BclA and toxin antigens augment each other to protect NMRI mice from lethal Bacillus anthracis challenge

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Köhler, Susanne M. ; Baillie, Les ; Beyer, Wolfgang (2015)

While proving highly effective in controlling Anthrax in farm animals all over the world currently attenuated live anthrax vaccines employed in a veterinary context suffer from drawbacks such as residual virulence, short term protection, variation in quality and, most importantly, lack of efficacy if administered simultaneously with antibiotics. These limitations have stimulated the development of non-living component vaccines which induce a broad spectrum immune response capable of targeting both toxaemia (as in the case of PA based vaccines) and bacteraemia. To contribute to this several new approaches were tested in outbred NMRI mice for antibody titres and protectiveness. Plasmids encoding a recombinant toxin derived fusion peptide and a spore surface derived peptide were tested as DNA-vaccines in comparison to their protein counterparts utilising two adjuvant approaches and two DNA-vector backbones. The combination of two plasmids encoding LFD1PAD4-mIPS1 and TPA-BclAD1D3-LAMP1, when delivered by GeneGun, protected 90% of the animals against a lethal challenge with 25LD50 spores of the Ames strain of Bacillus anthracis. Single applications of either antigen component showed significantly lower protection rates, indicating the beneficial interaction between anti-spore and anti-toxin components for an acellular vaccine formulation.
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