Multicomponent gold nano-glycoconjugate as a highly immunogenic and protective platform against Burkholderia mallei

Daniel Tapia, Javier Sanchez-Villamil, Alfredo G. Torres

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Burkholderia mallei (Bm) is a facultative intracellular pathogen and the etiological agent of glanders, a highly infectious zoonotic disease occurring in equines and humans. The intrinsic resistance to antibiotics, lack of specific therapy, high mortality, and history as a biothreat agent, prompt the need of a safe and effective vaccine. However, the limited knowledge of protective Bm-specific antigens has hampered the development of a vaccine. Further, the use of antigen-delivery systems that enhance antigen immunogenicity and elicit robust antigen-specific immune responses has been limited and could improve vaccines against Bm. Nanovaccines, in particular gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), have been investigated as a strategy to broaden the repertoire of vaccine-mediated immunity and as a tool to produce multivalent vaccines. To synthesize a nano-glycoconjugate vaccine, six predicted highly immunogenic antigens identified by a genome-wide bio- and immuno-informatic analysis were purified and coupled to AuNPs along with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from B. thailandensis. Mice immunized intranasally with individual AuNP-protein-LPS conjugates, showed variable degrees of protection against intranasal Bm infection, while an optimized combination formulation (containing protein antigens OmpW, OpcP, and Hemagglutinin, along with LPS) showed complete protection against lethality in a mouse model of inhalational glanders. Animals immunized with different nano-glycoconjugates showed robust antigen-specific antibody responses. Moreover, serum from animals immunized with the optimized nano-glycoconjugate formulation showed sustained antibody responses with increased serum-mediated inhibition of adherence and opsonophagocytic activity in vitro. This study provides the basis for the rational design and construction of a multicomponent vaccine platform against Bm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number82
Journalnpj Vaccines
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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