Intramuscular immunization of mice with a live-Attenuated triple mutant of yersinia pestis co92 induces robust humoral and cell-mediated immunity to completely protect animals against pneumonic plague

Bethany L. Tiner, Jian Sha, Duraisamy Ponnusamy, Wallace B. Baze, Eric C. Fitts, Vsevolod Popov, Christina J. Van Lier, Tatiana E. Erova, Ashok Chopra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Earlier, we showed that the lpp msbB ail triple mutant of Yersinia pestis CO92 with deleted genes encoding Braun lipoprotein (Lpp), an acyltransferase (MsbB), and the attachment invasion locus (Ail), respectively, was avirulent in a mouse model of pneumonic plague. In this study, we further evaluated the immunogenic potential of thelppmsbBail triple mutant and its derivative by different routes of vaccination. Mice were immunized via the subcutaneous (s.c.) or the intramuscular (i.m.) route with two doses (2106 CFU/dose) of the above-mentioned triple mutant with 100% survivability of the animals. Upon subsequent pneumonic challenge with 70 to 92 50% lethal doses (LD50) of wild-type (WT) strain CO92, all of the mice survived when immunization occurred by the i.m. route. Since Ail has virulence and immunogenic potential, a mutated version of Ail devoid of its virulence properties was created, and the genetically modified ail replaced the native ail gene on the chromosome of thelppmsbB double mutant, creating alpp msbB::ailL2 vaccine strain. This newly generated mutant was attenuated similarly to thelppmsbBail triple mutant when administered by the i.m. route and provided 100% protection to animals against subsequent pneumonic challenge. Not only were the two above-mentioned mutants cleared rapidly from the initial i.m. site of injection in animals with no histopathological lesions, the immunized mice did not exhibit any disease symptoms during immunization or after subsequent exposure toWTCO92. These two mutants triggered balanced Th1-And Th2-based antibody responses and cell-mediated immunity. A substantial increase in interleukin-17 (IL-17) from the T cells of vaccinated mice, a cytokine of the Th17 cells, further augmented their vaccine potential. Thus, thelppmsbB ail andlppmsbB::ailL2 mutants represent excellent vaccine candidates for plague, with the latter mutant still retaining Ail immunogenicity but with a much diminished virulence potential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1255-1268
Number of pages14
JournalClinical and Vaccine Immunology
Volume22
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Microbiology (medical)

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