The objective of the present study was to construct and assess the immunogenicity of recombinant adenovirus vectors expressing the HMW1, HMW2, or Hia protein of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi). These proteins are critical adhesins and potential protective antigens expressed by NTHi. Segments of the hmw1A and hmw2A structural genes that encode the distal one-half of mature HMW1 or HMW2 were cloned into the T7 expression vector pGEMEX-2. These constructs encoded stable HMW1 or HMW2 recombinant fusion protein that expresses B-cell epitopes common to most NTHi strains. A segment of the hia gene that encodes the surface-exposed portion of mature Hia was also cloned into pGEMEX-2. The resulting T7 gene 10 translational fusions were excised from the parent plasmids and cloned into the shuttle plasmid pDC316. Cotransfection of HEK 293 cells with the pDC316 derivatives and pBHGloxΔE1,3Cre resulted in the production of viral plaques from which recombinant adenoviruses expressing fusion proteins were recovered. Chinchillas immunized intraperitoneally with a single 108-PFU dose of either the HMW2 or Hia adenoviral construct developed high anti-HMW2 or anti-Hia serum antibody titers within 4 weeks of immunization. Chinchillas immunized intranasally with a single 107- to 109-PFU dose of the Hia adenoviral construct also developed high anti-Hia serum antibody titers within 8 weeks of immunization. Recombinant adenoviruses represent a promising system to induce mucosal and systemic immunity and protection against mucosal diseases such as otitis media. Recombinant adenoviruses expressing recombinant HMW1, HMW2, or Hia protein will be important new tools in NTHi vaccine development efforts.
Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae is a gram-negative commensal organism that is commonly associated with localized respiratory tract disease. The pathogenesis of disease begins with colonization of the nasopharynx, a process that likely depends on bacterial adherence to respiratory epithelial cells. Hia is the major adhesin expressed by a subset of nontypeable H. influenzae strains and promotes efficient adherence to a variety of human epithelial cell lines. Based on previous work, Hia is transported to the surface of Escherichia coli transformants and is capable of mediating E. coli adherence without the assistance of other H. influenzae proteins. In the present study, we examined the mechanism of Hia secretion. PhoA fusions, deletional mutagenesis, and N-terminal amino acid sequencing established that the signal for Hia export from the cytoplasm resides in the first 49 amino acids, including a 24-amino-acid stretch with striking similarity to the N terminus of a number of proteins belonging to the autotransporter family. Immunoelectron microscopy demonstrated that the Hia internal region defined by amino acids 221 to 779 is exposed on the bacterial surface. Secondary-structure analysis predicted that the C terminus of Hia forms a β-barrel with a central hydrophilic channel, and site-specific mutagenesis and fusion protein analysis demonstrated that the C terminus targets Hia to the outer membrane and functions as an outer membrane translocator, analogous to observations with autotransporter proteins. In contrast to typical autotransporter proteins, Hia undergoes no cleavage between the internal and C-terminal domains and remains fully cell associated. Together, these results suggest that Hia is the prototype of an important subfamily of autotransporter proteins.
The HMW1/HMW2-like adhesion proteins of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHI) are expressed by 75% of NTHI strains. Antibodies directed against these proteins are opsonophagocytic in vitro and are protective in an animal model of infection. The objective of the present study was to determine the opsonophagocytic activity of high-titer anti-HMW1/HMW2 immune sera against both homologous and heterologous NTHI strains. Chinchillas were immunized with purified HMW1/HMW2-like proteins from five prototype NTHI strains. Serum opsonophagocytic activity was monitored in an assay that uses a human promyelocytic cell line, HL-60, as the source of phagocytic cells. Preimmune sera did not demonstrate opsonophagocytic killing of any strains. In contrast, the immune sera demonstrated killing of the five homologous NTHI strains at titers ranging from 1:320 to 1:640. The immune sera also demonstrated killing of eight heterologous NTHI strains that express HMW1/HMW2-like proteins at titers ranging from 0 to 1:640. Killing of heterologous strains sometimes demonstrated a prozone phenomenon. None of the immune sera killed NTHI strains that did not express HMW1/HMW2-like proteins. Adsorption of immune sera with HMW1/HMW2-like proteins purified from either homologous or heterologous NTHI strains eliminated opsonophagocytic killing of homologous strains in most cases. These data demonstrate that antibodies produced following immunization with the HMW1/HMW2-like proteins are opsonophagocytic for both homologous and heterologous NTHI and strongly suggest that common epitopes recognized by functionally active antibodies exist on the HMW1/HMW2-like proteins of unrelated NTHI strains. The results argue for the continued investigation of the HMW1/HMW2-like proteins as potential vaccine candidates for the prevention of NTHI disease.
Haemophilus influenzae type b is an important cause of meningitis and other serious invasive diseases and initiates infection by colonizing the upper respiratory tract. Among the major adhesins in H. influenzae type b is a nonpilus protein called Hsf, a large protein that forms fiber-like structures on the bacterial surface and shares significant sequence similarity with the nontypeable H. influenzae Hia autotransporter. In the present study, we characterized the structure and adhesive activity of Hsf. Analysis of the predicted amino acid sequence of Hsf revealed three regions with high-level homology to the HiaBD1 and HiaBD2 binding domains in Hia. Based on examination of glutathione S-transferase fusion proteins corresponding to these regions, two of the three had adhesive activity and one was nonadhesive in assays with cultured epithelial cells. Structural modeling demonstrated that only the two regions with adhesive activity harbored an acidic binding pocket like the binding pocket identified in the crystal structure of HiaBD1. Consistent with these results, disruption of the acidic binding pockets in the adhesive regions eliminated adhesive activity. These studies advance our understanding of the architecture of Hsf and the family of trimeric autotransporters and provide insight into the structural determinants of H. influenzae type b adherence.
Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae is a common cause of human disease and initiates infection by colonizing the upper respiratory tract. In previous work we identified high-molecular-weight adhesins referred to as HMW1 and HMW2, expressed by nontypeable strain 12, and determined that most strains of nontypeable H. influenzae express one or two antigenically related proteins. More recently, we determined that some strains lack HMW1- and HMW2-like proteins and instead express an adhesin called Hia. In the present study, we determined the prevalence and distribution of the hmw and hia genes in a collection of 59 nontypeable strains previously characterized in terms of genetic relatedness. Based on Southern analysis, 47 strains contained sequences homologous to the hmw1 and hmw2 genes and nine strains contained homologs to hia. No strain harbored both hmw and hia, and three strains harbored neither. Although the hmw and hia genes failed to define distinct genetic divisions, the hmw-deficient strains formed small clusters or lineages within the larger population structure. Additional analysis established that the IS1016 insertion element was uniformly absent from strains containing hmw sequences but was present in two-thirds of the hmw-deficient strains. As IS1016 is associated with the capsule locus (cap) in most encapsulated strains of H. influenzae, we speculate that hmw-deficient nontypeable strains evolved more recently from an encapsulated ancestor.
Fimbriae of the human uropathogen Proteus mirabilis are the only characterized surface proteins that contribute to its virulence by mediating adhesion and invasion of the uroepithelia. PMI2122 (AipA) and PMI2575 (TaaP) are annotated in the genome of strain HI4320 as trimeric autotransporters with “adhesin-like” and “agglutinating adhesin-like” properties, respectively. The C-terminal 62 amino acids (aa) in AipA and 76 aa in TaaP are homologous to the translocator domains of YadA from Yersinia enterocolitica and Hia from Haemophilus influenzae. Comparative protein modeling using the Hia three-dimensional structure as a template predicted that each of these domains would contain four antiparallel beta sheets and that they formed homotrimers. Recombinant AipA and TaaP were seen as ∼28 kDa and ∼78 kDa, respectively, in Escherichia coli, and each also formed high-molecular-weight homotrimers, thus supporting this model. E. coli synthesizing AipA or TaaP bound to extracellular matrix proteins with a 10- to 60-fold-higher level of affinity than the control strain. Inactivation of aipA in P. mirabilis strains significantly (P < 0.01) reduced the mutants' ability to adhere to or invade HEK293 cell monolayers, and the functions were restored upon complementation. A 51-aa-long invasin region in the AipA passenger domain was required for this function. E. coli expressing TaaP mediated autoagglutination, and a taaP mutant of P. mirabilis showed significantly (P < 0.05) more reduced aggregation than HI4320. Gly-247 in AipA and Gly-708 in TaaP were indispensable for trimerization and activity. AipA and TaaP individually offered advantages to P. mirabilis in a murine model. This is the first report characterizing trimeric autotransporters in P. mirabilis as afimbrial surface adhesins and autoagglutinins.
The Hia autotransporter of Haemophilus influenzae belongs to the trimeric autotransporter subfamily and mediates bacterial adherence to the respiratory epithelium. In this report, we show that the structure of Hia is characterized by a modular architecture containing repeats of structurally distinct domains. Comparison of the structures of HiaBD1 and HiaBD2 adhesive repeats and a nonadhesive repeat (a novel fold) shed light on the structural determinants of Hia adhesive function. Examination of the structure of an extended version of the Hia translocator domain revealed the structural transition between the C-terminal translocator domain and the N-terminal passenger domain, highlighting a highly intertwined domain that is ubiquitous among trimeric autotransporters. Overall, this study provides important insights into the mechanism of Hia adhesive activity and the overall structure of trimeric autotransporters.
MAD, multiwavelength anomalous dispersion; PEG, polyethylene glycol; ESRF, European Synchrotron Radiation Facility; Hia; autotransporter; adhesin; structural biology; Haemophilus influenzae
Haemophilus influenzae is a common gram-negative pathogen that initiates infection by colonizing the upper respiratory tract epithelium. In previous work, we reported the isolation of a locus involved in expression of short, thin surface fibrils by H. influenzae type b and presented evidence that surface fibrils promote attachment to human epithelial cells. In the present study, we determined that the fibril locus is composed of one long open reading frame, designated hsf, which encodes a protein (Hsf) with a molecular mass of approximately 240 kDa. The derived amino acid sequence of the hsf product demonstrated 81% similarity and 72% identity to a recently identified nontypeable H. influenzae adhesin referred to as Hia. In experiments with a panel of eight cultured cell lines, the Hsf and Hia proteins were found to confer the same binding specificities, suggesting that hsf and hia are alleles of the same locus. Southern analysis and mutagenesis studies reinforced this conclusion. Further investigation revealed that an hsf homolog is ubiquitous among encapsulated H. influenzae strains and is present in a subset of nontypeable Haemophilus strains as well. We speculate that the hsf gene product plays an important role in the process of respiratory tract colonization by H. influenzae.
Adhesion to the respiratory epithelium plays an important role in Haemophilus influenzae infection. The distribution of H. influenzae adhesins in type b and nontypeable strains has been characterized, but little is known about the prevalence of these factors in non-type b encapsulated strains. We analyzed 53 invasive type a, type e, and type f strains for the presence of hap, hia, hmw, and hif genes; Hap, Hia, and HMW1/2 adhesins; and hemagglutinating pili. The hap gene was ubiquitous, and homologs of hmw and hia were present in 7 of 53 (13.2%) and 45 of 53 (84.9%) strains, respectively. Hap was detected in 28 of 45 (62.2%) hap+ strains, HMW1/2 was detected in 5 of 7 (71.4%) hmw+ strains, and Hia was detected in 31 of 45 (68.8%) hia+ strains. The hif gene cluster was present in 26 of 53 strains (49.1%), and 21 of 26 hif+ strains (80.8%) agglutinated (HA) red blood cells. Nine isolates exhibited HA but lacked the hif gene cluster. The distribution of adhesin genes correlated with the genetic relatedness of the strains. Strains belonging to one type a clonotype and the major type e clonotype possessed hia but lacked the hif cluster. Strains belonging to the second type a clonotype possessed both hia and hif genes. All type f strains belonging to the major type f clonotype possessed hia and lacked hifB. Although the specific complement of adhesin genes in non-type b encapsulated H. influenzae varies, most invasive strains express Hap and Hia, suggesting these adhesins may be especially important to the virulence of these organisms.
BALB/c mice systemically immunized by intraperitoneal injection with whole, viable cells of two different strains of nontypable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHI) exhibited a markedly enhanced ability to clear the homologous strain of NTHI from the lower respiratory tract. Immunization did not influence the number of phagocytic cells recovered by bronchoalveolar lavage from mice before or after intrapulmonary challenge with NTHI. Immunization also induced the synthesis of relatively large quantities of NTHI-directed antibodies which were detectable in both the bloodstream and the alveolar spaces of the lung. Radioimmunoprecipitation and Western blot (immunoblot) analyses indicated that these antibodies were directed against both the proteins and lipooligosaccharide (LOS) in the NTHI outer membrane. Bactericidal and opsonophagocytic assays determined that the NTHI-directed antibodies in the serum were functional and able to kill or opsonize the homologous NTHI strain. Mice immunized with an NTHI major outer membrane protein-LOS complex also had an increased ability to effect pulmonary clearance of NTHI. Serum and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid collected from these animals immunized with the outer membrane protein-LOS complex contained relatively high levels of antibodies to both of these antigens. The serum from these animals also possessed bactericidal and opsonic activity against the homologous NTHI strain. These results indicate that systemic immunization can enhance the ability of experimental animals to clear NTHI from the lower respiratory tract and suggest that immunoprophylaxis of NTHI pulmonary disease may be feasible.
The HMW1 and HMW2 proteins, Hia, and hemagglutinating pili are important adherence factors in nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae. To gain insight into the relative importance of these adhesins in nasopharyngeal colonization and localized respiratory tract disease, we assessed their expression in matched nasopharyngeal and middle ear isolates of nontypeable H. influenzae from 17 children with acute otitis media. In all patients, including 11 with bilateral disease, the matched isolates were isogenic based on total protein profiles and genomic fingerprints. Of the nasopharyngeal isolates, 14 expressed only HMW1/HMW2-like proteins, 1 expressed only Hia, 1 expressed only pili, and 1 expressed both Hia and pili. Further analysis revealed concordance between nasopharyngeal isolates and the matched middle ear isolates for expression of the HMW1/HMW2-like proteins and Hia. In contrast, in the two children whose nasopharynges were colonized by piliated organisms, the corresponding middle ear isolates were nonpiliated and could not be enriched for piliation. Nevertheless, Southern analysis revealed that these two middle ear isolates contained all five hif genes required for pilus biogenesis and had no evidence of major genetic rearrangement. In summary, the vast majority of isolates of nontypeable H. influenzae associated with acute otitis media express HMW1/HMW2-like proteins, with expression present in both the nasopharynx and the middle ear. A smaller fraction of nasopharyngeal isolates express pili, while isogenic strains recovered from the middle ear are often refractory to enrichment for piliation. We speculate that the HMW adhesins and Hia are important at multiple steps in the pathogenesis of otitis media while pili contribute to early colonization and then become dispensable.
Adherence of Haemophilus influenzae to respiratory epithelial cells is the first step in the pathogenesis of H. influenzae infection and is facilitated by the action of several adhesins located on the surface of the bacteria. In this study, prevalences of hifBC, which represent the pilus gene cluster; hmw1A, hmw2A, and hmwC, which represent high-molecular-weight (HMW) adhesin genes; and hia, which represents H. influenzae adhesin (Hia) genes were determined among clinical isolates of encapsulated type b (Hib) and nonencapsulated (NTHi) H. influenzae. hifBC genes were detected in 109 of 170 (64%) Hib strains and in 46 of 162 (28%) NTHi isolates (P = 0.0001) and were more prevalent among the invasive type b strains than invasive NTHi strains (P = 0.00003). Furthermore, hifBC genes were significantly more prevalent (P = 0.0398) among NTHi throat isolates than NTHi middle ear isolates. hmw1A, hmw2A, hmwC, and hia genes were not detected in Hib strains. Among NTHi isolates, the prevalence of hmw1A was 51%, the prevalence of hmw2A was 23%, the prevalence of hmwC was 48%, and the prevalence of hia was 33%. The hmw genes were significantly more prevalent among middle ear than throat isolates, while hia did not segregate with a respiratory tract site. These results show the variability of the presence of adhesin genes among clinical H. influenzae isolates and suggest that hemagglutinating pili may play a larger role in H. influenzae nasopharyngeal colonization than in acute otitis media whereas the HMW adhesins may be virulence factors for acute otitis media.
In recent years, structural studies have identified a number of bacterial, viral, and eukaryotic adhesive proteins that have a trimeric architecture. The prototype examples in bacteria are the Haemophilus influenzae Hia adhesin and the Yersinia enterocolitica YadA adhesin. Both Hia and YadA are members of the trimeric-autotransporter subfamily and are characterized by an internal passenger domain that harbors adhesive activity and a short C-terminal translocator domain that inserts into the outer membrane and facilitates delivery of the passenger domain to the bacterial surface. In this study, we examined the relationship between trimerization of the Hia and YadA passenger domains and the capacity for adhesive activity. We found that subunit-subunit interactions and stable trimerization are essential for native folding and stability and ultimately for full-level adhesive activity. These results raise the possibility that disruption of the trimeric architecture of trimeric autotransporters, and possibly other trimeric adhesins, may be an effective strategy to eliminate adhesive activity.
We report on the identification of a surface-exposed, highly conserved, immunogenic nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) protein, which elicits cross-reactive bactericidal antibodies against NTHi. The protein was extracted from NTHi strain P860295 with KSCN and purified; it migrated as a single band on a sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel with an apparent molecular mass of 63 kDa. Mouse antiserum generated against the purified protein was reactive on whole-cell enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) with seven NTHi strains and type b Eagan and Whittier strains and exhibited bactericidal activity to homologous and heterologous NTHi strains. However, the protein is made in small amounts in NTHi as corroborated by immunoelectron microscopy. To further study this protein, we cloned, sequenced, and expressed it recombinantly in Escherichia coli. The recombinant protein is localized in the periplasm of E. coli and has been purified to homogeneity. Both the recombinant and native proteins possess 5′-nucleotidase activity; hence, the protein has been called NucA. Mouse antiserum directed against the recombinant NucA protein was reactive on Western immunoblots and whole-cell ELISA with all H. influenzae strains tested including Eagan and was bactericidal for two heterologous strains tested. The antiserum also resulted in a log reduction in bacteremia, in an infant-rat protection study with H. influenzae type b as the challenge strain. These features suggest that NucA is a potential subunit vaccine candidate against NTHi disease.
The ability of unencapsulated (nontypeable) Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) to cause systemic disease in healthy children has been recognized only in the past decade. To determine the extent of similarity among invasive nontypeable isolates, we compared strain R2866 with 16 additional NTHi isolates from blood and spinal fluid, 17 nasopharyngeal or throat isolates from healthy children, and 19 isolates from middle ear aspirates. The strains were evaluated for the presence of several genetic loci that affect bacterial surface structures and for biochemical reactions that are known to differ among H. influenzae strains. Eight strains, including four blood isolates, shared several properties with R2866: they were biotype V (indole and ornithine decarboxylase positive, urease negative), contained sequence from the adhesin gene hia, and lacked a genetic island flanked by the infA and ksgA genes. Multilocus sequence typing showed that most biotype V isolates belonged to the same phylogenetic cluster as strain R2866. When present, the infA-ksgA island contains lipopolysaccharide biosynthetic genes, either lic2B and lic2C or homologs of the losA and losB genes described for Haemophilus ducreyi. The island was found in most nasopharyngeal and otitis isolates but was absent from 40% of invasive isolates. Overall, the 33 hmw-negative isolates were much more likely than hmw-containing isolates to have tryptophanase, ornithine decarboxylase, or lysine decarboxylase activity or to contain the hif genes. We conclude (i) that invasive isolates are genetically and phenotypically diverse and (ii) that certain genetic loci of NTHi are frequently found in association among NTHi strains.
A subset of invasive nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHI) strains has evidence of IS1016, an insertion element associated with division I H. influenzae capsule serotypes. We examined IS1016-positive invasive NTHI isolates collected as part of Active Bacterial Core Surveillance within the Georgia Emerging Infections Program for the presence or absence of hmw1 and hmw2 (two related adhesin genes that are common in NTHI but absent in encapsulated H. influenzae) and hia (homologue of hsf, an encapsulated H. influenzae adhesin gene). Isolates were serotyped using slide agglutination, confirmed as NTHI strains using PCR capsule typing, and biotyped. Two hundred twenty-nine invasive NTHI isolates collected between August 1998 and December 2006 were screened for IS1016; 22/229 (9.6%) were positive. Nineteen of 201 previously identified IS1016-positive invasive NTHI isolates collected between January 1989 and July 1998 were also examined. Forty-one IS1016-positive and 56 randomly selected IS1016-negative invasive NTHI strains were examined. The hia adhesin was present in 39 of 41 (95%) IS1016-positive NTHI strains and 1 of 56 (1.8%) IS1016-negative NTHI strains tested; hmw (hmw1, hmw2, or both) was present in 50 of 56 (89%) IS1016-negative NTHI isolates but in only 5 of 41 (12%; all hmw2) IS1016-positive NTHI isolates. IS1016-positive NTHI strains were more often biotype V (P < 0.001) or biotype I (P = 0.04) than IS1016-negative NTHI strains, which were most often biotype II. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis revealed the expected genetic diversity of NTHI with some clustering based on IS1016, hmw or hia, and biotypes. A significant association of IS1016 with biotypes V and I and the presence of hia adhesins was found among invasive NTHI. IS1016-positive NTHI strains may represent a unique subset of NTHI strains, with characteristics more closely resembling those of encapsulated H. influenzae.
Haemophilus influenzae type a (Hia) is an important pathogen for some American Indian, Alaskan native, and Northern Canada aboriginal populations. Assays to measure serum bactericidal activity (SBA) to Hia have not been developed or validated. Here, we describe two methods for the measurement of SBA: SBA with a viability endpoint (CFU counts) and SBA with a fluorometric endpoint using alamarBlue as the metabolic indicator. Both SBA assays measure Hia-specific functional antibody and correlate with anti-Hia IgG enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) concentration of naturally acquired antibodies.
The mom gene of bacteriophage Mu encodes an enzyme that converts adenine to N6-(1-acetamido)-adenine in the phage DNA and thereby protects the viral genome from cleavage by a wide variety of restriction endonucleases. Mu-like prophage sequences present in Haemophilus influenzae Rd (FluMu), Neisseria meningitidis type A strain Z2491 (Pnme1) and H. influenzae biotype aegyptius ATCC 11116 do not possess a Mom-encoding gene. Instead, at the position occupied by mom in Mu they carry an unrelated gene that encodes a protein with homology to DNA adenine N6-methyltransferases (hin1523, nma1821, hia5, respectively). Products of the hin1523, hia5 and nma1821 genes modify adenine residues to N6-methyladenine, both in vitro and in vivo. All of these enzymes catalyzed extensive DNA methylation; most notably the Hia5 protein caused the methylation of 61% of the adenines in λ DNA. Kinetic analysis of oligonucleotide methylation suggests that all adenine residues in DNA, with the possible exception of poly(A)-tracts, constitute substrates for the Hia5 and Hin1523 enzymes. Their potential ‘sequence specificity’ could be summarized as AB or BA (where B = C, G or T). Plasmid DNA isolated from Escherichia coli cells overexpressing these novel DNA methyltransferases was resistant to cleavage by many restriction enzymes sensitive to adenine methylation.
Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHI) is an opportunistic pathogen, and heterogeneity in the surface-exposed immunodominant domains of NTHI proteins is thought to be associated with the failure of an infection to stimulate an immune response that is cross-protective against heterologous NTHI strains. The aim of this study was to assess the vaccine potential of a surface-exposed component of the NTHI human transferrin receptor, TbpB, and to determine if the antibody response elicited was cross-reactive with heterologous strains of NTHI. The efficacy of immunization with a recombinant form of TbpB (rTbpB) was determined by assessing the pulmonary clearance of viable bacteria 4 h after a live challenge with NTHI. There was a significant reduction in the number of viable bacteria in both the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (34% for the 20-μg dose and 58% for the 40-μg dose) and lung homogenates (26% for the 20-μg dose and 60% for the 40-μg dose) of rats immunized with rTbpB compared to the control animals. While rTbpB-specific antibodies from immunized rats were nonspecific in the recognition of TbpB from six heterologous NTHI strains on Western blots, these antibodies differed in their ability to block transferrin binding to heterologous strains and to cross-react in bactericidal assays. If bactericidal antibodies are key indicators of the efficacy of the immune response in eliminating NTHI, this data suggests that while immunization with rTbpB stimulates protective responses against the homologous isolate, variability in the recognition of TbpB from heterologous isolates may limit the potential of rTbpB as an NTHI vaccine component.
Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular protozoan parasite, capable of infecting all species of mammals including man. Congenital toxoplasmosis is more important during pregnancy for the first time. In this study we expressed and purified P43 Toxoplasma gondii tachyzoite and bradyzoite specific surface antigen.
The recombinant pGEMEX-1 contained Toxoplasma P43 coding sequence was transformed into E. coli and mass cultured in LB medium contained 100 μg/ml ampicillin at 37°C over night. The T7 promoter was induced by 1mM isopropyl-1-thio-ß-D-galactopyranoside (IPTG. Recombinant protein was purified by affinity chromatography and confirmed by gel diffusion dot blot and western blot,-using specific anti Toxoplasma antibodies.
Recombinant plasmid was induced by IPTG and analyzed by SDS-PAGE. Recombinant protein was confirmed by Western-blot and dot blot using anti human Toxoplasma antibody.
Recombinant Toxoplasma P43 was produced successfully.
Toxoplasma; Tachyzoite; Bradyzoite; Recombinant P43
We previously reported that two surface-exposed high-molecular-weight proteins, HMW1 and HMW2, expressed by a prototypic strain of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHI) mediate attachment to human epithelial cells. These proteins are members of a family of highly immunogenic proteins common to most nontypeable Haemophilus strains. We also reported that immunization with an HMW1-HMW2 mixture modified the course of disease in an animal model of otitis media, suggesting the potential usefulness of these proteins as NTHI vaccine components. Identification of surface-accessible B-cell epitopes could be important to efforts to develop recombinant or synthetic peptide vaccines based upon these high-molecular-weight proteins. Thus, the purpose of the present study was to identify surface-accessible epitopes on the HMW1 and HMW2 proteins by using monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) and to determine the prevalence of these epitopes among the high-molecular-weight proteins expressed by heterologous nontypeable Haemophilus strains. MAbs were generated by immunizing mice with high-molecular-weight proteins purified from prototype strains and were screened by immunoelectron microscopy (IEM) for the ability to recognize surface epitopes. Two MAbs, designated AD6 and 10C5, that recognized surface epitopes by IEM were recovered. In order to map the epitopes recognized by these two MAbs, we constructed a set of HMW1 and HMW2 recombinant fusion proteins using the pGEMEX vectors and examined the reactivity of the MAbs with these fusion proteins. MAb AD6 recognized an epitope in both HMW1 and HMW2 which mapped to the last 75 amino acids at the carboxy termini of the two proteins. When examined for reactivity with heterologous strains, MAb AD6 recognized high-molecular-weight proteins in 75% of 125 unrelated nontypeable Haemophilus strains and, in addition, reacted with three of three such strains when examined by IEM. MAb 10C5 recognized an epitope that mapped to a 155-amino-acid segment near the carboxy terminus of HMW1. This epitope was adjacent to but distinct from the AD6 epitope and was absent from HMW2. The 10C5 epitope was expressed by 40% of the AD6 reactive strains. Identification of shared surface-exposed epitopes on the high-molecular-weight adhesion proteins suggests the possibility of developing recombinant or synthetic peptide-based vaccines protective against disease caused by the majority of NTHI strains.
Neisseria meningitidis NhhA (Neisseria hia/hsf homologue A) is an oligomeric outer membrane protein belonging to the family of trimeric autotransporter adhesins. NhhA mediates the interaction of N. meningitidis with human epithelial cells and components of the extracellular matrix. The recombinant protein is able to induce bactericidal antibodies and hence has also been considered a potential vaccine candidate. In this study, we analyzed the production of NhhA in a large panel of N. meningitidis strains belonging to different serogroups and clonal complexes. We found that trimeric NhhA was produced at different levels by the various strains tested. In some strains belonging to the clonal complex ST41/44, the protein is detectable only as a monomer. Sequencing of the nhhA gene and generation of complementing strains in different genetic backgrounds have proved that a single mutation (Gly to Asp) in the translocator domain affected both trimerization and surface localization of NhhA. In vitro infection assays showed that this mutation impairs meningococcal NhhA-mediated adhesion, suggesting that strains carrying the mutation may rely on different strategies or molecules to mediate interaction with host cells. Finally, we demonstrated that N. meningitidis ST41/44 strains producing the mutated form did not induce killing mediated by NhhA-specific bactericidal antibodies. Our data help to elucidate the secretion mechanisms of trimeric autotransporters and to understand the contribution of NhhA in the evolutionary process of host-Neisseria interactions. Also, they might have important implications for the evaluation of NhhA as a vaccine candidate.
Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHI) is a major pathogen of otitis media. One of the outer membrane proteins of NTHI, P6, is an antigen common to all strains and is considered as a candidate for mucosal vaccine. To elucidate the possibility of developing a nasal vaccine against nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHI) and to investigate mucosal immune responses in the middle ear, mice were immunized intranasally with the P6 outer membrane protein of NTHI, and P6-specific immune responses in the middle ear mucosa were examined. Mice were given with P6 and cholera toxin intranasally as an adjuvant on days 0, 7, and 14 and were killed on day 21. The P6-specific immunoglobulin A (IgA) antibody titer in ear wash was significantly elevated. Mononuclear cells were isolated from middle ear mucosa, and an increase in P6-specific IgA-producing cells was shown with an enzyme-linked immunospot assay. In addition, an increase in memory T cells in middle ear mucosa was detected with flow cytometric analysis after intranasal immunization. Moreover, in vitro stimulation with P6 resulted in proliferation of purified CD4+ T cells from immunized mice, and these T cells expressed Th2 cytokine mRNA. These results indicate that P6-specific IgA–B-cell immune responses and selected Th2 cytokine expressing Th cells were induced in middle ear mucosa by intranasal immunization. These findings suggest that a nasal vaccine is useful for preventing otitis media with effusion.
A conserved 80-kDa minor outer membrane protein, D15, of Haemophilus influenzae has been shown to be a protective antigen in laboratory animals against H. influenzae type a (Hia) or type b (Hib) infection. To localize the protective B-cell epitope(s) within the D15 protein and to further explore the possibility of using synthetic peptides as vaccine antigens, a 20-kDa N-terminal fragment of D15 protein (truncated D15 [tD15]) was expressed as a fusion protein with glutathione S-transferase in Escherichia coli. The tD15 moiety was cleaved from glutathione S-transferase by using thrombin and purified to homogeneity. The purified soluble tD15 appeared to contain immunodominant protective epitope(s) against Hia and Hib, since rabbit antisera directed against tD15 were capable of protecting infant rats from Hia or Hib bacteremia. The ease of purification of soluble tD15, therefore, makes it a better candidate antigen than the full-length recombinant D15 which is produced as inclusion bodies in E. coli. Furthermore, both the purified tD15 fragment and a mixture of tD15-derived peptides spanning amino acid residues 93 to 209 of the mature D15 protein were capable of inhibiting the protection against Hib conferred on infant rats by rabbit anti-tD15 antiserum, indicating that the protective epitopes of D15 may not be conformational. However, the administration of pooled rabbit immune sera raised against the same panel of peptides failed to protect infant rats from Hib infection.
Autotransporters are a large class of proteins that are found in the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria and are almost universally implicated in virulence. These proteins consist of a C-terminal β-domain that is embedded in the outer membrane and an N-terminal domain that is exposed on the bacterial surface and is endowed with effector function. In this article, we review and compare the structural and functional characteristics of the Haemophilus influenzae IgA1 protease and Hap monomeric autotransporters and the H. influenzae Hia and Hsf trimeric autotransporters. All of these proteins play a role in colonization of the upper respiratory tract and in the pathogenesis of H. influenzae disease.
Haemophilus influenzae; autotransporter; adhesin; serine protease