence of complement, a mixture of anti-B5, anti-A33, and anti-A56 MAbs was incapable of directly neutralizing EV, even at high concentrations. This remained true when neutralizing the IHD-J strain, which lacks a functional version of the fourth and final known EV surface protein, A34. These immunological data are consistent with the possibility that viral proteins may not be the active component of the EV surface for target cell binding and infectivity. We conclude that the protection afforded by the smallpox vaccine anti-EV response is predominantly mediated not by direct neutralization but by isotype-dependent effector functions, such as complement recruitment for antibodies targeting B5 and A33.
The genetic similarity between Burkholderia mallei (glanders) and Burkholderia pseudomallei (melioidosis) had led to the general assumption that pathogenesis of each bacterium would be similar. In 2000, the first human case of glanders in North America since 1945 was reported in a microbiology laboratory worker. Leveraging the availability of pre-exposure sera for this individual and employing the same well-characterized protein array platform that has been previously used to study a large cohort of melioidosis patients in southeast Asia, we describe the antibody response in a human with glanders. Analysis of 156 peptides present on the array revealed antibodies against 17 peptides with a > 2-fold increase in this infection. Unexpectedly, when the glanders data were compared with a previous data set from B. pseudomallei infections, there were only two highly increased antibodies shared between these two infections. These findings have implications in the diagnosis and treatment of B. mallei and B. pseudomallei infections.
Chlamydia trachomatis is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted pathogen in the world. To identify new vaccine candidates a protein microarray was constructed by expressing the open reading frames (ORFs) from Chlamydia mouse pneumonitis (MoPn). C57BL/6, C3H/HeN and BALB/c mice were immunized either intranasally or intravaginally with live MoPn elementary bodies (EB). Two additional groups were immunized by the intramuscular plus subcutaneous routes with UV-treated EB, using CpG and Montanide as adjuvants to favor a Th1 response, or Alum, to elicit a Th2 response. Serum samples collected from the three strains of mice were tested in the microarray. The array included the expression of 909 proteins from the 921 ORFs of the MoPn genome and plasmid. A total of 530 ORFs were recognized by at least one serum sample. Of these, 36 reacted with sera from the three strains of mice immunized with live EB. These antigens included proteins that were previously described as immunogenic such as MOMP and HSP60. In addition, we uncovered new immunogens, including 11 hypothetical proteins. In summary, we have identified new immunodominant chlamydial proteins that can be tested for their ability to induce protection in animal models and subsequently in humans.
Brucella spp., are Gram negative bacteria that cause disease by growing within monocyte/macrophage lineage cells. Clinical manifestations of brucellosis are immune mediated, not due to bacterial virulence factors. Acquired immunity to brucellosis has been studied through observations of naturally infected hosts (cattle, goats), mouse models (mice), and human infection. Even though Brucella spp. are known for producing mechanisms that evade the immune system, cell-mediated immune responses drive the clinical manifestations of human disease after exposure to Brucella species, as high antibody responses are not associated with protective immunity. The precise mechanisms by which cell-mediated immune responses confer protection or lead to disease manifestations remain undefined. Descriptive studies of immune responses in human brucellosis show that TH(1) (interferon-?-producing T cells) are associated with dominant immune responses, findings consistent with animal studies. Whether these T cell responses are protective, or determine the different clinical responses associated with brucellosis is unknown, especially with regard to undulant fever manifestations, relapsing disease, or are associated with responses to distinct sets of Brucella spp. antigens are unknown. Few data regarding T cell responses in terms of specific recognition of Brucella spp. protein antigens and peptidic epitopes, either by CD4+ or CD8+ T cells, have been identified in human brucellosis patients. Additionally because current attenuated Brucella vaccines used in animals cause human disease, there is a true need for a recombinant protein subunit vaccine for human brucellosis, as well as for improved diagnostics in terms of prognosis and identification of unusual forms of brucellosis. This review will focus on current understandings of antigen-specific immune responses induced Brucella peptidic epitopes that has promise for yielding new insights into vaccine and diagnostics development, and for understanding pathogenetic mechanisms of human brucellosis.
The development of pre-erythrocytic Plasmodium vivax vaccines is hindered by the lack of in vitro culture systems or experimental rodent models. To help bypass these roadblocks, we exploited the fact that naturally exposed Fy- individuals who lack the Duffy blood antigen (Fy) receptor are less likely to develop blood-stage infections; therefore, they preferentially develop immune responses to pre-erythrocytic-stage parasites, whereas Fy+ individuals experience both liver- and blood-stage infections and develop immune responses to both pre-erythrocytic and erythrocytic parasites. We screened 60 endemic sera from P. vivax-exposed Fy+ or Fy- donors against a protein microarray containing 91 P. vivax proteins with P. falciparum orthologs that were up-regulated in sporozoites. Antibodies against 10 P. vivax antigens were identified in sera from P. vivax-exposed individuals but not unexposed controls. This technology has promising implications in the discovery of potential vaccine candidates against P. vivax malaria.
Biomarkers of progression from latent Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection to active tuberculosis are needed. We assessed correlations between infection outcome and antibody responses in macaques and humans by high-throughput, proteome-scale serological studies.
Discovery of novel antigens associated with infectious diseases is fundamental to the development of serodiagnostic tests and protein subunit vaccines against existing and emerging pathogens. Efforts to predict antigenicity have relied on a few computational algorithms predicting signal peptide sequences (SignalP), transmembrane domains, or subcellular localization (pSort). An empirical protein microarray approach was developed to scan the entire proteome of any infectious microorganism and empirically determine immunoglobulin reactivity against all the antigens from a microorganism in infected individuals. The current database from this activity contains quantitative antibody reactivity data against 35,000 proteins derived from 25 infectious microorganisms and more than 30 million data points derived from 15,000 patient sera. Interrogation of these data sets has revealed ten proteomic features that are associated with antigenicity, allowing an in silico protein sequence and functional annotation based approach to triage the least likely antigenic proteins from those that are more likely to be antigenic. The first iteration of this approach applied to Brucella melitensis predicted 37% of the bacterial proteome containing 91% of the antigens empirically identified by probing proteome microarrays. In this study, we describe a naïve Bayes classification approach that can be used to assign a relative score to the likelihood that an antigen will be immunoreactive and serodiagnostic in a bacterial proteome. This algorithm predicted 20% of the B. melitensis proteome including 91% of the serodiagnostic antigens, a nearly twofold improvement in specificity of the predictor. These results give us confidence that further development of this approach will lead to further improvements in the sensitivity and specificity of this in silico predictive algorithm.
Despite the importance of Salmonella infections in human and animal health, the target antigens of Salmonella-specific immunity remain poorly defined. We have previously shown evidence for antibody-mediating protection against invasive Salmonellosis in mice and African children. To generate an overview of antibody targeting in systemic Salmonellosis, a Salmonella proteomic array containing over 2,700 proteins was constructed and probed with immune sera from Salmonella-infected mice and humans. Analysis of multiple inbred mouse strains identified 117 antigens recognized by systemic antibody responses in murine Salmonellosis. Importantly, many of these antigens were independently identified as target antigens using sera from Malawian children with Salmonella bacteremia, validating the study of the murine model. Furthermore, vaccination with SseB, the most prominent antigenic target in Malawian children, provided mice with significant protection against Salmonella infection. Together, these data uncover an overlapping immune signature of disseminated Salmonellosis in mice and humans and provide a foundation for the generation of a protective subunit vaccine.
Routine serodiagnosis of herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections is currently performed using recombinant glycoprotein G (gG) antigens from herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) and HSV-2. This is a single-antigen test and has only one diagnostic application. Relatively little is known about HSV antigenicity at the proteome-wide level, and the full potential of mining the antibody repertoire to identify antigens with other useful diagnostic properties and candidate vaccine antigens is yet to be realized. To this end we produced HSV-1 and -2 proteome microarrays in Escherichia coli and probed them against a panel of sera from patients serotyped using commercial gG-1 and gG-2 (gGs for HSV-1 and -2, respectively) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. We identified many reactive antigens in both HSV-1 and -2, some of which were type specific (i.e., recognized by HSV-1- or HSV-2-positive donors only) and others of which were nonspecific or cross-reactive (i.e., recognized by both HSV-1- and HSV-2-positive donors). Both membrane and nonmembrane virion proteins were antigenic, although type-specific antigens were enriched for membrane proteins, despite being expressed in E. coli.
Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) and HSV-2 are medically significant pathogens. The development of an effective HSV vaccine remains a global public health priority. HSV-1 and HSV-2 immunodominant "asymptomatic" antigens (ID-A-Ags), which are strongly recognized by B and T cells from seropositive healthy asymptomatic individuals, may be critical to be included in an effective immunotherapeutic HSV vaccine. In contrast, immunodominant "symptomatic" antigens (ID-S-Ags) may exacerbate herpetic disease and therefore must be excluded from any HSV vaccine. In the present study, proteome microarrays of 88 HSV-1 and 84 HSV-2 open reading frames(ORFs) (ORFomes) were constructed and probed with sera from 32 HSV-1-, 6 HSV-2-, and 5 HSV-1/HSV-2-seropositive individuals and 47 seronegative healthy individuals (negative controls). The proteins detected in both HSV-1 and HSV-2 proteome microarrays were further classified according to their recognition by sera from HSV-seropositive clinically defined symptomatic (n = 10) and asymptomatic (n = 10) individuals. We found that (i) serum antibodies recognized an average of 6 ORFs per seropositive individual; (ii) the antibody responses to HSV antigens were diverse among HSV-1- and HSV-2-seropositive individuals; (iii) panels of 21 and 30 immunodominant antigens (ID-Ags) were identified from the HSV-1 and HSV-2 ORFomes, respectively, as being highly and frequently recognized by serum antibodies from seropositive individuals; and (iv) interestingly, four HSV-1 and HSV-2 cross-reactive asymptomatic ID-A-Ags, US4, US11, UL30, and UL42, were strongly and frequently recognized by sera from 10 of 10 asymptomatic patients but not by sera from 10 of 10 symptomatic patients (P < 0.001). In contrast, sera from symptomatic patients preferentially recognized the US10 ID-S-Ag (P < 0.001). We have identified previously unreported immunodominant HSV antigens, among which were 4 ID-A-Ags and 1 ID-S-Ag. These newly identified ID-A-Ags could lead to the development of an efficient "asymptomatic" vaccine against ocular, orofacial, and genital herpes.
Successful vaccination against smallpox with conventional vaccinia virus is usually determined by the development of a vesicular skin lesion at the site of vaccinia inoculation, called a "take." Although previous vaccination is known to be associated with attenuation of the take, the immunology that underlies a no-take in vaccinia-naïve individuals is not well understood. We hypothesized that antibody profiling of individuals before and after receiving vaccinia virus would reveal differences between takes and no-takes that may help better explain the phenomenon. Using vaccinia virus proteome microarrays and recombinant protein enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs), we first examined the antibody response in vaccinia-naïve individuals that failed to take after receiving different doses of the replication-competent DryVax and Aventis Pasteur (APSV) smallpox vaccines. Most that received diluted vaccine failed to respond, although four no-takes receiving diluted vaccine and four receiving undiluted vaccine mounted an antibody response. Interestingly, their antibody profiles were not significantly different from those of controls that did show a take. However, we did find elevated antibody titers in no-takes prior to receiving DryVax that were significantly different from those of takes. Although the sample size studied was small, we conclude the failure to take in responders correlates with preexisting immunity of unknown etiology that may attenuate the skin reaction in a way similar to previous smallpox vaccination.
Human brucellosis is a common zoonosis worldwide. Here we present a case of focal vertebral brucellosis in a 71-year-old Mexican-American woman who contracted infection from unpasteurized goat milk. Standard agglutination serology was negative; the diagnosis was established by the isolation of Brucella melitensis from abscess fluid. A B. melitensis protein microarray comprised of nearly all proteins encoded by the bacterial genome was used to determine the kinetics of this patients antibody responses to the complete collection of open reading frames existing in the genome (ORFeome). Three patterns of antibody responses against B. melitensis antigens were seen for serum samples obtained on days 0 (pretreatment), 14, 49, 100, and 180: (i) stable titers over time, (ii) a steady fall in titers, and (iii) an initial rise in titers followed by declining titers. Sera from this patient with chronic brucellosis recognized some of the same B. melitensis proteins as those recognized by sera from acute/subacute, blood culture-positive brucellosis patients but also recognized a distinct set of proteins. This study is the first to determine the kinetics of the human antibody responses to the complete repertoire of proteins encoded by a bacterial genome and demonstrates fundamentally different immunopathogenetic mechanisms between acute human brucellosis and chronic human brucellosis. While an extension of these findings to a larger patient population is necessary, these findings have important clinical and diagnostic implications and lead toward new insights into the fundamental immunopathogenesis of brucellosis.
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