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1.  Antibodies to the HMW1/HMW2 and Hia Adhesins of Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae Mediate Broad-Based Opsonophagocytic Killing of Homologous and Heterologous Strains 
The HMW1/HMW2 and Hia proteins are highly immunogenic surface adhesins of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi). Approximately 75% of NTHi strains express HMW1/HMW2 adhesins, and most of the remaining 25% express an Hia adhesin. Our objective in this study was to assess the ability of antisera raised against purified HMW1/HMW2 proteins or recombinant Hia proteins to mediate opsonophagocytic killing of a large panel of unrelated NTHi strains. Native HMW1/HMW2 proteins were purified from three HMW1/HMW2-expressing NTHi strains. Recombinant fusion proteins expressing surface-exposed segments of either of two prototype Hia proteins were purified from Escherichia coli transformants. Immune sera raised in guinea pigs were assessed for their ability to mediate killing of NTHi in an opsonophagocytic assay with the HL-60 phagocytic cell line. The three HMW1/HMW2 antisera mediated killing of 22 of 65, 43 of 65, and 28 of 65 unrelated HMW1/HMW2-expressing NTHi strains, respectively. As a group, the three sera mediated killing of 48 of 65 HMW1/HMW2-expressing strains. The two Hia immune sera mediated killing of 12 of 24 and 13 of 24 unrelated Hia-expressing NTHi strains, respectively. Together, they mediated killing of 15 of 24 Hia-expressing strains. Neither the HMW1/HMW2 nor the Hia antisera mediated killing of NTHi expressing the alternative adhesin type. Antibodies directed against native HMW1/HMW2 proteins and recombinant Hia proteins are capable of mediating broad-based opsonophagocytic killing of homologous and heterologous NTHi strains. A vaccine formulated with a limited number of HMW1/HMW2 and Hia proteins might provide protection against disease caused by most NTHi strains.
PMCID: PMC4018882  PMID: 24574538
2.  A New Human Colonization Model for Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2013;208(5):717-719.
PMCID: PMC3733510  PMID: 23715657
nontypeable; Haemophilus influenzae; colonization model
3.  Panel 6: Vaccines 
To update progress on the effectiveness of vaccine for prevention of acute otitis media (AOM) and identification of promising candidate antigens against Streptococcus pneumoniae, nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis.
Review Methods
Literature searches were performed in OvidSP and PubMed restricted to articles published between June 2007 and September 2011. Search terms included otitis media, vaccines, vaccine antigens, and each of the otitis pathogens and candidate antigens identified in the ninth conference report.
The current report provides further evidence for the effectiveness of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs) in the prevention of otitis media. Observational studies demonstrate a greater decline in AOM episodes than reported in clinical efficacy trials. Unmet challenges include extending protection to additional serotypes and additional pathogens, the need to prevent early episodes, the development of correlates of protection for protein antigens, and the need to define where an otitis media vaccine strategy fits with priorities for child health.
Implications for Practice
Acute otitis media continues to be a burden on children and families, especially those who suffer from frequent recurrences. The 7-valent PCV (PCV7) has reduced the burden of disease as well as shifted the pneumococcal serotypes and the distribution of otopathogens currently reported in children with AOM. Antibiotic resistance remains an ongoing challenge. Multiple candidate antigens have demonstrated the necessary requirements of conservation, surface exposure, immunogenicity, and protection in animal models. Further research on the role of each antigen in pathogenesis, in the development of correlates of protection in animal models, and in new adjuvants to elicit responses in the youngest infants is likely to be productive and permit more antigens to move into human clinical trials.
PMCID: PMC4029613  PMID: 23536534
otitis media; vaccines; vaccine antigens; otitis pathogens; candidate antigens
4.  Up-Regulation of MUC18 in Airway Epithelial Cells by IL-13 
Airway bacterial infections are a major problem in lung diseases, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and cystic fibrosis. Increased Th2 cytokines, such as IL-13, are observed in lung diseases and may contribute to bacterial infections. How Th2 cytokines affect bacterial infection remains unknown. MUC18, an adhesion molecule shown to be involved in the pathogenesis of malignant melanoma, has been recently identified in airway epithelial cells of patients with COPD. We investigated MUC18 regulation by IL-13 and the role of MUC18 in bacterial adherence to epithelial cells. Human airway tissues, brushed bronchial epithelial cells from normal subjects and subjects with asthma, and epithelial cell lines (e.g., HEK293 cells) were used to study the regulation of MUC18 by IL-13 and the involvement of MUC18 in bacterial (e.g., Mycoplasma pneumoniae [Mp] and nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae [NTHi]) adherence to epithelial cells. Asthmatic bronchial epithelium expressed higher levels of MUC18 than normal bronchial epithelium. IL-13 increased MUC18 in cultured bronchial epithelial cells from normal subjects and particularly from subjects with asthma. IL-13–induced MUC18 expression may be modulated in part through transcription factor specificity protein 1. Overexpression of human MUC18 in HEK293 cells increased cell-associated Mp and NTHi levels. Moreover, MUC18 was shown to directly interact with Mp and NTHi. These results for the first time show that an allergic airway milieu (e.g., IL-13) increases MUC18 expression, which may contribute to increased bacterial infection/colonization in asthma and other lung diseases.
PMCID: PMC3095981  PMID: 21239604
airway epithelial cells; MUC18; IL-13; bacteria
5.  Construction and Immunogenicity of Recombinant Adenovirus Vaccines Expressing the HMW1, HMW2, or Hia Adhesion Protein of Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae▿  
Clinical and Vaccine Immunology : CVI  2010;17(10):1567-1575.
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.
PMCID: PMC2952983  PMID: 20685934
6.  Antibodies Specific for the Hia Adhesion Proteins of Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae Mediate Opsonophagocytic Activity▿  
The Hia autotransporter proteins are highly immunogenic surface adhesins expressed by nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHI). The objective of our study was to assess the opsonophagocytic activity of anti-Hia antibodies against homologous and heterologous NTHI. A segment of the hia gene that encodes a surface-exposed portion of the H. influenzae strain 11 Hia protein was cloned into a pGEMEX-2 expression vector. Escherichia coli JM101 was transformed with the resulting pGEMEX-Hia BstEII del recombinant plasmid, and recombinant fusion protein was recovered. An immune serum against recombinant GEMEX-Hia (rGEMEX-Hia)-mediated killing of the homologous NTHI strain 11 at a 1:160 titer and five heterologous Hia-expressing strains at titers of ≥1:40. Immune serum did not mediate killing of two Hia-knockout strains whose hia genes were inactivated but did mediate killing of one knockout strain at a high titer after the strain was transformed with a plasmid containing the hia gene. Immune serum did not mediate killing of HMW1/HMW2-expressing NTHI strains, which do not express the Hia adhesin. However, when two representative HMW1/HMW2-expressing strains were transformed with the plasmid containing the hia gene, they expressed abundant Hia and were susceptible to killing by the immune serum. Immune serum did not mediate killing of HMW1/HMW2-expressing strains transformed with the plasmid without the hia gene. Our results demonstrate that the Hia proteins of NTHI are targets of opsonophagocytic antibodies and that shared epitopes recognized by such antibodies are present on the Hia proteins of unrelated NTHI strains. These data argue for the continued investigation of the Hia proteins as vaccine candidates for the prevention of NTHI disease.
PMCID: PMC2708409  PMID: 19474261
7.  Antibodies Specific for the High-Molecular-Weight Adhesion Proteins of Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae Are Opsonophagocytic for both Homologous and Heterologous Strains▿  
Clinical and Vaccine Immunology  2006;13(12):1333-1342.
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.
PMCID: PMC1694446  PMID: 17021246
8.  Severe Community-acquired Pneumonia Due to Staphylococcus aureus, 2003–04 Influenza Season 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2006;12(6):894-899.
S. aureus community-acquired pneumonia has been reported from 9 states.
During the 2003–04 influenza season, 17 cases of Staphylococcus aureus community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) were reported from 9 states; 15 (88%) were associated with methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). The median age of patients was 21 years; 5 (29%) had underlying diseases, and 4 (24%) had risk factors for MRSA. Twelve (71%) had laboratory evidence of influenza virus infection. All but 1 patient, who died on arrival, were hospitalized. Death occurred in 5 (4 with MRSA). S. aureus isolates were available from 13 (76%) patients (11 MRSA). Toxin genes were detected in all isolates; 11 (85%) had only genes for Panton-Valentine leukocidin. All isolates had community-associated pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns; all MRSA isolates had the staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec type IVa. In communities with a high prevalence of MRSA, empiric therapy of severe CAP during periods of high influenza activity should include consideration for MRSA.
PMCID: PMC3373026  PMID: 16707043
Staphylococcus; MRSA; pneumonia; influenza; research
9.  Evolutionary and Functional Relationships among the Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae HMW Family of Adhesins†‡  
Journal of Bacteriology  2004;186(13):4209-4217.
Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) is a common cause of localized respiratory tract disease and initiates infection by colonizing the nasopharynx. Approximately 75 to 80% of NTHi clinical isolates produce proteins that belong to the HMW family of adhesins, which are believed to facilitate colonization. The prototype HMW adhesins are designated HMW1 and HMW2 and were identified in NTHi strain 12. HMW1 and HMW2 are 71% identical and 80% similar overall, yet display differing cellular binding specificities. In the present study we set out to define more clearly the relationships between HMW1 and HMW2 and other members of the HMW family of adhesins. PCR analysis of 49 epidemiologically distinct isolates revealed that all strains possessing hmw genes as determined by Southern analysis contain two hmw loci in conserved, unlinked physical locations on the chromosome. Functional analysis of the HMW adhesins produced by three unrelated strains demonstrated that each isolate possesses one protein with HMW1-like adherence properties and another with HMW2-like adherence properties. These findings suggest that the hmw1 and hmw2 loci may have arisen via a gene duplication event in an ancestral strain. In addition, they support the hypothesis that the distinct binding specificities of HMW1 and HMW2 emerged early and have persisted over time, suggesting an ongoing selective advantage.
PMCID: PMC421621  PMID: 15205423
10.  Somatic Hypermutation and Diverse Immunoglobulin Gene Usage in the Human Antibody Response to the Capsular Polysaccharide of Streptococcus pneumoniae Type 6B  
Infection and Immunity  2004;72(6):3505-3514.
Combinatorial cloning and expression library analysis were used to determine the expressed human antibody repertoire specific for the capsular polysaccharide (PS) of Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype 6B. Sequence analysis of 55 6B-specific antibody Fab fragments isolated from six vaccinated donors reveal that different individuals used a variety of heavy and light chain germ line variable (V) region genes to form pneumococcal capsular PS (PPS) 6B-specific paratopes. Within each donor, however, the response was more restricted, with five of the six donors using at most one or two gene pairs to form combining sites. Analysis also indicated that although the response in each donor was oligoclonal in terms of variable gene usage, the combination of extensive somatic hypermutation, deletion of germ line-encoded residues, insertion of non-germ line-encoded residues, and intraclonal isotype switching generated a surprising degree of paratope diversity within the individuals analyzed. In contrast to previously studied PS-specific responses, we find that the PPS 6B repertoire makes use of a diverse collection of heavy-chain and light-chain V region gene products to form specific paratopes, with no apparent tendency for conservation of immunoglobulin gene usage between individuals.
PMCID: PMC415722  PMID: 15155658
11.  Human Antibodies Specific for the High-Molecular-Weight Adhesion Proteins of Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae Mediate Opsonophagocytic Activity  
Infection and Immunity  2003;71(12):6884-6891.
The HMW1- and HMW2-like adhesion proteins of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae are expressed by 75% of these strains, and antibodies directed against these proteins are protective in animal models of infection. The purpose of the present study was to define the functional activity of human antibodies specific for these proteins in an in vitro complement-dependent opsonophagocytic assay. Human promyelocytic cell line HL-60 served as the source of phagocytic cells, and a commercial preparation of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) served as the source of human antibodies. High-molecular-weight (HMW) proteins were purified from four prototype nontypeable H. influenzae strains and used to prepare solid-phase affinity columns. IVIG was adsorbed on each column to remove strain-specific anti-HMW antibodies and to allow recovery of affinity-purified anti-HMW antibody fractions. Unadsorbed IVIG killed each of the prototype strains at titers of 1:80 to 1:320. HMW-adsorbed sera demonstrated fourfold decreases in opsonophagocytic titer against the homologous strains compared to unadsorbed IVIG. Affinity-purified anti-HMW antibody preparations demonstrated opsonophagocytic titers of 1:20 to 1:80 against the respective homologous strains and opsonophagocytic titers as high as 1:80 against heterologous strains. None of the affinity-purified anti-HMW antibody preparations was opsonophagocytic for a representative nontypeable H. influenzae strain that did not express HMW1- or HMW2-like proteins. These data demonstrate that human antibodies specific for the HMW1/HMW2-like adhesion proteins of nontypeable H. influenzae are opsonophagocytic and that such antibodies recognize epitopes shared by the HMW proteins of unrelated nontypeable H. influenzae strains. These results argue for continued investigation of the HMW1/HMW2-like proteins as potential vaccine candidates for prevention of disease due to nontypeable H. influenzae.
PMCID: PMC308909  PMID: 14638776
12.  Recurrent Variable Region Gene Usage and Somatic Mutation in the Human Antibody Response to the Capsular Polysaccharide of Streptococcus pneumoniae Type 23F  
Infection and Immunity  2002;70(8):4083-4091.
Combinatorial cloning and expression library analysis were used to isolate human antibody Fab fragments specific for the capsular polysaccharide of Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype 23F. Thirty 23F-specific Fabs were isolated from seven vaccinated donors, and the sequences of the heavy (H)- and light (L)-chain variable regions were determined. All individuals utilized either the Vκ A23 L chain, the Vκ L6 L chain, or both chains in forming the 23F-specific combining site. Vκ A23 L chains paired primarily with VH3-23 H chains. Vκ L6 L chains were more promiscuous in heavy-chain usage between individuals. Both H and L chains were mutated, primarily in the complementarity-determining regions, compared to their closest germ line counterpart, suggesting a recall response that has undergone affinity maturation. H-chain isotypes were reflective of those found in the serum. Shared somatic modifications demonstrated that immunoglobulin G2 (IgG2) and IgA antibodies arose from the same somatically matured B cell. Our results indicate that the response to the serotype 23F pneumococcal capsular polysaccharide is oligoclonal within the individual, with one or two paratope families accounting for the majority of expressed antibody. We also determined that, in spite of the combinatorial diversity available to the immune system, the 23F-specific response is highly restricted at the population level, with the same two L-chain-determined paratope families recurring in all individuals. Lastly, analysis of the isolated Fabs indicate all have undergone extensive somatic mutation, as well as class switch, maturational events that presumably require the participation of T cells.
PMCID: PMC128163  PMID: 12117915
13.  Age-Associated Differences in Immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) and IgG2 Subclass Antibodies to Pneumococcal Polysaccharides following Vaccination 
Infection and Immunity  1999;67(9):4935-4938.
Immunoglobulin G (IgG) subclass antibody responses to pneumococcal vaccines were determined for human subjects in four age groups. The ratios of IgG1/IgG2 antibody concentrations declined with advancing age for all five of the serotypes tested. Protein-conjugate vaccines elicited enhanced IgG antibody responses over plain polysaccharide vaccines in infants but not in adult groups.
PMCID: PMC96832  PMID: 10456954
14.  Synthesis and Characterization of Lipooligosaccharide-Based Conjugates as Vaccine Candidates for Moraxella (Branhamella) catarrhalis 
Infection and Immunity  1998;66(5):1891-1897.
Moraxella (Branhamella) catarrhalis is an important cause of otitis media and sinusitis in children and of lower respiratory tract infections in adults. Lipooligosaccharide (LOS) is a major surface antigen of the bacterium and elicits bactericidal antibodies. Treatment of the LOS from strain ATCC 25238 with anhydrous hydrazine reduced its toxicity 20,000-fold, as assayed in the Limulus amebocyte lysate (LAL) test. The detoxified LOS (dLOS) was coupled to tetanus toxoid (TT) or high-molecular-weight proteins (HMP) from nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae through a linker of adipic acid dihydrazide to form dLOS-TT or dLOS-HMP. The molar ratios of dLOS to TT and HMP conjugates were 19:1 and 31:1, respectively. The antigenicity of the two conjugates was similar to that of the LOS, as determined by double immunodiffusion. Subcutaneous or intramuscular injection of both conjugates elicited a 50- to 100-fold rise in the geometric mean of immunoglobulin G (IgG) to the homologous LOS in mice after three injections and a 350- to 700-fold rise of anti-LOS IgG in rabbits after two injections. The immunogenicity of the conjugate was enhanced by formulation with monophosphoryl lipid A plus trehalose dimycolate. In rabbits, conjugate-induced antisera had complement-mediated bactericidal activity against the homologous strain and heterologous strains of M. catarrhalis. These results indicate that a detoxified LOS-protein conjugate is a candidate for immunization against M. catarrhalis diseases.
PMCID: PMC108140  PMID: 9573066
15.  Prevalence and Distribution of the hmw and hia Genes and the HMW and Hia Adhesins among Genetically Diverse Strains of Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae 
Infection and Immunity  1998;66(1):364-368.
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.
PMCID: PMC107903  PMID: 9423882

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