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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
Structure of the meningococcal vaccine antigen NadA and epitope mapping of a bactericidal antibody.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PUBLISHED: 11-19-2014
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Serogroup B Neisseria meningitidis (MenB) is a major cause of severe sepsis and invasive meningococcal disease, which is associated with 5-15% mortality and devastating long-term sequelae. Neisserial adhesin A (NadA), a trimeric autotransporter adhesin (TAA) that acts in adhesion to and invasion of host epithelial cells, is one of the three antigens discovered by genome mining that are part of the MenB vaccine that recently was approved by the European Medicines Agency. Here we present the crystal structure of NadA variant 5 at 2 Å resolution and transmission electron microscopy data for NadA variant 3 that is present in the vaccine. The two variants show similar overall topology with a novel TAA fold predominantly composed of trimeric coiled-coils with three protruding wing-like structures that create an unusual N-terminal head domain. Detailed mapping of the binding site of a bactericidal antibody by hydrogen/deuterium exchange MS shows that a protective conformational epitope is located in the head of NadA. These results provide information that is important for elucidating the biological function and vaccine efficacy of NadA.
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Vaccines, new opportunities for a new society.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PUBLISHED: 08-18-2014
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Vaccination is the most effective medical intervention ever introduced and, together with clean water and sanitation, it has eliminated a large part of the infectious diseases that once killed millions of people. A recent study concluded that since 1924 in the United States alone, vaccines have prevented 40 million cases of diphtheria, 35 million cases of measles, and a total of 103 million cases of childhood diseases. A report from the World Health Organization states that today vaccines prevent 2.5 million deaths per year: Every minute five lives are saved by vaccines worldwide. Overall, vaccines have done and continue to do an excellent job in eliminating or reducing the impact of childhood diseases. Furthermore, thanks to new technologies, vaccines now have the potential to make an enormous contribution to the health of modern society by preventing and treating not only communicable diseases in all ages, but also noncommunicable diseases such as cancer and neurodegenerative disorders. The achievement of these results requires the development of novel technologies and health economic models able to capture not only the mere cost-benefit of vaccination, but also the value of health per se.
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From empiricism to rational design: a personal perspective of the evolution of vaccine development.
Nat. Rev. Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 06-13-2014
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Vaccination, which is the most effective medical intervention that has ever been introduced, originated from the observation that individuals who survived a plague or smallpox would not get the disease twice. To mimic the protective effects of natural infection, Jenner - and later Pasteur - inoculated individuals with attenuated or killed disease-causing agents. This empirical approach inspired a century of vaccine development and the effective prophylaxis of many infectious diseases. From the 1980s, several waves of new technologies have enabled the development of novel vaccines that would not have been possible using the empirical approach. The technological revolution in the field of vaccination is now continuing, and it is delivering novel and safer vaccines. In this Timeline article, we provide our views on the transition from empiricism to rational vaccine design.
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Vaccines for the 21st century.
EMBO Mol Med
PUBLISHED: 05-08-2014
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In the last century, vaccination has been the most effective medical intervention to reduce death and morbidity caused by infectious diseases. It is believed that vaccines save at least 2-3 million lives per year worldwide. Smallpox has been eradicated and polio has almost disappeared worldwide through global vaccine campaigns. Most of the viral and bacterial infections that traditionally affected children have been drastically reduced thanks to national immunization programs in developed countries. However, many diseases are not yet preventable by vaccination, and vaccines have not been fully exploited for target populations such as elderly and pregnant women. This review focuses on the state of the art of recent clinical trials of vaccines for major unmet medical needs such as HIV, malaria, TB, and cancer. In addition, we describe the innovative technologies currently used in vaccine research and development including adjuvants, vectors, nucleic acid vaccines, and structure-based antigen design. The hope is that thanks to these technologies, more diseases will be addressed in the 21st century by novel preventative and therapeutic vaccines.
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Neisseria adhesin A variation and revised nomenclature scheme.
Clin. Vaccine Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 05-07-2014
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Neisseria adhesin A (NadA), involved in the adhesion and invasion of Neisseria meningitidis into host tissues, is one of the major components of Bexsero, a novel multicomponent vaccine licensed for protection against meningococcal serogroup B in Europe, Australia, and Canada. NadA has been identified in approximately 30% of clinical isolates and in a much lower proportion of carrier isolates. Three protein variants were originally identified in invasive meningococci and named NadA-1, NadA-2, and NadA-3, whereas most carrier isolates either lacked the gene or harbored a different variant, NadA-4. Further analysis of isolates belonging to the sequence type 213 (ST-213) clonal complex identified NadA-5, which was structurally similar to NadA-4, but more distantly related to NadA-1, -2, and -3. At the time of this writing, more than 89 distinct nadA allele sequences and 43 distinct peptides have been described. Here, we present a revised nomenclature system, taking into account the complete data set, which is compatible with previous classification schemes and is expandable. The main features of this new scheme include (i) the grouping of the previously named NadA-2 and NadA-3 variants into a single NadA-2/3 variant, (ii) the grouping of the previously assigned NadA-4 and NadA-5 variants into a single NadA-4/5 variant, (iii) the introduction of an additional variant (NadA-6), and (iv) the classification of the variants into two main groups, named groups I and II. To facilitate querying of the sequences and submission of new allele sequences, the nucleotide and amino acid sequences are available at http://pubmlst.org/neisseria/NadA/.
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Genome sequencing of disease and carriage isolates of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae identifies discrete population structure.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PUBLISHED: 03-25-2014
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One of the main hurdles for the development of an effective and broadly protective vaccine against nonencapsulated isolates of Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) lies in the genetic diversity of the species, which renders extremely difficult the identification of cross-protective candidate antigens. To assess whether a population structure of NTHi could be defined, we performed genome sequencing of a collection of diverse clinical isolates representative of both carriage and disease and of the diversity of the natural population. Analysis of the distribution of polymorphic sites in the core genome and of the composition of the accessory genome defined distinct evolutionary clades and supported a predominantly clonal evolution of NTHi, with the majority of genetic information transmitted vertically within lineages. A correlation between the population structure and the presence of selected surface-associated proteins and lipooligosaccharide structure, known to contribute to virulence, was found. This high-resolution, genome-based population structure of NTHi provides the foundation to obtain a better understanding, of NTHi adaptation to the host as well as its commensal and virulence behavior, that could facilitate intervention strategies against disease caused by this important human pathogen.
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Combined adenovirus vector and hepatitis C virus envelope protein prime-boost regimen elicits T cell and neutralizing antibody immune responses.
J. Virol.
PUBLISHED: 03-05-2014
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Despite the recent progress in the development of new antiviral agents, hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection remains a major global health problem, and there is a need for a preventive vaccine. We previously reported that adenoviral vectors expressing HCV nonstructural proteins elicit protective T cell responses in chimpanzees and were immunogenic in healthy volunteers. Furthermore, recombinant HCV E1E2 protein formulated with adjuvant MF59 induced protective antibody responses in chimpanzees and was immunogenic in humans. To develop an HCV vaccine capable of inducing both T cell and antibody responses, we constructed adenoviral vectors expressing full-length and truncated E1E2 envelope glycoproteins from HCV genotype 1b. Heterologous prime-boost immunization regimens with adenovirus and recombinant E1E2 glycoprotein (genotype 1a) plus MF59 were evaluated in mice and guinea pigs. Adenovirus prime and protein boost induced broad HCV-specific CD8+ and CD4+ T cell responses and functional Th1-type IgG responses. Immune sera neutralized luciferase reporter pseudoparticles expressing HCV envelope glycoproteins (HCVpp) and a diverse panel of recombinant cell culture-derived HCV (HCVcc) strains and limited cell-to-cell HCV transmission. This study demonstrated that combining adenovirus vector with protein antigen can induce strong antibody and T cell responses that surpass immune responses achieved by either vaccine alone.
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Variability of genes encoding surface proteins used as vaccine antigens in meningococcal endemic and epidemic strain panels from Norway.
Vaccine
PUBLISHED: 02-05-2014
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Surface-expressed protein antigens such as factor H-binding protein (fHbp), Neisserial adhesin A (NadA), Neisserial heparin-binding antigen (NHBA) and Porin protein A (PorA); all express sequence variability that can affect their function as protective immunogens when used in meningococcal serogroup B vaccines like the recently-approved 4CMenB (Bexsero(®)). We assessed the sequence variation of genes coding for these proteins and two additional proteins ("fusion partners" to fHbp and NHBA) in pathogenic isolates from a recent low incidence period (endemic situation; 2005-2006) in Norway. Findings among strains from this panel were contrasted to what was found among isolates from a historic outbreak (epidemic situation; 1985-1990). Multilocus sequence typing revealed 14 clonal complexes (cc) among the 66 endemic strains, while cc32 vastly predominated in the 38-strain epidemic panel. Serogroup B isolates accounted for 50/66 among endemic strains and 28/38 among epidemic strains. Potential strain-coverage ("sequence match") for the 4CMenB vaccine was identified among the majority (>70%) of the endemic serogroup B isolates and all of the epidemic serogroup B isolates evaluated. Further information about the degree of expression, surface availability and the true cross-reactivity for the vaccine antigens will be needed to fully characterize the clinical strain-coverage of 4CMenB in various geographic and epidemiological situations.
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Role of ARF6, Rab11 and External Hsp90 in the Trafficking and Recycling of Recombinant-Soluble Neisseria meningitidisAdhesin A (rNadA) in Human Epithelial Cells.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Neisseria meningitidis adhesin A (NadA) is a meningococcus surface protein thought to assist in the adhesion of the bacterium to host cells. We have previously shown that NadA also promotes bacterial internalization in a heterologous expression system. Here we have used the soluble recombinant NadA (rNadA) lacking the membrane anchor region to characterize its internalization route in Chang epithelial cells. Added to the culture medium, rNadA internalizes through a PI3K-dependent endocytosis process not mediated by the canonical clathrin or caveolin scaffolds, but instead follows an ARF6-regulated recycling pathway previously described for MHC-I. The intracellular pool of rNadA reaches a steady state level within one hour of incubation and colocalizes in endocytic vesicles with MHC-I and with the extracellularly labeled chaperone Hsp90. Treatment with membrane permeated and impermeable Hsp90 inhibitors 17-AAG and FITC-GA respectively, lead to intracellular accumulation of rNadA, strongly suggesting that the extracellular secreted pool of the chaperone is involved in rNadA intracellular trafficking. A significant number of intracellular vesicles containing rNadA recruit Rab11, a small GTPase associated to recycling endosomes, but do not contain transferrin receptor (TfR). Interestingly, cell treatment with Hsp90 inhibitors, including the membrane-impermeable FITC-GA, abolished Rab11-rNadA colocalization but do not interfere with Rab11-TfR colocalization. Collectively, these results are consistent with a model whereby rNadA internalizes into human epithelial cells hijacking the recycling endosome pathway and recycle back to the surface of the cell via an ARF6-dependent, Rab11 associated and Hsp90-regulated mechanism. The present study addresses for the first time a meningoccoccal adhesin mechanism of endocytosis and suggests a possible entry pathway engaged by N. meningitidis in primary infection of human epithelial cells.
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Designing vaccines for the twenty-first century society.
Front Immunol
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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The history of vaccination clearly demonstrates that vaccines have been highly successful in preventing infectious diseases, reducing significantly the incidence of childhood diseases and mortality. However, many infections are still not preventable with the currently available vaccines and they represent a major cause of mortality worldwide. In the twenty-first century, the innovation brought by novel technologies in antigen discovery and formulation together with a deeper knowledge of the human immune responses are paving the way for the development of new vaccines. Final goal will be to rationally design effective vaccines where conventional approaches have failed.
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Neisseria meningitidis NalP cleaves human complement C3, facilitating degradation of C3b and survival in human serum.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PUBLISHED: 12-23-2013
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The complement system is a crucial component of the innate immune response against invading bacterial pathogens. The human pathogen Neisseria meningitidis (Nm) is known to possess several mechanisms to evade the complement system, including binding to complement inhibitors. In this study, we describe an additional mechanism used by Nm to evade the complement system and survive in human blood. Using an isogenic NalP deletion mutant and NalP complementing strains, we show that the autotransporter protease NalP cleaves C3, the central component of the complement cascade. The cleavage occurs 4 aa upstream from the natural C3 cleavage site and produces shorter C3a-like and longer C3b-like fragments. The C3b-like fragment is degraded in the presence of the complement regulators (factors H and I), and this degradation results in lower deposition of C3b on the bacterial surface. We conclude that NalP is an important factor to increase the survival of Nm in human serum.
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The adjuvant MF59 induces ATP release from muscle that potentiates response to vaccination.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PUBLISHED: 12-09-2013
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Vaccines are the most effective agents to control infections. In addition to the pathogen antigens, vaccines contain adjuvants that are used to enhance protective immune responses. However, the molecular mechanism of action of most adjuvants is ill-known, and a better understanding of adjuvanticity is needed to develop improved adjuvants based on molecular targets that further enhance vaccine efficacy. This is particularly important for tuberculosis, malaria, AIDS, and other diseases for which protective vaccines do not exist. Release of endogenous danger signals has been linked to adjuvanticity; however, the role of extracellular ATP during vaccination has never been explored. Here, we tested whether ATP release is involved in the immune boosting effect of four common adjuvants: aluminum hydroxide, calcium phosphate, incomplete Freunds adjuvant, and the oil-in-water emulsion MF59. We found that intramuscular injection is always associated with a weak transient release of ATP, which was greatly enhanced by the presence of MF59 but not by all other adjuvants tested. Local injection of apyrase, an ATP-hydrolyzing enzyme, inhibited cell recruitment in the muscle induced by MF59 but not by alum or incomplete Freunds adjuvant. In addition, apyrase strongly inhibited influenza-specific T-cell responses and hemagglutination inhibition titers in response to an MF59-adjuvanted trivalent influenza vaccine. These data demonstrate that a transient ATP release is required for innate and adaptive immune responses induced by MF59 and link extracellular ATP with an enhanced response to vaccination.
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Finding epitopes with computers.
Chem. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 11-12-2013
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The goal of structural vaccinology is to enable the design and engineering of improved antigens. In a recent issue of Chemistry & Biology, Gourlay and colleagues provided evidence that structure-based computational methods allow prediction of B cell epitopes, a crucial step for antigen selection and optimization in vaccine development.
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Bringing influenza vaccines into the 21st century.
Hum Vaccin Immunother
PUBLISHED: 11-10-2013
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The recent H7N9 influenza outbreak in China highlights the need for influenza vaccine production systems that are robust and can quickly generate substantial quantities of vaccines that target new strains for pandemic and seasonal immunization. Although the influenza vaccine system, a public-private partnership, has been effective in providing vaccines, there are areas for improvement. Technological advances such as mammalian cell culture production and synthetic vaccine seeds provide a means to increase the speed and accuracy of targeting new influenza strains with mass-produced vaccines by dispensing with the need for egg isolation, adaptation, and reassortment of vaccine viruses. New influenza potency assays that no longer require the time-consuming step of generating sheep antisera could further speed vaccine release. Adjuvants that increase the breadth of the elicited immune response and allow dose sparing provide an additional means to increase the number of available vaccine doses. Together these technologies can improve the influenza vaccination system in the near term. In the longer term, disruptive technologies, such as RNA-based flu vaccines and universal flu vaccines, offer a promise of a dramatically improved influenza vaccine system.
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Development of a glycoconjugate vaccine to prevent meningitis in Africa caused by meningococcal serogroup X.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PUBLISHED: 11-04-2013
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Neisseria meningitidis is a major cause of bacterial meningitis worldwide, especially in the African meningitis belt, and has a high associated mortality. The meningococcal serogroups A, W, and X have been responsible for epidemics and almost all cases of meningococcal meningitis in the meningitis belt over the past 12 y. Currently no vaccine is available against meningococcal X (MenX). Because the development of a new vaccine through to licensure takes many years, this leaves Africa vulnerable to new epidemics of MenX meningitis at a time when the epidemiology of meningococcal meningitis on the continent is changing rapidly, following the recent introduction of a glycoconjugate vaccine against serogroup A. Here, we report the development of candidate glycoconjugate vaccines against MenX and preclinical data from their use in animal studies. Following optimization of growth conditions of our seed MenX strain for polysaccharide (PS) production, a scalable purification process was developed yielding high amounts of pure MenX PS. Different glycoconjugates were synthesized by coupling MenX oligosaccharides of varying chain length to CRM197 as carrier protein. Analytical methods were developed for in-process control and determination of purity and consistency of the vaccines. All conjugates induced high anti-MenX PS IgG titers in mice. Antibodies were strongly bactericidal against African MenX isolates. These findings support the further development of glycoconjugate vaccines against MenX and their assessment in clinical trials to produce a vaccine against the one cause of epidemic meningococcal meningitis that currently cannot be prevented by available vaccines.
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Auto ADP-ribosylation of NarE, a Neisseria meningitidis ADP-ribosyltransferase, regulates its catalytic activities.
FASEB J.
PUBLISHED: 08-20-2013
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NarE is an arginine-specific mono-ADP-ribosyltransferase identified in Neisseria meningitidis that requires the presence of iron in a structured cluster for its enzymatic activities. In this study, we show that NarE can perform auto-ADP-ribosylation. This automodification occurred in a time- and NAD-concentration-dependent manner; was inhibited by novobiocin, an ADP-ribosyltransferase inhibitor; and did not occur when NarE was heat inactivated. No reduction in incorporation was evidenced in the presence of high concentrations of ATP, GTP, ADP-ribose, or nicotinamide, which inhibits NAD-glycohydrolase, impeding the formation of free ADP-ribose. Based on the electrophoretic profile of NarE on auto-ADP-ribosylation and on the results of mutagenesis and mass spectrometry analysis, the auto-ADP-ribosylation appeared to be restricted to the addition of a single ADP-ribose. Chemical stability experiments showed that the ADP-ribosyl linkage was sensitive to hydroxylamine, which breaks ADP-ribose-arginine bonds. Site-directed mutagenesis suggested that the auto-ADP-ribosylation site occurred preferentially on the R(7) residue, which is located in the region I of the ADP-ribosyltransferase family. After auto-ADP-ribosylation, NarE showed a reduction in ADP-ribosyltransferase activity, while NAD-glycohydrolase activity was increased. Overall, our findings provide evidence for a novel intramolecular mechanism used by NarE to regulate its enzymatic activities.-Picchianti, M., Del Vecchio, M., Di Marcello, F., Biagini, M., Veggi, D., Norais N., Rappuoli, R., Pizza, M., Balducci, E. Auto ADP-ribosylation of NarE, a Neisseria meningitidis ADP-ribosyltransferase, regulates its catalytic activities.
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Human circulating influenza-CD4+ ICOS1+IL-21+ T cells expand after vaccination, exert helper function, and predict antibody responses.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PUBLISHED: 08-12-2013
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Protection against influenza is mediated by neutralizing antibodies, and their induction at high and sustained titers is key for successful vaccination. Optimal B cells activation requires delivery of help from CD4(+) T lymphocytes. In lymph nodes and tonsils, T-follicular helper cells have been identified as the T cells subset specialized in helping B lymphocytes, with interleukin-21 (IL-21) and inducible costimulatory molecule (ICOS1) playing a central role for this function. We followed the expansion of antigen-specific IL-21(+) CD4(+) T cells upon influenza vaccination in adults. We show that, after an overnight in vitro stimulation, influenza-specific IL-21(+) CD4(+) T cells can be measured in human blood, accumulate in the CXCR5(-)ICOS1(+) population, and increase in frequency after vaccination. The expansion of influenza-specific ICOS1(+)IL-21(+) CD4(+) T cells associates with and predicts the rise of functionally active antibodies to avian H5N1. We also show that blood-derived CXCR5(-)ICOS1(+) CD4(+) T cells exert helper function in vitro and support the differentiation of influenza specific B cells in an ICOS1- and IL-21-dependent manner. We propose that the expansion of antigen-specific ICOS1(+)IL-21(+) CD4(+) T cells in blood is an early marker of vaccine immunogenicity and an important immune parameter for the evaluation of novel vaccination strategies.
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Preventing newborn infection with maternal immunization.
Sci Transl Med
PUBLISHED: 07-26-2013
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Group B streptococcal disease is a common cause of bacterial sepsis in newborns and is often fatal. To protect these babies, a vaccination program must target pregnant women for immunization so that the resulting antibodies can be passively delivered from the mother to the fetus. Scientists met in Siena, Italy, to discuss potential approaches to maternal immunization for the prevention of perinatal group B streptococcal disease.
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Conservation of meningococcal antigens in the genus Neisseria.
MBio
PUBLISHED: 06-14-2013
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Neisseria meningitidis, one of the major causes of bacterial meningitis and sepsis, is a member of the genus Neisseria, which includes species that colonize the mucosae of many animals. Three meningococcal proteins, factor H-binding protein (fHbp), neisserial heparin-binding antigen (NHBA), and N. meningitidis adhesin A (NadA), have been described as antigens protective against N. meningitidis of serogroup B, and they have been employed as vaccine components in preclinical and clinical studies. In the vaccine formulation, fHbp and NHBA were fused to the GNA2091 and GNA1030 proteins, respectively, to enhance protein stability and immunogenicity. To determine the possible impact of vaccination on commensal neisseriae, we determined the presence, distribution, and conservation of these antigens in the available genome sequences of the genus Neisseria, finding that fHbp, NHBA, and NadA were conserved only in species colonizing humans, while GNA1030 and GNA2091 were conserved in many human and nonhuman neisseriae. Sequence analysis showed that homologous recombination contributed to shape the evolution and distribution of both NHBA and fHbp, three major variants of which have been defined. fHbp variant 3 was probably the ancestral form of meningococcal fHbp, while fHbp variant 1 from N. cinerea was introduced into N. meningitidis by a recombination event. fHbp variant 2 was the result of a recombination event inserting a stretch of 483 bp from variant 1 into the variant 3 background. These data indicate that a high rate of exchange of genetic material between neisseriae that colonize the human upper respiratory tract exists. IMPORTANCE The upper respiratory tract of healthy individuals is a complex ecosystem colonized by many bacterial species. Among these, there are representatives of the genus Neisseria, including Neisseria meningitidis, a major cause of bacterial meningitis and sepsis. Given the close relationship between commensal and pathogenic species, a protein-based vaccine against N. meningitidis has the potential to impact the other commensal species of Neisseria. For this reason, we have studied the distribution and evolutionary history of the antigen components of a recombinant vaccine, 4CMenB, that recently received approval in Europe under the commercial name of Bexsero®. We found that fHbp, NHBA, and NadA can be found in some of the human commensal species and that the evolution of these antigens has been essentially shaped by the high rate of genetic exchange that occurs between strains of neisseriae that cocolonize the same environment.
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The history of MF59(®) adjuvant: a phoenix that arose from the ashes.
Expert Rev Vaccines
PUBLISHED: 06-13-2013
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The first clinical trial of an MF59(®)-adjuvanted influenza vaccine (Novartis) was conducted 20 years ago in 1992. The product that emerged (Fluad(®), Novartis) was licensed first in Italy in 1997 and is now licensed worldwide in 30 countries. US licensure is expected in the coming years. By contrast, many alternative adjuvanted vaccines have failed to progress. The key decisions that allowed MF59 to succeed in such a challenging environment are highlighted here and the lessons that were learned along the way are discussed. MF59 was connected to vaccines that did not succeed and was perceived as a failure before it was a success. Importantly, it never failed for safety reasons and was always well tolerated. Even when safety issues have emerged for alternative adjuvants, careful analysis of the substantial safety database for MF59 have shown that there are no significant concerns with widespread use, even in more sensitive populations.
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Protective efficacy induced by recombinant Clostridium difficile toxin fragments.
Infect. Immun.
PUBLISHED: 05-28-2013
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Clostridium difficile is a spore-forming bacterium that can reside in animals and humans. C. difficile infection causes a variety of clinical symptoms, ranging from diarrhea to fulminant colitis. Disease is mediated by TcdA and TcdB, two large enterotoxins released by C. difficile during colonization of the gut. In this study, we evaluated the ability of recombinant toxin fragments to induce neutralizing antibodies in mice. The protective efficacies of the most promising candidates were then evaluated in a hamster model of disease. While limited protection was observed with some combinations, coadministration of a cell binding domain fragment of TcdA (TcdA-B1) and the glucosyltransferase moiety of TcdB (TcdB-GT) induced systemic IgGs which neutralized both toxins and protected vaccinated animals from death following challenge with two strains of C. difficile. Further characterization revealed that despite high concentrations of toxin in the gut lumens of vaccinated animals during the acute phase of the disease, pathological damage was minimized. Assessment of gut contents revealed the presence of TcdA and TcdB antibodies, suggesting that systemic vaccination with this pair of recombinant polypeptides can limit the disease caused by toxin production during C. difficile infection.
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Neisseria gonorrhoeae PIII has a role on NG1873 outer membrane localization and is involved in bacterial adhesion to human cervical and urethral epithelial cells.
BMC Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 05-21-2013
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Protein PIII is one of the major outer membrane proteins of Neisseria gonorrhoeae, 95% identical to RmpM (reduction modifiable protein M) or class 4 protein of Neisseria meningitidis. RmpM is known to be a membrane protein associated by non-covalent bonds to the peptidoglycan layer and interacting with PorA/PorB porin complexes resulting in the stabilization of the bacterial membrane. The C-terminal domain of PIII (and RmpM) is highly homologous to members of the OmpA family, known to have a role in adhesion/invasion in many bacterial species. The contribution of PIII in membrane architecture and its role in the interaction with epithelial cells has never been investigated.
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Synthetic generation of influenza vaccine viruses for rapid response to pandemics.
Sci Transl Med
PUBLISHED: 05-17-2013
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During the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, vaccines for the virus became available in large quantities only after human infections peaked. To accelerate vaccine availability for future pandemics, we developed a synthetic approach that very rapidly generated vaccine viruses from sequence data. Beginning with hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) gene sequences, we combined an enzymatic, cell-free gene assembly technique with enzymatic error correction to allow rapid, accurate gene synthesis. We then used these synthetic HA and NA genes to transfect Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells that were qualified for vaccine manufacture with viral RNA expression constructs encoding HA and NA and plasmid DNAs encoding viral backbone genes. Viruses for use in vaccines were rescued from these MDCK cells. We performed this rescue with improved vaccine virus backbones, increasing the yield of the essential vaccine antigen, HA. Generation of synthetic vaccine seeds, together with more efficient vaccine release assays, would accelerate responses to influenza pandemics through a system of instantaneous electronic data exchange followed by real-time, geographically dispersed vaccine production.
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The gracefully aging immune system.
Sci Transl Med
PUBLISHED: 05-17-2013
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Prolonged life expectancy in the 20th century has been one of humankinds greatest triumphs. However, the substantial increase in the human life span has ushered in a new concern: healthy aging. Because infectious diseases prominently contribute to morbidity in the particularly vulnerable elderly population, strategies for preventing these diseases would have a clear impact on improving healthy aging. Thus, vaccines and immunization strategies tailored for the elderly population are needed, and vaccines should be developed to take into consideration the peculiar age-induced variations of immune responsiveness. The conference "Ageing and Immunity" recently held in Siena, Italy, has reviewed and discussed several possible causes of immune senescence, as well as strategies for counteracting this waning of immune responsiveness and for restoring immunocompetence. In addition, examples of diseases that should be targeted by vaccination in the senior population were considered.
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Perspectives on vaccine development for the elderly.
Curr. Opin. Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 05-06-2013
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Modern society is characterized by a steady increase in the aged population. Increasing numbers of elderly people are exposed to infectious diseases in addition to suffering from chronic non-communicable illnesses. Key differences exist between immune responses elicited against infectious agents in the elderly and in the youngest population. Responses in the aged are characterized by a physiological state of impaired immunity. Such state has forced scientist and vaccine manufacturers to re-think the way vaccines are designed and tested in the elderly. Multiple strategies have been used to overcome the consequences of immunosenescence including the use of higher antigen dose, adjuvanted vaccines, and alternative routes of immunization. However, the lack of understanding of the immune regulatory mechanisms underlying immunosenescence in the elderly represents one of the main hurdles in the pathway to produce effective vaccines for seniors. This article reviews in a succinct form the current state of the art on the development of vaccines for the elderly and critically assesses the past and current literature on this topic, while also proposing new avenues for future studies.
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Vaccines, reverse vaccinology, and bacterial pathogenesis.
Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med
PUBLISHED: 05-03-2013
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Advances in genomics and innovative strategies such as reverse vaccinology have changed the concepts and approaches to vaccine candidate selection and design. Genome mining and blind selection of novel antigens provide a novel route to investigate the mechanisms that underpin pathogenesis. The resulting lists of novel candidates are revealing new aspects of pathogenesis of target organisms, which in turn drives the rational design of optimal vaccine antigens. Here we use the discovery, characterization, and exploitation of fHbp, a vaccine candidate and key virulence factor of meningococcus, as an illustrative case in point. Applying genomic approaches to study both the pathogen and host will ultimately increase our fundamental understanding of pathogen biology, mechanisms responsible for the development of protective immunity, and guide next-generation vaccine design.
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Reverse vaccinology in the 21st century: improvements over the original design.
Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci.
PUBLISHED: 03-25-2013
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Reverse vaccinology (RV), the first application of genomic technologies in vaccine research, represented a major revolution in the process of discovering novel vaccines. By determining their entire antigenic repertoire, researchers could identify protective targets and design efficacious vaccines for pathogens where conventional approaches had failed. Bexsero, the first vaccine developed using RV, has recently received positive opinion from the European Medicines Agency. The use of RV initiated a cascade of changes that affected the entire vaccine development process, shifting the focus from the identification of a list of vaccine candidates to the definition of a set of high throughput screens to reduce the need for costly and labor intensive tests in animal models. It is now clear that a deep understanding of the epidemiology of vaccine candidates, and their regulation and role in host-pathogen interactions, must become an integral component of the screening workflow. Far from being outdated by technological advancements, RV still represents a paradigm of how high-throughput technologies and scientific insight can be integrated into biotechnology research.
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Correlates of protection against influenza infection in humans--on the path to a universal vaccine?
Curr. Opin. Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 03-24-2013
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Influenza is an acute respiratory viral infection with high mutation rate and pandemic potential. Vaccination is an effective means of prevention and control of influenza, but the challenges of vaccine mismatches for the next influenza seasons and adequate global supply of influenza vaccines limit its effectiveness. Protective immunity in vaccination or natural infection is primarily mediated by antibody responses against surface proteins of influenza including haemagglutinin (HA) as the major neutralizing target, whereas strong T cell responses to internal viral proteins are associated with reduced disease severity. Recently, identification of broadly neutralizing antibodies against the conserved stem region of HA from influenza infected individuals has invigorated interest in development of a universal vaccine against different subtypes of influenza. Moreover, because of the cross-reactive nature of T cell recognition and more conserved internal antigens of influenza, strategies that boost memory T cell responses to these internal antigens may provide not only help for antibody-mediated protection but also limit the cell damage caused by viral infection directly. This is particularly important in acute infection with new pandemic viruses or antibody-escape variants where there are no pre-existing neutralizing antibodies. Here, we review the protective immune correlates against human influenza infection and discuss current status of universal influenza vaccine development.
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Predicted strain coverage of a meningococcal multicomponent vaccine (4CMenB) in Europe: a qualitative and quantitative assessment.
Lancet Infect Dis
PUBLISHED: 02-13-2013
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A novel multicomponent vaccine against meningococcal capsular group B (MenB) disease contains four major components: factor-H-binding protein, neisserial heparin binding antigen, neisserial adhesin A, and outer-membrane vesicles derived from the strain NZ98/254. Because the public health effect of the vaccine, 4CMenB (Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, Siena, Italy), is unclear, we assessed the predicted strain coverage in Europe.
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Defining a protective epitope on factor H binding protein, a key meningococcal virulence factor and vaccine antigen.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PUBLISHED: 02-08-2013
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Mapping of epitopes recognized by functional monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) is essential for understanding the nature of immune responses and designing improved vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics. In recent years, identification of B-cell epitopes targeted by neutralizing antibodies has facilitated the design of peptide-based vaccines against highly variable pathogens like HIV, respiratory syncytial virus, and Helicobacter pylori; however, none of these products has yet progressed into clinical stages. Linear epitopes identified by conventional mapping techniques only partially reflect the immunogenic properties of the epitope in its natural conformation, thus limiting the success of this approach. To investigate antigen-antibody interactions and assess the potential of the most common epitope mapping techniques, we generated a series of mAbs against factor H binding protein (fHbp), a key virulence factor and vaccine antigen of Neisseria meningitidis. The interaction of fHbp with the bactericidal mAb 12C1 was studied by various epitope mapping methods. Although a 12-residue epitope in the C terminus of fHbp was identified by both Peptide Scanning and Phage Display Library screening, other approaches, such as hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectrometry (MS) and X-ray crystallography, showed that mAb 12C1 occupies an area of ?1,000 Å(2) on fHbp, including >20 fHbp residues distributed on both N- and C-terminal domains. Collectively, these data show that linear epitope mapping techniques provide useful but incomplete descriptions of B-cell epitopes, indicating that increased efforts to fully characterize antigen-antibody interfaces are required to understand and design effective immunogens.
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Chlamydia trachomatis control requires a vaccine.
Vaccine
PUBLISHED: 01-09-2013
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As the most common reported communicable disease in North America and Europe, Chlamydia trachomatis is the focus of concerted public health control efforts based on screening and treatment. Unexpectedly control efforts are accompanied by rising reinfection rates attributed in part to arresting the development of herd immunity. Shortening the duration of infection through the testing and treatment program is the root cause behind the arrested immunity hypothesis and because of this a vaccine will be essential to control efforts. Advances in Chlamydia vaccinomics have revealed the C. trachomatis antigens that can be used to constitute a subunit vaccine and a vaccine solution appears to be scientifically achievable. We propose that an accelerated C. trachomatis vaccine effort requires coordinated partnership among academic, public health and private sector players together with a commitment to C. trachomatis vaccine control as a global public health priority.
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Helicobacter pylori CagA: From Pathogenic Mechanisms to Its Use as an Anti-Cancer Vaccine.
Front Immunol
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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Helicobacter pylori colonizes the gastric mucosa of more than 50% of the human population, causing chronic inflammation, which however is largely asymptomatic. Nevertheless, H. pylori-infected subjects can develop chronic gastritis, peptic ulcer, gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma, and gastric cancer. Chronic exposure to the pathogen and its ability to induce epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) through the injection of cytotoxin-associated gene A into gastric epithelial cells may be key triggers of carcinogenesis. By deregulating cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions as well as DNA methylation, histone modifications, expression of micro RNAs, and resistance to apoptosis, EMT can actively contribute to early stages of the cancer formation. Host response to the infection significantly contributes to disease development and the concomitance of particular genotypes of both pathogen and host may turn into the most severe outcomes. T regulatory cells (Treg) have been recently demonstrated to play an important role in H. pylori-related disease development and at the same time the Treg-induced tolerance has been proposed as a possible mechanism that leads to less severe disease. Efficacy of antibiotic therapies of H. pylori infection has significantly dropped. Unfortunately, no vaccine against H. pylori is currently licensed, and protective immunity mechanisms against H. pylori are only partially understood. In spite of promising results obtained in animal models of infection with a number of vaccine candidates, few clinical trials have been conducted so far and with no satisfactory outcomes. However, prophylactic vaccination may be the only means to efficiently prevent H. pylori-associated cancers.
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An analysis of the sequence variability of meningococcal fHbp, NadA and NHBA over a 50-year period in the Netherlands.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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Studies of meningococcal evolution and genetic population structure, including the long-term stability of non-random associations between variants of surface proteins, are essential for vaccine development. We analyzed the sequence variability of factor H-binding protein (fHbp), Neisserial Heparin-Binding Antigen (NHBA) and Neisseria adhesin A (NadA), three major antigens in the multicomponent meningococcal serogroup B vaccine 4CMenB. A panel of invasive isolates collected in the Netherlands over a period of 50 years was used. To our knowledge, this strain collection covers the longest time period of any collection available worldwide. Long-term persistence of several antigen sub/variants and of non-overlapping antigen sub/variant combinations was observed. Our data suggest that certain antigen sub/variants including those used in 4CMenB are conserved over time and promoted by selection.
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Human heat shock protein (Hsp) 90 interferes with Neisseria meningitidis adhesin A (NadA)-mediated adhesion and invasion.
Cell. Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 12-08-2011
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NadA (N eisseria meningitidisadhesin A), a meningococcal surface protein, mediates adhesion to and invasion of human cells, an activity in which host membrane proteins have been implicated. While investigating these host factors in human epithelial cells by affinity chromatography, we discovered an unanticipated interaction of NadA with heat shock protein (Hsp) 90, a molecular chaperone. The specific in vitro interaction of recombinant soluble NadA and Hsp90 was confirmed by co-immunoprecipitations, dot and far-Western blot. Intriguingly, ADP, but not ATP, was required for this association, and the Hsp90 inhibitor 17-AAG promoted complex formation. Hsp90 binding to an Escherichia coli strain used as carrier to express surface exposed NadA confirmed these results in live bacteria. We also examined RNA interference, plasmid-driven overexpression, addition of exogenous rHsp90 and 17-AAG inhibition in human epithelial cells to further elucidate the involvement of Hsp90 in NadA-mediated adhesion and invasion. Together, these data suggest an inverse correlation between the amount of host Hsp90 and the NadA adhesive/invasive phenotype. Confocal microscopy also demonstrated that meningococci interact with cellular Hsp90, a completely novel finding. Altogether our results show that variation of host Hsp90 expression or activity interferes with adhesive and invasive events driven by NadA.
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RrgB321, a fusion protein of the three variants of the pneumococcal pilus backbone RrgB, is protective in vivo and elicits opsonic antibodies.
Infect. Immun.
PUBLISHED: 11-14-2011
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Streptococcus pneumoniae pilus 1 is present in 30 to 50% of invasive disease-causing strains and is composed of three subunits: the adhesin RrgA, the major backbone subunit RrgB, and the minor ancillary protein RrgC. RrgB exists in three distinct genetic variants and, when used to immunize mice, induces an immune response specific for each variant. To generate an antigen able to protect against the infection caused by all pilus-positive S. pneumoniae strains, we engineered a fusion protein containing the three RrgB variants (RrgB321). RrgB321 elicited antibodies against proteins from organisms in the three clades and protected mice against challenge with piliated pneumococcal strains. RrgB321 antisera mediated complement-dependent opsonophagocytosis of piliated strains at levels comparable to those achieved with the PCV7 glycoconjugate vaccine. These results suggest that a vaccine composed of RrgB321 has the potential to cover 30% or more of all pneumococcal strains and support the inclusion of this fusion protein in a multicomponent vaccine against S. pneumoniae.
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Vaccines for the twenty-first century society.
Nat. Rev. Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 11-04-2011
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Vaccines have been one of the major revolutions in the history of mankind and, during the twentieth century, they eliminated most of the childhood diseases that used to cause millions of deaths. In the twenty-first century, vaccines will also play a major part in safeguarding peoples health. Supported by the innovations derived from new technologies, vaccines will address the new needs of a twenty-first century society characterized by increased life expectancy, emerging infections and poverty in low-income countries.
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Hemagglutination inhibition antibody titers as a correlate of protection for inactivated influenza vaccines in children.
Pediatr. Infect. Dis. J.
PUBLISHED: 10-11-2011
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The hemagglutination inhibition (HI) titer of 1:40, which has been recognized as an immunologic correlate corresponding to a 50% reduction in the risk of contracting influenza, is based on studies in adults. Neither seasonal nor challenge-based correlates have been evaluated in children.
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Twenty-first century vaccines.
Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond., B, Biol. Sci.
PUBLISHED: 09-07-2011
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In the twentieth century, vaccination has been possibly the greatest revolution in health. Together with hygiene and antibiotics, vaccination led to the elimination of many childhood infectious diseases and contributed to the increase in disability-free life expectancy that in Western societies rose from 50 to 78-85 years (Crimmins, E. M. & Finch, C. E. 2006 Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 103, 498-503; Kirkwood, T. B. 2008 Nat. Med 10, 1177-1185). In the twenty-first century, vaccination will be expected to eliminate the remaining childhood infectious diseases, such as meningococcal meningitis, respiratory syncytial virus, group A streptococcus, and will address the health challenges of this century such as those associated with ageing, antibiotic resistance, emerging infectious diseases and poverty. However, for this to happen, we need to increase the public trust in vaccination so that vaccines can be perceived as the best insurance against most diseases across all ages.
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The design of semi-synthetic and synthetic glycoconjugate vaccines.
Expert Opin Drug Discov
PUBLISHED: 09-06-2011
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Introduction: Glycoconjugate vaccines are among the safest and most efficacious vaccines developed during the last 30 years. They are a potent tool for prevention of life-threatening bacterial infectious diseases like meningitis and pneumonia. The concept of hapten-carrier conjugation is now being extended to other disease areas. Areas covered: This is an overview of the history and current status of glycoconjugate vaccines. The authors discuss the approaches for their preparation and quality control as well as those variables which might affect their product profile. The authors also look at the potential to develop fully synthetic conjugate vaccines based on the progress of organic chemistry. Additionally, new applications of conjugate vaccines technology in the field of non-infectious diseases are discussed. Through this review, the reader will have an insight regarding the issues and complexities involved in the preparation and characterization of conjugate vaccines, the variables that might affect their immunogenicity and the potential for future applications. Expert opinion: The immunogenicity of weak T-independent antigens can be increased in quantity and quality by conjugation to protein carriers, which provide T-cell help. Glycoconjugate vaccines are among the safest and most efficacious vaccines developed so far. Various conjugation procedures and carrier proteins can be used. Many variables impact on the immunogenicity of conjugate vaccines and a tight control through physicochemical tests is important to ensure manufacturing and clinical consistency. New and challenging targets for conjugate vaccines are represented by cancer and other non-infectious diseases.
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Vaccines for the future: learning from human immunology.
Microb Biotechnol
PUBLISHED: 08-31-2011
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Conventional vaccines have been extremely successful in preventing infections by pathogens expressing relatively conserved antigens through antibody-mediated effector mechanisms. Thanks to vaccination some diseases have been eradicated and mortality due to infectious diseases has been significantly reduced. However, there are still many infections that are not preventable with vaccination, which represent a major cause of mortality worldwide. Some of these infections are caused by pathogens with a high degree of antigen variability that cannot be controlled only by antibodies, but require a mix of humoral and cellular immune responses. Novel technologies for antigen discovery, expression and formulation allow now for the development of vaccines that can better cope with pathogen diversity and trigger multifunctional immune responses. In addition, the application of new genomic assays and systems biology approaches in human immunology can help to better identify vaccine correlates of protection. The availability of novel vaccine technologies, together with the knowledge of the distinct human immune responses that are required to prevent different types of infection, should help to rationally design effective vaccines where conventional approaches have failed.
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The challenge of developing universal vaccines.
F1000 Med Rep
PUBLISHED: 08-01-2011
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Antigenic variability of immunodominant antigens is a common mechanism used by pathogens to escape the immune response. Frequently, the proposed solution is a universal vaccine based on conserved antigens present on all strains of the pathogen. Indeed, a lot of progress has been made in the development of vaccines that induce broad immune responses. However, truly universal vaccines are not easy to produce and still face many challenges, mostly because in those pathogens that use antigenic variability to escape the immune response, conserved antigens have been selected by evolution to be poorly immunogenic. This review describes the progress made towards the development of vaccines inducing broad protection against Neisseria meningitidis, influenza, HIV, and Candida and the challenges of developing truly universal vaccines.
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Rational design of a meningococcal antigen inducing broad protective immunity.
Sci Transl Med
PUBLISHED: 07-15-2011
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The sequence variability of protective antigens is a major challenge to the development of vaccines. For Neisseria meningitidis, the bacterial pathogen that causes meningitis, the amino acid sequence of the protective antigen factor H binding protein (fHBP) has more than 300 variations. These sequence differences can be classified into three distinct groups of antigenic variants that do not induce cross-protective immunity. Our goal was to generate a single antigen that would induce immunity against all known sequence variants of N. meningitidis. To achieve this, we rationally designed, expressed, and purified 54 different mutants of fHBP and tested them in mice for the induction of protective immunity. We identified and determined the crystal structure of a lead chimeric antigen that was able to induce high levels of cross-protective antibodies in mice against all variant strains tested. The new fHBP antigen had a conserved backbone that carried an engineered surface containing specificities for all three variant groups. We demonstrate that the structure-based design of multiple immunodominant antigenic surfaces on a single protein scaffold is possible and represents an effective way to create broadly protective vaccines.
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Adjuvanticity of the oil-in-water emulsion MF59 is independent of Nlrp3 inflammasome but requires the adaptor protein MyD88.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PUBLISHED: 06-20-2011
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Oil-in-water emulsions have been successfully used to increase the efficacy, immunogenicity, and cross-protection of human vaccines; however, their mechanism of action is still largely unknown. Nlrp3 inflammasome has been previously associated to the activity of alum, another adjuvant broadly used in human vaccines, and MyD88 adaptor protein is required for the adjuvanticity of most Toll-like receptor agonists. We compared the contribution of Nlrp3 and MyD88 to the adjuvanticity of alum, the oil-in-water emulsion MF59, and complete Freunds adjuvant in mice using a three-component vaccine against serogroup B Neisseria meningitidis (rMenB). Although the basal antibody responses to the nonadjuvanted rMenB vaccine were largely dependent on Nlrp3, the high-level antibody responses induced by alum, MF59, or complete Freunds adjuvant did not require Nlrp3. Surprisingly, we found that MF59 requires MyD88 to enhance bactericidal antibody responses to the rMenB vaccine. Because MF59 did not activate any of the Toll-like receptors in vitro, we propose that MF59 requires MyD88 for a Toll-like receptor-independent signaling pathway.
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Designing the next generation of vaccines for global public health.
OMICS
PUBLISHED: 06-17-2011
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Vaccine research and development are experiencing a renaissance of interest from the global scientific community. There are four major reasons for this: (1) the lack of efficacious treatment for many devastating infections; (2) the emergence of multidrug resistant bacteria; (3) the need for improving the safety of the more traditional licensed vaccines; and finally, (4) the great promise for innovative vaccine design and research with convergence of omics sciences, such as genomics, proteomics, immunomics, and vaccinology. Our first project based on omics was initiated in 2000 and was termed reverse vaccinology. At that time, antigen identification was mainly based on bioinformatic analysis of a singular genome. Since then, omics-guided approaches have been applied to its full potential in several proof-of-concept studies in the industry, with the first reverse vaccinology-derived vaccine now in late stage clinical trials and several vaccines developed by omics in preclinical studies. In the meantime, vaccine discovery and development has been further improved with the support of proteomics, functional genomics, comparative genomics, structural biology, and most recently vaccinomics. We illustrate in this review how omics biotechnologies and integrative biology are expected to accelerate the identification of vaccine candidates against difficult pathogens for which traditional vaccine development has thus far been failing, and how research will provide safer vaccines and improved formulations for immunocompromised patients in the near future. Finally, we present a discussion to situate omics-guided rational vaccine design in the broader context of global public health and how it can benefit citizens in both developed and developing countries.
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A novel epigenetic regulator associated with the hypervirulent Neisseria meningitidis clonal complex 41/44.
FASEB J.
PUBLISHED: 06-16-2011
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Neisseria meningitidis is a major cause of septicemia and meningitis. The hypervirulent clonal complex 41/44 (cc41/44) has emerged as the predominant cause of serogroup B meningococcal disease, having been responsible for recent outbreaks and epidemics worldwide. However, the meningococcal factors that enable transition from asymptomatic carriage to rapidly progressing disease are poorly understood. Here we describe a novel phase-variable DNA methyltransferase, ModD, which was identified in the genome sequence of a New Zealand epidemic isolate. Investigation of the distribution of modD in the wider meningococcal population, by PCR and sequence analysis of genetically diverse N. meningitidis strains, revealed the presence of modD in 20/27 strains in cc41/44, but in only 2/47 strains from other clonal complexes, indicating a significant association of modD with cc41/44 (Fishers exact P value=3×10(-10)). The modD gene contains 5-ACCGA-3 repeats that mediate phase variation, leading to reversible on/off switching of modD expression. Microarray analysis of modD-on/off variants revealed that ModD regulates expression of multiple genes involved in colonization, infection, and protection against host defenses, with increased catalase expression in the modD-on variant conferring increased resistance to oxidative stress. The modulation of gene expression via the ModD phase-variable regulon (phasevarion), and its significant association with the cc41/44, suggest a role in the fitness and/or pathogenesis of strains belonging to the cc41/44.
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Vaccine discovery and translation of new vaccine technology.
Lancet
PUBLISHED: 06-12-2011
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An unprecedented increase in new vaccine development has occurred over the past three decades. This activity has resulted in vaccines that protect against an increased range of vaccine-preventable diseases, vaccines that reduce the number of required injections, and vaccines with improved safety and purity. New methods of discovery, such as reverse vaccinology, structural biology, and systems biology, promise new vaccines for different diseases and efficient development pathways for these vaccines. We expect development of vaccines not only for infectious diseases in children but also for healthy adults, pregnant women, and elderly people, and for new indications such as autoimmune disease and cancer. We have witnessed a concomitant development of new technology for assessment of vaccine safety to rapidly identify potential safety issues. Success of these new approaches will depend on effective implementation of vaccination programmes, creative thinking on the part of manufacturers and regulators as to how best to ensure that safe and effective vaccines are available in a timely manner, and improvement of public awareness about the benefits and risks of new vaccines in a way that encourages confidence in vaccines.
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MF59 adjuvant enhances diversity and affinity of antibody-mediated immune response to pandemic influenza vaccines.
Sci Transl Med
PUBLISHED: 06-03-2011
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Oil-in-water adjuvants have been shown to improve immune responses against pandemic influenza vaccines as well as reduce the effective vaccine dose, increasing the number of doses available to meet global vaccine demand. Here, we use genome fragment phage display libraries and surface plasmon resonance to elucidate the effects of MF59 on the quantity, diversity, specificity, and affinity maturation of human antibody responses to the swine-origin H1N1 vaccine in different age groups. In adults and children, MF59 selectively enhanced antibody responses to the hemagglutinin 1 (HA1) globular head relative to the more conserved HA2 domain in terms of increased antibody titers as well as a more diverse antibody epitope repertoire. Antibody affinity, as inferred by greatly diminished (?10-fold) off-rate constants, was significantly increased in toddlers and children who received the MF59-adjuvanted vaccine. Moreover, MF59 also improved antibody affinity maturation after each sequential vaccination against avian H5N1 in adults. For both pandemic influenza vaccines, there was a close correlation between serum antibody affinity and virus-neutralizing capacity. Thus, MF59 quantitatively and qualitatively enhances functional antibody responses to HA-based vaccines by improving both epitope breadth and binding affinity, demonstrating the added value of such adjuvants for influenza vaccines.
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A 2020 vision for vaccines against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.
Nature
PUBLISHED: 05-27-2011
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Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), malaria and tuberculosis collectively cause more than five million deaths per year, but have nonetheless eluded conventional vaccine development; for this reason they represent one of the major global public health challenges as we enter the second decade of the twenty-first century. Recent trials have provided evidence that it is possible to develop vaccines that can prevent infection by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and malaria. Furthermore, advances in vaccinology, including novel adjuvants, prime-boost regimes and strategies for intracellular antigen presentation, have led to progress in developing a vaccine against tuberculosis. Here we discuss these advances and suggest that new tools such as systems biology and structure-based antigen design will lead to a deeper understanding of mechanisms of protection which, in turn, will lead to rational vaccine development. We also argue that new and innovative approaches to clinical trials will accelerate the availability of these vaccines.
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Structure-based approach to rationally design a chimeric protein for an effective vaccine against Group B Streptococcus infections.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PUBLISHED: 05-18-2011
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Structural vaccinology is an emerging strategy for the rational design of vaccine candidates. We successfully applied structural vaccinology to design a fully synthetic protein with multivalent protection activity. In Group B Streptococcus, cell-surface pili have aroused great interest because of their direct roles in virulence and importance as protective antigens. The backbone subunit of type 2a pilus (BP-2a) is present in six immunogenically different but structurally similar variants. We determined the 3D structure of one of the variants, and experimentally demonstrated that protective antibodies specifically recognize one of the four domains that comprise the protein. We therefore constructed a synthetic protein constituted by the protective domain of each one of the six variants and showed that the chimeric protein protects mice against the challenge with all of the type 2a pilus-carrying strains. This work demonstrates the power of structural vaccinology and will facilitate the development of an optimized, broadly protective pilus-based vaccine against Group B Streptococcus by combining the uniquely generated chimeric protein with protective pilin subunits from two other previously identified pilus types. In addition, this work describes a template procedure that can be followed to develop vaccines against other bacterial pathogens.
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Structural basis for immunization with postfusion respiratory syncytial virus fusion F glycoprotein (RSV F) to elicit high neutralizing antibody titers.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PUBLISHED: 05-17-2011
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Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), the main cause of infant bronchiolitis, remains a major unmet vaccine need despite more than 40 years of vaccine research. Vaccine candidates based on a chief RSV neutralization antigen, the fusion (F) glycoprotein, have foundered due to problems with stability, purity, reproducibility, and potency. Crystal structures of related parainfluenza F glycoproteins have revealed a large conformational change between the prefusion and postfusion states, suggesting that postfusion F antigens might not efficiently elicit neutralizing antibodies. We have generated a homogeneous, stable, and reproducible postfusion RSV F immunogen that elicits high titers of neutralizing antibodies in immunized animals. The 3.2-Å X-ray crystal structure of this substantially complete RSV F reveals important differences from homology-based structural models. Specifically, the RSV F crystal structure demonstrates the exposure of key neutralizing antibody binding sites on the surface of the postfusion RSV F trimer. This unanticipated structural feature explains the engineered RSV F antigens efficiency as an immunogen. This work illustrates how structural-based antigen design can guide the rational optimization of candidate vaccine antigens.
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Biochemical and biological characteristics of cross-reacting material 197 CRM197, a non-toxic mutant of diphtheria toxin: use as a conjugation protein in vaccines and other potential clinical applications.
Biologicals
PUBLISHED: 05-16-2011
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The biochemical and biological characteristics of CRM(197) are reviewed. Polysaccharide protein conjugate vaccines represent an important technological advancement that allowed for protection against dangerous diseases in vulnerable populations such as infants. The first carrier proteins, diphtheria and tetanus toxoids, were chosen in the context of an extensive body of information describing their immunogenicity and safety profiles in clinical use. These carriers perform well, and they require detoxification. A non-toxic mutant of diphtheria toxin, cross-reacting material 197 (CRM(197)), is a useful carrier protein with several manufacturing and other potential advantages over toxoids. For over a decade, several important and widely used routine childhood glycoconjugate vaccines against serious illnesses, including Haemophilus influenzae type b and pneumococcal disease, have employed CRM(197) as carrier protein. Additional clinical applications of CRM(197), as in chemotherapy, also exist.
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Helicobacter pylori cytotoxin-associated gene A (CagA) subverts the apoptosis-stimulating protein of p53 (ASPP2) tumor suppressor pathway of the host.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PUBLISHED: 05-11-2011
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Type I strains of Helicobacter pylori (Hp) possess a pathogenicity island, cag, that encodes the effector protein cytotoxin-associated gene A (CagA) and a type four secretion system. After translocation into the host cell, CagA affects cell shape, increases cell motility, abrogates junctional activity, and promotes an epithelial to mesenchymal transition-like phenotype. Transgenic expression of CagA enhances gastrointestinal and intestinal carcinomas as well as myeloid and B-cell lymphomas in mice, but the mechanism of the induced cancer formation is not fully understood. Here, we show that CagA subverts the tumor suppressor function of apoptosis-stimulating protein of p53 (ASPP2). Delivery of CagA inside the host results in its association with ASPP2. After this interaction, ASPP2 recruits its natural target p53 and inhibits its apoptotic function. CagA leads to enhanced degradation of p53 and thereby, down-regulates its activity in an ASPP2-dependent manner. Finally, Hp-infected cells treated with the p53-activating drug Doxorubicin are more resistant to apoptosis than uninfected cells, an effect that requires ASPP2. The interaction between CagA and ASPP2 and the consequent degradation of p53 are examples of a bacterial protein that subverts the p53 tumor suppressor pathway in a manner similar to DNA tumor viruses. This finding may contribute to the understanding of the increased risk of gastric cancer in patients infected with Hp CagA+ strains.
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MF59 adjuvant: the best insurance against influenza strain diversity.
Expert Rev Vaccines
PUBLISHED: 04-22-2011
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MF59 is a well-established, safe and potent vaccine adjuvant that has been licensed for more than 13 years for use in an influenza vaccine focused on elderly subjects (Fluad®), Novartis, Cambridge, MA, USA). Recently, MF59 was shown to be safe in a seasonal influenza vaccine for young children and was able to increase vaccine efficacy from 43 to 89%. A key and consistent feature of MF59 is the ability of the emulsion to induce fast priming of influenza antigen-specific CD4(+) T-cell responses, to induce strong and long-lasting memory T- and B-cell responses and to broaden the immune response beyond the influenza strains actually included in the vaccine. The enhanced breadth of response is valuable in the seasonal setting, but is particularly valuable in a (pre-) pandemic setting, when it is difficult to predict which strain will emerge to cause the pandemic. We have shown that the ability of MF59 to increase the breadth of immune response against influenza vaccines is mainly due to the spreading of the repertoire of the B-cell epitopes recognized on the hemagglutinin and neuraminidase of the influenza virus.
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Escherichia coli heat-labile enterotoxin promotes protective Th17 responses against infection by driving innate IL-1 and IL-23 production.
J. Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 04-13-2011
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Escherichia coli heat-labile enterotoxin (LT) is a powerful mucosal adjuvant; however, it is associated with toxic effects when delivered intranasally, and its mechanism of action is poorly understood. In this article, we demonstrate that LT acts as a highly effective adjuvant when administered parenterally, promoting Ag-specific IL-17, as well as IFN-?, IL-4, and IL-10 production in response to coadministered Ags. We found that the adjuvant activity of LT was mediated in part by inducing dendritic cell (DC) activation; LT promoted CD80 and CD86 expression by DCs and enhanced IL-1?, IL-1?, and IL-23 production. An LT mutant, LTK63, that lacks enzyme activity was less effective than the wild-type toxin in promoting DC maturation and the development of Ag-specific Th17 cells. LT enhanced IL-23 and IL-1? production from DCs via activation of ERK MAPK and IL-1? secretion through activation of caspase-1 and the NLRP3 inflammasome. These cytokines played a major role in promoting Th17 responses by LT and LTK63. The induction of Th17 cells in vivo in response to LT and LTK63 as adjuvants was significantly reduced in IL-1RI-deficient mice. Finally, using a murine respiratory infection model, we demonstrated that LT can act as a highly effective adjuvant for a pertussis vaccine, promoting Ag-specific Th17 cells and protection against Bordetella pertussis challenge, which was significantly reduced in IL-17-defective mice. Our findings provide clear evidence that LT can promote protective immune responses in part through induction of innate IL-1 and, consequently, Th17 cells.
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Prevalence and genetic diversity of candidate vaccine antigens among invasive Neisseria meningitidis isolates in the United States.
Vaccine
PUBLISHED: 04-12-2011
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Neisseria meningitidis (Nm) serogroups B, C and Y are the major causes of meningococcal diseases in the United States. NmB accounts for ?1/3 of the disease but no licensed vaccine is yet available. Two candidate vaccines are being developed specifically to target NmB, but may also provide protection against other serogroups. To assess the potential impact of these vaccines on NmB and other serogroups causing disease in the US, we determined the prevalence, genetic diversity and epidemiological characteristics of three candidate antigen genes in Nm isolates collected through Active Bacterial Core surveillance (ABCs), a population-based active surveillance program. fHbp was detected in all NmB, NmY and NmW135 isolates. Eleven NmC isolates contain fHbp with a single base-pair deletion creating a frame shift in the C-terminal region. Among NmB, 59% were FHbp subfamily/variant B/v1 and 41% A/v2-3. Among NmC and NmY, 39% and 3% were B/v1, respectively. nadA was detected in 39% of NmB, 61% of NmC and 4% of NmY. Among isolates tested, nhbA was present in all NmB and 96% of non-B. For the subset of strains sequenced for NadA and NhbA, pairwise identity was greater than 93% and 78%, respectively. The proportion of FHbp subfamily/variant was different between ABCs site and year, but no linear temporal trend was observed. Although assessment of the vaccine coverage also requires understanding of the antigen expression and the ability to induce bactericidal activity, our finding that all isolates contain one or more antigen genes suggests these candidate vaccines may protect against multiple Nm serogroups.
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Learning from the 2009 H1N1 pandemic: prospects for more broadly effective influenza vaccines.
J Mol Cell Biol
PUBLISHED: 03-23-2011
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Calls to develop a universal influenza vaccine have increased in the wake of the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic. This demand comes at a time when analyses of the human antibody repertoire, informed by structures of complexes between broadly neutralizing antibodies and influenza hemagglutinin, have revealed the target of a class of broadly neutralizing antibodies. Recent studies suggest a path forward to more broadly protective influenza vaccines.
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Neisseria meningitidis is structured in clades associated with restriction modification systems that modulate homologous recombination.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PUBLISHED: 02-28-2011
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Molecular data on a limited number of chromosomal loci have shown that the population of Neisseria meningitidis (Nm), a deadly human pathogen, is structured in distinct lineages. Given that the Nm population undergoes substantial recombination, the mechanisms resulting in the evolution of these lineages, their persistence in time, and the implications for the pathogenicity of the bacterium are not yet completely understood. Based on whole-genome sequencing, we show that Nm is structured in phylogenetic clades. Through acquisition of specific genes and through insertions and rearrangements, each clade has acquired and remodeled specific genomic tracts, with the potential to impact on the commensal and virulence behavior of Nm. Despite this clear evidence of a structured population, we confirm high rates of detectable recombination throughout the whole Nm chromosome. However, gene conversion events were found to be longer within clades than between clades, suggesting a DNA cleavage mechanism associated with the phylogeny of the species. We identify 22 restriction modification systems, probably acquired by horizontal gene transfer from outside of the species/genus, whose distribution in the different strains coincides with the phylogenetic clade structure. We provide evidence that these clade-associated restriction modification systems generate a differential barrier to DNA exchange consistent with the observed population structure. These findings have general implications for the emergence of lineage structure and virulence in recombining bacterial populations, and they could provide an evolutionary framework for the population biology of a number of other bacterial species that show contradictory population structure and dynamics.
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Transcriptome analysis of Neisseria meningitidis in human whole blood and mutagenesis studies identify virulence factors involved in blood survival.
PLoS Pathog.
PUBLISHED: 02-26-2011
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During infection Neisseria meningitidis (Nm) encounters multiple environments within the host, which makes rapid adaptation a crucial factor for meningococcal survival. Despite the importance of invasion into the bloodstream in the meningococcal disease process, little is known about how Nm adapts to permit survival and growth in blood. To address this, we performed a time-course transcriptome analysis using an ex vivo model of human whole blood infection. We observed that Nm alters the expression of ?30% of ORFs of the genome and major dynamic changes were observed in the expression of transcriptional regulators, transport and binding proteins, energy metabolism, and surface-exposed virulence factors. In particular, we found that the gene encoding the regulator Fur, as well as all genes encoding iron uptake systems, were significantly up-regulated. Analysis of regulated genes encoding for surface-exposed proteins involved in Nm pathogenesis allowed us to better understand mechanisms used to circumvent host defenses. During blood infection, Nm activates genes encoding for the factor H binding proteins, fHbp and NspA, genes encoding for detoxifying enzymes such as SodC, Kat and AniA, as well as several less characterized surface-exposed proteins that might have a role in blood survival. Through mutagenesis studies of a subset of up-regulated genes we were able to identify new proteins important for survival in human blood and also to identify additional roles of previously known virulence factors in aiding survival in blood. Nm mutant strains lacking the genes encoding the hypothetical protein NMB1483 and the surface-exposed proteins NalP, Mip and NspA, the Fur regulator, the transferrin binding protein TbpB, and the L-lactate permease LctP were sensitive to killing by human blood. This increased knowledge of how Nm responds to adaptation in blood could also be helpful to develop diagnostic and therapeutic strategies to control the devastating disease cause by this microorganism.
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Efficacy of vaccination with different combinations of MF59-adjuvanted and nonadjuvanted seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccines against pandemic H1N1 (2009) influenza virus infection in ferrets.
J. Virol.
PUBLISHED: 01-05-2011
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Serum antibodies induced by seasonal influenza or seasonal influenza vaccination exhibit limited or no cross-reactivity against the 2009 pandemic swine-origin influenza virus of the H1N1 subtype (pH1N1). Ferrets immunized once or twice with MF59-adjuvanted seasonal influenza vaccine exhibited significantly reduced lung virus titers but no substantial clinical protection against pH1N1-associated disease. However, priming with MF59-adjuvanted seasonal influenza vaccine significantly increased the efficacy of a pandemic MF59-adjuvanted influenza vaccine against pH1N1 challenge. Elucidating the mechanism involved in this priming principle will contribute to our understanding of vaccine- and infection-induced correlates of protection. Furthermore, a practical consequence of these findings is that during an emerging pandemic, the implementation of a priming strategy with an available adjuvanted seasonal vaccine to precede the eventual pandemic vaccination campaign may be useful and life-saving.
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Influenza vaccine immunology.
Immunol. Rev.
PUBLISHED: 01-05-2011
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Studying the spread of influenza in human populations and protection by influenza vaccines provides important insights into immunity against influenza. The 2009 H1N1 pandemic has taught the most recent lessons. Neutralizing and receptor-blocking antibodies against hemagglutinin are the primary means of protection from the spread of pandemic and seasonal strains. Anti-neuraminidase antibodies seem to play a secondary role. More broadly cross-reactive forms of immunity may lessen disease severity but are insufficient to prevent epidemic spread. Priming by prior exposure to related influenza strains through infection or immunization permits rapid, potent antibody responses to immunization. Priming is of greater importance to the design of immunization strategies than the immunologically fascinating phenomenon of dominant recall responses to previously encountered strains (original antigenic sin). Comparisons between non-adjuvanted inactivated vaccines and live attenuated vaccines demonstrate that both can protect, with some advantage of live attenuated vaccines in children and some advantage of inactivated vaccines in those with multiple prior exposures to influenza antigens. The addition of oil-in-water emulsion adjuvants to inactivated vaccines provides enhanced functional antibody titers, greater breadth of antibody cross-reactivity, and antigen dose sparing. The MF59 adjuvant broadens the distribution of B-cell epitopes recognized on HA and NA following immunization.
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A crisis of public confidence in vaccines.
Sci Transl Med
PUBLISHED: 12-15-2010
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A meeting was held in Siena, Italy, in July 2010 to review the evidence for a decrease in public confidence in vaccines, to discuss possible reasons for this phenomenon, and to develop possible strategies to improve public confidence in vaccines. Prevention of morbidity and mortality by vaccination is one of the major public health accomplishments of the last century. Nevertheless, despite the improved safety and effectiveness of vaccines, public confidence in vaccination is decreasing. Improved methods of vaccine safety assessment have not improved public confidence. In addition, dissemination of false information on the Internet has undermined public confidence globally. Reductions in vaccine uptake or use of available vaccines can and have resulted in increased morbidity and mortality due to infectious diseases. The lack of public confidence in vaccines risks undermining the political will necessary to rapidly respond to a more severe influenza pandemic in the future. To improve the current situation, we must define both the risks and the benefits of individual vaccines so that the public can understand the rationale for vaccine recommendations. Key to regaining public trust in vaccines is a credible, consistent, and unified message developed from the private and public sectors that directly addresses public concerns. Unless an active effort is made to improve public confidence and trust in vaccination, there is a risk that gains made in combating the morbidity and mortality of infectious diseases through the use of vaccines will be lost. Loss of political will resulting from this loss of public confidence may also result in inappropriate decisions regarding the development and use of pandemic influenza vaccines for use in future pandemics, thus compromising public health.
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Characterization of diverse subvariants of the meningococcal factor H (fH) binding protein for their ability to bind fH, to mediate serum resistance, and to induce bactericidal antibodies.
Infect. Immun.
PUBLISHED: 12-13-2010
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Neisseria meningitidis is a commensal of the human nasopharynx but is also a major cause of septicemia and meningitis. The meningococcal factor H binding protein (fHbp) binds human factor H (fH), enabling downregulation of complement activation on the bacterial surface. fHbp is a component of two serogroup B meningococcal vaccines currently in clinical development. Here we characterize 12 fHbp subvariants for their level of surface exposure and ability to bind fH, to mediate serum resistance, and to induce bactericidal antibodies. Flow cytometry and Western analysis revealed that all strains examined expressed fHbp on their surface to different extents and bound fH in an fHbp-dependent manner. However, differences in fH binding did not always correlate with the level of fHbp expression, indicating that this is not the only factor affecting the amount of fH bound. To overcome the issue of strain variability in fHbp expression, the MC58?fHbp strain was genetically engineered to express different subvariants from a constitutive heterologous promoter. These recombinant strains were characterized for fH binding, and the data confirmed that each subvariant binds different levels of fH. Surface plasmon resonance revealed differences in the stability of the fHbp-fH complexes that ranged over 2 orders of magnitude, indicating that differences in residues between and within variant groups can influence fH binding. Interestingly, the level of survival in human sera of recombinant MC58 strains expressing diverse subvariants did not correlate with the level of fH binding, suggesting that the interaction of fHbp with fH is not the only function of fHbp that influences serum resistance. Furthermore, cross-reactive bactericidal activity was seen within each variant group, although the degree of activity varied, suggesting that amino acid differences within each variant group influence the bactericidal antibody response.
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Qualitative and quantitative assessment of meningococcal antigens to evaluate the potential strain coverage of protein-based vaccines.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PUBLISHED: 10-20-2010
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A unique multicomponent vaccine against serogroup B meningococci incorporates the novel genome-derived proteins fHbp, NHBA, and NadA that may vary in sequence and level of expression. Measuring the effectiveness of such vaccines, using the accepted correlate of protection against invasive meningococcal disease, could require performing the serum bactericidal assay (SBA) against many diverse strains for each geographic region. This approach is impractical, especially for infants, where serum volumes are very limited. To address this, we developed the meningococcal antigen typing system (MATS) by combining a unique vaccine antigen-specific ELISA, which detects qualitative and quantitative differences in antigens, with PorA genotyping information. The ELISA correlates with killing of strains by SBA and measures both immunologic cross-reactivity and quantity of the antigens NHBA, NadA, and fHbp. We found that strains exceeding a threshold value in the ELISA for any of the three vaccine antigens had ?80% probability of being killed by immune serum in the SBA. Strains positive for two or more antigens had a 96% probability of being killed. Inclusion of multiple different antigens in the vaccine improves breadth of coverage and prevents loss of coverage if one antigen mutates or is lost. The finding that a simple and high-throughput assay correlates with bactericidal activity is a milestone in meningococcal vaccine development. This assay allows typing of large panels of strains and prediction of coverage of protein-based meningococcal vaccines. Similar assays may be used for protein-based vaccines against other bacteria.
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Influence of sequence variability on bactericidal activity sera induced by Factor H binding protein variant 1.1.
Vaccine
PUBLISHED: 08-12-2010
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Factor H binding protein (fHbp), one of the main antigens of new vaccines against serogroup B meningococcus, varies in amino acid sequence and level of expression in different clinical isolates. To evaluate the contribution of amino acid sequence variability to vaccine coverage, we constructed a strain that is susceptible to bactericidal killing only by anti-fHbp antibodies and engineered it to express equal levels of 10 different fHbp sub-variants from a constitutive promoter. Testing of these isogenic strains showed that sera from mice or adult volunteers vaccinated with fHbp variant 1.1 were bactericidal against all sub-variants 1 sequences, however the titer against the most distant sequences were several times lower. Sera from vaccinated infants were more susceptible to amino acid variations and they had lower or no bactericidal activity against the distant sub-variants 1 sequences in comparison with sera from adults given the same vaccines. The low coverage provided by fHbp could be overcome using a multicomponent vaccine. We conclude that fHbp is a very important antigen that induces bactericidal antibodies in animals, adults and infants. However, given its high variability of sequence and expression level, it is unlikely that fHbp alone can provide good protection in infants against the distant amino acid sequence variants and therefore multicomponent vaccines inducing protective immunity also against other antigens are more likely to induce a broad protective immunity in all age groups.
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Reverse vaccinology: developing vaccines in the era of genomics.
Immunity
PUBLISHED: 07-06-2010
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The sequence of microbial genomes made all potential antigens of each pathogen available for vaccine development. This increased by orders of magnitude potential vaccine targets in bacteria, parasites, and large viruses and revealed virtually all their CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell epitopes. The genomic information was first used for the development of a vaccine against serogroup B meningococcus, and it is now being used for several other bacterial vaccines. In this review, we will first summarize the impact that genome sequencing has had on vaccine development, and then we will analyze how the genomic information can help further our understanding of immunity to infection or vaccination and lead to the design of better vaccines by diving into the world of T cell immunity.
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Structure and dynamics of the pan-genome of Streptococcus pneumoniae and closely related species.
Genome Biol.
PUBLISHED: 06-07-2010
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Streptococcus pneumoniae is one of the most important causes of microbial diseases in humans. The genomes of 44 diverse strains of S. pneumoniae were analyzed and compared with strains of non-pathogenic streptococci of the Mitis group.
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Universal vaccines: shifting to one for many.
MBio
PUBLISHED: 05-18-2010
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Human vaccines, with their exquisite antigenic specificity, have greatly helped to eliminate or dramatically abate the incidence of a number of historical and current plagues, from smallpox to bacterial meningitis. Nonetheless, as new infectious agents emerge and the number of vaccine-preventable diseases increases, the practice and benefits of single-pathogen- or disease-targeted vaccination may be put at risk by constraints of timely production, formulation complexity, and regulatory hurdles. During the last influenza pandemic, extraordinary efforts by vaccine producers and health authorities have had little or no influence on disease prevention or mitigation. Recent research demonstrating the possibility of protecting against all influenza A virus types or even phylogenetically distant pathogens with vaccines based on highly conserved peptide or saccharide sequences is changing our paradigm. "Universal vaccine" strategies could be particularly advantageous to address protection from antibiotic-resistant bacteria and fungi for which no vaccine is currently available.
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Genome-based vaccine development: a short cut for the future.
Hum Vaccin
PUBLISHED: 05-15-2010
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Bacterial infectious diseases remain a major cause of deaths and disabilities in the world. Although conventional vaccinology approaches were successful in conferring protection against several diseases, they failed in providing efficient vaccines against many others. Together to the sequencing of the first genome, a new chapter in the vaccinology history started to be written. Reverse vaccinology changed the way to think about vaccine development, using the information provided by the microorganisms genome against themselves. Since then, reverse vaccinology has evolved and helped researchers to overcome the limits of the conventional vaccinology approaches and led to the discovery and development of novel vaccines concerning emerging diseases, like Neisseria meningitidis B and Streptococcus agalactiae. A lot of work must be done, but deciphering the information provided by genome sequences and using it to better understand the host-pathogen interactions has proved to be the key for protection.
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Molecular mechanisms of complement evasion: learning from staphylococci and meningococci.
Nat. Rev. Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 05-15-2010
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The complement system is a crucial component of the innate immune response in humans. Recent studies in Staphylococcus aureus and Neisseria meningitidis have revealed how these bacteria escape complement-mediated killing. In addition, new structural data have provided detailed insights into the molecular mechanisms of host defence mediated by the complement system and how bacterial proteins interfere with this process. This information is fundamental to our understanding of bacterial pathogenesis and may facilitate the design of better vaccines.
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JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.

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