Shigella, a major diarrheal disease pathogen worldwide, is the target of vaccine development. The Global Enteric Multicenter Study (GEMS) investigated burden and etiology of moderate-to-severe diarrheal disease in children aged <60 months and matched controls without diarrhea during 3 years at 4 sites in Africa and 3 in Asia. Shigella was 1 of the 4 most common pathogens across sites and age strata. GEMS Shigella serotypes are reviewed to guide vaccine development.
Flagellins are the main structural proteins of bacterial flagella and potent stimulators of innate and adaptive immunity in mammals. The flagellins of Salmonella are virulence factors and protective antigens, and form the basis of promising vaccines. Despite broad interest in flagellins as antigens and adjuvants in vaccine formulations, there have been few advances towards the development of scalable and economical purification methods for these proteins. We report here a simple and robust strategy to purify flagellin monomers from the supernatants of liquid growth culture. Phase 1 flagellins from Salmonella enterica serovars Typhimurium (i epitope) and Enteritidis (g,m epitopes) were purified directly from conditioned fermentation growth media using sequential cation- and anion-exchange chromatography coupled with a final tangential flow-filtration step. Conventional porous chromatography resin was markedly less efficient than membrane chromatography for flagellin purification. Recovery after each process step was robust, with endotoxin, nucleic acid and residual host-cell protein effectively removed. The final yield was 200-300 mg/L fermentation culture supernatant, with ?45-50% overall recovery. A final pH 2 treatment step was instituted to ensure uniformity of flagellin in the monomeric form. Flagellins purified by this method were recognized by monoclonal anti-flagellin antibodies and maintained capacity to activate Toll-like Receptor 5. The process described is simple, readily scalable, uses standard bioprocess methods, and requires only a few steps to obtain highly purified material.
Invasive Salmonella infections for which improved or new vaccines are being developed include enteric fever caused by Salmonella enterica serovars Typhi, Paratyphi A, and Paratyphi B and sepsis and meningitis in young children in sub-Saharan Africa caused by nontyphoidal Salmonella (NTS) serovars, particularly S. enterica serovars Typhimurium and Enteritidis. Assays are needed to measure functional antibodies elicited by the new vaccines to assess their immunogenicities and potential protective capacities. We developed in vitro assays to quantify serum bactericidal antibody (SBA) activity induced by S. Typhi, S. Paratyphi A, S. Typhimurium, and S. Enteritidis vaccines in preclinical studies. Complement from various sources was tested in assays designed to measure antibody-dependent complement-mediated killing. Serum from rabbits 3 to 4 weeks of age provided the best complement source compared to serum from pigs, goats, horses, bovine calves, or rabbits 8 to 12 weeks of age. For S. Enteritidis, S. Typhimurium, and S. Typhi SBA assays to be effective, bacteria had to be harvested at log phase. In contrast, S. Paratyphi A was equally susceptible to killing whether it was grown to the stationary or log phase. The typhoidal serovars were more susceptible to complement-mediated killing than were the nontyphoidal serovars. Lastly, the SBA endpoint titers correlated with serum IgG anti-lipopolysaccharide (LPS) titers in mice immunized with mucosally administered S. Typhimurium, S. Enteritidis, and S. Paratyphi A but not S. Typhi live attenuated vaccines. The SBA assay described here is a useful tool for measuring functional antibodies elicited by Salmonella vaccine candidates.
Nontyphoidal Salmonella (NTS) serovars are a common cause of acute food-borne gastroenteritis worldwide and can cause invasive systemic disease in young infants, the elderly, and immunocompromised hosts, accompanied by high case fatality. Vaccination against invasive NTS disease is warranted where the disease incidence and mortality are high and multidrug resistance is prevalent, as in sub-Saharan Africa. Live-attenuated vaccines that mimic natural infection constitute one strategy to elicit protection. However, they must particularly be shown to be adequately attenuated for consideration of immunocompromised subjects. Accordingly, we examined the safety and tolerability of an oral live attenuated Salmonella typhimurium vaccine candidate, CVD 1921, in an established chronic simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected rhesus macaque model. We evaluated clinical parameters, histopathology, and measured differences in mucosal permeability to wild-type and vaccine strains. Compared to the wild-type S. typhimurium strain I77 in both SIV-infected and SIV-uninfected nonhuman primate hosts, this live-attenuated vaccine shows reduced shedding and systemic spread, exhibits limited pathological disease manifestations in the digestive tract, and induces low levels of cellular infiltration in tissues. Furthermore, wild-type S. typhimurium induces increased intestinal epithelial damage and permeability, with infiltration of neutrophils and macrophages in both SIV-infected and SIV-uninfected nonhuman primates compared to the vaccine strain. Based on shedding, systemic spread, and histopathology, the live-attenuated S. typhimurium strain CVD 1921 appears to be safe and well-tolerated in the nonhuman primate model, including chronically SIV-infected rhesus macaques.
Non-typhoidal Salmonella (NTS) serovars S. Enteritidis and S. Typhimurium are a major cause of invasive bacterial disease (e.g., bacteremia, meningitis) in infants and young children in sub-Saharan Africa and also occasionally cause invasive disease in highly susceptible hosts (young infants, the elderly, and immunocompromised subjects) in industrialized countries. No licensed vaccines exist against human NTS infections. NTS core and O polysaccharide (COPS) and FliC (Phase 1 flagellin subunits) each constitute protective antigens in murine models. S. Enteritidis COPS conjugated to FliC represents a promising vaccine approach that elicits binding and opsonophagocytic antibodies and protects mice against lethal challenge with virulent S. Enteritidis. We examined the protective efficacy of fractional dosages of S. Enteritidis COPS:FliC conjugate vaccines in mice, and also established that protection can be passively transferred to naïve mice by administering sera from mice immunized with conjugate. Mice were immunized with three doses of either 10 µg, 2.5 µg (full dose), 0.25 µg, or 0.025 µg S. Enteritidis COPS:FliC conjugate at 28 day intervals. Antibody titers to COPS and FliC measured by ELISA fell consonant with progressively smaller vaccine dosage levels; anti-FliC IgG responses remained robust at fractional dosages for which anti-COPS serum IgG titers were decreased. Nevertheless, >90% protection against intraperitoneal challenge was observed in mice immunized with fractional dosages of conjugate that elicited diminished titers to both FliC and COPS. Passive transfer of immune sera from mice immunized with the highest dose of COPS:FliC to naïve mice was also protective, demonstrating the role of antibodies in mediating protection. These results provide important insights regarding the potency of Salmonella glycoconjugate vaccines that use flagellin as a carrier protein.
While nontyphoidal Salmonella (NTS) has long been recognized as a cause of self-limited gastroenteritis, it is becoming increasingly evident that multiple-antibiotic-resistant strains are also emerging as important causes of invasive bacteremia and focal infections, resulting in hospitalizations and deaths. We have constructed attenuated Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium and Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis strains that can serve as live oral vaccines and as "reagent strains" for subunit vaccine production in a safe and economical manner. Prototype attenuated vaccine strains CVD 1921 and CVD 1941, derived from the invasive wild-type strains S. Typhimurium I77 and S. Enteritidis R11, respectively, were constructed by deleting guaBA, encoding guanine biosynthesis, and clpP, encoding a master protease regulator. The clpP mutation resulted in a hyperflagellation phenotype. An additional deletion in fliD yielded reagent strains CVD 1923 and CVD 1943, respectively, which export flagellin monomers. Oral 50% lethal dose (LD??) analyses showed that the NTS vaccine strains were all highly attenuated in mice. Oral immunization with CVD 1921 or CVD 1923 protected mice against lethal challenge with wild-type S. Typhimurium I77. Immunization with CVD 1941 but not CVD 1943 protected mice against lethal infection with S. Enteritidis R11. Immune responses induced by these strains included high levels of serum IgG anti-lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and anti-flagellum antibodies, with titers increasing progressively during the immunization schedule. Since S. Typhimurium and S. Enteritidis are the most common NTS serovars associated with invasive disease, these findings can pave the way for development of a highly effective, broad-spectrum vaccine against invasive NTS.
Nontyphoidal Salmonella enterica serovars Enteritidis and Typhimurium are a common cause of gastroenteritis but also cause invasive infections and enteric fever in certain hosts (young children in sub-Saharan Africa, the elderly, and immunocompromised individuals). Salmonella O polysaccharides (OPS) and flagellar proteins are virulence factors and protective antigens. The surface polysaccharides of Salmonella are poorly immunogenic and do not confer immunologic memory, limitations overcome by covalently attaching them to carrier proteins. We conjugated core polysaccharide-OPS (COPS) of Salmonella Enteritidis lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to flagellin protein from the homologous strain. COPS and flagellin were purified from a genetically attenuated (?guaBA) "reagent strain" (derived from an isolate from a patient with clinical bacteremia) engineered for increased flagellin production (?clpPX). Conjugates were constructed by linking flagellin monomers or polymers at random COPS hydroxyls with various polysaccharide/protein ratios by 1-cyano-4-dimethylaminopyridinium tetrafluoroborate (CDAP) or at the 3-deoxy-d-manno-octulosonic acid (KDO) terminus by thioether chemistry. Mice immunized on days 0, 28, and 56 with COPS-flagellin conjugates mounted higher anti-LPS IgG levels than mice receiving unconjugated COPS and exhibited high antiflagellin IgG; anti-LPS and antiflagellin IgG levels increased following booster doses. Antibodies generated by COPS-flagellin conjugates mediated opsonophagocytosis of S. Enteritidis cells into mouse macrophages. Mice immunized with flagellin alone, COPS-CRM???, or COPS-flagellin conjugates were significantly protected from lethal challenge with wild-type S. Enteritidis (80 to 100% vaccine efficacy).
Antibiotic-resistant Salmonella enterica serovar Paratyphi A, the agent of paratyphoid A fever, poses an emerging public health dilemma in endemic areas of Asia and among travelers, as there is no licensed vaccine. Integral to our efforts to develop a S. Paratyphi A vaccine, we addressed the role of flagella as a potential protective antigen by comparing cell-associated flagella with exported flagellin subunits expressed by attenuated strains.
Non-typhoidal Salmonella enterica (NTS) serovars Typhimurium and Enteritidis are important causes of bacterial gastroenteritis in the USA and worldwide. In sub-Saharan Africa these two serovars are emerging as agents associated with lethal invasive disease (e.g., bacteremia, meningitis). The development of NTS vaccines, based on mucosally administered live attenuated strains and parenteral non-living antigens, could diminish the NTS disease burden globally. Mouse models of S. Typhimurium and S. Enteritidis invasive disease can accelerate the development of NTS vaccines. Live attenuated NTS vaccines elicit both cellular and humoral immunity in mice and their efficacy is well established. In contrast, non-living vaccines that primarily elicit humoral immunity have demonstrated variable efficacy. An analysis of the reported studies with non-living vaccines against S. Typhimurium and S. Enteritidis reveals that efficacy is influenced by two important independent variables: (1) the innate susceptibility to NTS infection that differs dramatically between commonly used mouse strains and (2) the virulence of the NTS strain used for challenge. Protection by non-living vaccines has generally been seen only in host-pathogen interactions where a sub-lethal infection results, such as challenging resistant mice with either highly virulent or weakly virulent strains or susceptible mice with weakly virulent strains. The immunologic basis of this discrepancy and the implications for human NTS vaccine development are reviewed herein.
Certain serovars of Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica cause invasive disease (e.g., enteric fever, bacteremia, septicemia, meningitis, etc.) in humans and constitute a global public health problem. A rapid, sensitive diagnostic test is needed to allow prompt initiation of therapy in individual patients and for measuring disease burden at the population level. An innovative and promising new rapid diagnostic technique is microwave-accelerated metal-enhanced fluorescence (MAMEF). We have adapted this assay platform to detect the chromosomal oriC locus common to all Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovars. We have shown efficient lysis of biologically relevant concentrations of Salmonella spp. suspended in bacteriological media using microwave-induced lysis. Following lysis and DNA release, as little as 1 CFU of Salmonella in 1 ml of medium can be detected in <30 seconds. Furthermore the assay is sensitive and specific: it can detect oriC from Salmonella serovars Typhi, Paratyphi A, Paratyphi B, Paratyphi C, Typhimurium, Enteritidis and Choleraesuis but does not detect Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae or Acinetobacter baumanii. We have also performed preliminary experiments using a synthetic Salmonella oriC oligonucleotide suspended in whole human blood and observed rapid detection when the sample was diluted 1:1 with PBS. These pre-clinical data encourage progress to the next step to detect Salmonella in blood (and other ordinarily sterile, clinically relevant body fluids).
In sub-Saharan Africa, non-typhoidal Salmonella (NTS) are emerging as a prominent cause of invasive disease (bacteremia and focal infections such as meningitis) in infants and young children. Importantly, including data from Mali, three serovars, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, Salmonella Enteritidis and Salmonella Dublin, account for the majority of non-typhoidal Salmonella isolated from these patients.
Attenuated Salmonella Typhi vaccine strains hold great promise as live vectors for presentation of foreign antigens from unrelated bacterial, viral and parasitic pathogens to the immune system. Although this approach has proved quite successful in experimental animal models for eliciting antigen-specific mucosal, humoral and cellular responses, results have been disappointing for clinical trials carried out thus far. We hypothesize that the paucity of human responses to foreign antigens delivered by live vectors suggests that the strains and genetic approaches used to date have resulted in overattenuated vaccine strains with severely reduced immunogenicity. However, remarkable advances have now been made in the genetics of foreign antigen expression, understanding mechanisms of live vector immunity and refining immunization strategies. The time has now come for development of multivalent live vectors in which stable antigen expression and export is balanced with metabolic fitness to create highly immunogenic vaccines.
Enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC) is a prominent cause of diarrhoea, and is characterised in part by its carriage of a pathogenicity island: the locus for enterocyte effacement (LEE). EPEC is divided into two subtypes according to the presence of bundle-forming pili (BFP), a fimbrial adhesin that is a virulence determinant of typical EPEC (tEPEC), but is absent from atypical EPEC (aEPEC). Because aEPEC lack BFP, their virulence has been questioned, as they may represent LEE-positive Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) that have lost the toxin-encoding prophage, or tEPEC that have lost the genes for BFP. To determine if aEPEC isolated from humans in Australia or New Zealand fall into either of these categories, we undertook phylogenetic analysis of 75 aEPEC strains, and compared them with reference strains of EPEC and STEC. We also used PCR and DNA hybridisation to determine if aEPEC carry virulence determinants that could compensate for their lack of BFP.
Strains of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) generally employ the adhesins bundle-forming pili (Bfp) and intimin to colonize the intestine. Atypical EPEC strains possess intimin but are negative for Bfp and, yet, are able to cause disease. To identify alternative adhesins to Bfp in atypical EPEC, we constructed a transposon mutant library of atypical EPEC strain E128012 (serotype O114:H2) using TnphoA. Six mutants that had lost the ability to adhere to HEp-2 cells were identified, and in all six mutants TnphoA had inserted into the pstSCAB-phoU (Pst) operon. To determine if the Pst operon is required for adherence, we used site-directed mutagenesis to construct a pstCA mutant of E128012. The resultant mutant showed a reduced ability to adhere to HEp-2 cells and T84 intestinal epithelial cells, which was restored by trans-complementation with intact pstCA. To determine if pst contributes to bacterial colonization in vivo, a pstCA mutation was made in the EPEC-like murine pathogen, Citrobacter rodentium. C57BL/6 mice infected perorally with the pstCA mutant of C. rodentium excreted significantly lower numbers of C. rodentium than those given the wild-type strain. Moreover, colonic hyperplasia and diarrhea, which are features of infections with C. rodentium, were not observed in mice infected with the pstCA mutant but did occur in mice given the trans-complemented mutant. As mutations in pst genes generally lead to constitutive expression of the Pho regulon, our findings suggested that the Pho regulon may contribute to the reduced virulence of the pstCA mutants. To investigate this, we inactivated phoB in the pstCA mutants of EPEC E128012 and C. rodentium and found that the phoB mutation restored the adherent phenotype of both mutant strains. These results demonstrate that Pst contributes to the virulence of atypical EPEC and C. rodentium, probably by causing increased expression of an unidentified, Pho-regulated adhesin.
A highly invasive form of non-typhoidal Salmonella (iNTS) disease has recently been documented in many countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The most common Salmonella enterica serovar causing this disease is Typhimurium (Salmonella Typhimurium). We applied whole-genome sequence-based phylogenetic methods to define the population structure of sub-Saharan African invasive Salmonella Typhimurium isolates and compared these to global Salmonella Typhimurium populations. Notably, the vast majority of sub-Saharan invasive Salmonella Typhimurium isolates fell within two closely related, highly clustered phylogenetic lineages that we estimate emerged independently ?52 and ?35 years ago in close temporal association with the current HIV pandemic. Clonal replacement of isolates from lineage I by those from lineage II was potentially influenced by the use of chloramphenicol for the treatment of iNTS disease. Our analysis suggests that iNTS disease is in part an epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa caused by highly related Salmonella Typhimurium lineages that may have occupied new niches associated with a compromised human population and antibiotic treatment.
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