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1.  Failure of a VapA/CpG oligodeoxynucleotide vaccine to protect foals against experimental Rhocococcus equi pneumonia despite induction of VapA-specific antibody and interferon-γ response 
We evaluated the immunogenic and protective potential of a recombinant VapA/CpG oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) 2395 vaccine in neonatal foals undergoing experimental Rhodococcus equi challenge. Foals (n = 8) were vaccinated by intramuscular injection on days 1 and 15 of the study; control foals (n = 7) received a phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) solution. All foals were challenged by intrabronchial administration of 5 × 106R. equi 103+ on day 29. Bronchoalveolar lavages were done on days 15, 29, and 36 and total cell count, differential cell count, rVapA-stimulated cell proliferation and interferon (IFN)-γ mRNA expression determined. Clinical examination, complete blood (cell) counts, serology for VapA-specific antibodies, and culture of nasal and fecal swabs were done on days 1, 15, 29, 36, 43, and 50. Foals were humanely euthanized on day 50 and severity of pneumonia scored on a 4-point scale. Vaccination resulted in a significant increase in VapA-specific immunoglobulin (Ig) production, with total IgG and IgG(T) being increased by day 15. Expression of VapA-specific IFN-γ mRNA by BAL cells was increased in the vaccinated foals following challenge. Postmortem lung severity scores did not differ between groups. Two foals shed virulent R. equi in feces; however, real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) revealed the isolates to be different from the challenge strain.
PMCID: PMC3700440  PMID: 24101791
2.  Effects of Clostridium difficile Toxin A and B on Human T Lymphocyte Migration 
Toxins  2013;5(5):926-938.
Bacterial products such as toxins can interfere with a variety of cellular processes, leading to severe human diseases. Clostridium difficile toxins, TcdA and TcdB are the primary contributing factors to the pathogenesis of C. difficile-associated diseases (CDAD). While the mechanisms for TcdA and TcdB mediated cellular responses are complex, it has been shown that these toxins can alter chemotactic responses of neutrophils and intestinal epithelial cells leading to innate immune responses and tissue damages. The effects of C. difficile toxins on the migration and trafficking of other leukocyte subsets, such as T lymphocytes, are not clear and may have potential implications for adaptive immunity. We investigated here the direct and indirect effects of TcdA and TcdB on the migration of human blood T cells using conventional cell migration assays and microfluidic devices. It has been found that, although both toxins decrease T cell motility, only TcdA but not TcdB decreases T cell chemotaxis. Similar effects are observed in T cell migration toward the TcdA- or TcdB-treated human epithelial cells. Our study demonstrated the primary role of TcdA (compared to TcdB) in altering T cell migration and chemotaxis, suggesting possible implications for C. difficile toxin mediated adaptive immune responses in CDAD.
PMCID: PMC3709270  PMID: 23645153
C. difficile toxin A and B; human T lymphocyte; cell migration; chemotaxis; microfluidic device
3.  Development of Specific Immunoglobulin Ga (IgGa) and IgGb Antibodies Correlates with Control of Parasitemia in Babesia equi Infection 
Clinical and Vaccine Immunology  2006;13(2):297-300.
In this study, the kinetics of specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) isotypes were characterized in Babesia equi (Theileria equi)-infected horses. IgGa and IgGb developed during acute infection, whereas IgG(T) was detected only after resolution of acute parasitemia. The same IgG isotype profile induced during acute infection was obtained by equi merozoite antigen 1/saponin immunization.
PMCID: PMC1391941  PMID: 16467341
4.  Identification of Pulmonary T-Lymphocyte and Serum Antibody Isotype Responses Associated with Protection against Rhodococcus equi 
Rhodococcus equi infects and causes pneumonia in foals between 2 and 4 months of age but does not induce disease in immunocompetent adults, which are immune and remain clinically normal upon challenge. Understanding the protective response against R. equi in adult horses is important in the development of vaccine strategies, since those mechanisms likely reflect the protective phenotype that an effective vaccine would generate in the foal. Twelve adult horses were challenged with virulent R. equi and shown to be protected against clinical disease. Stimulation of cells obtained from bronchoalveolar lavage fluid with either R. equi or the vaccine candidate protein VapA resulted in significant proliferation and a significant increase in the level of gamma interferon (IFN-γ) expression by day 7 postchallenge. The levels of interleukin-4 expression were also increased at day 7 postchallenge; however, this increase was not antigen specific. Anamnestic increases in the levels of binding to R. equi and VapA of all immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody isotypes [IgGa, IgGb, IgG(T)] examined were detected postchallenge. The levels of R. equi- and VapA-specific IgGa and IgGb antibodies, the IgG isotypes that preferentially opsonize and fix complement in horses, were dramatically enhanced postchallenge. The antigen-specific proliferation of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid cells, the levels of IFN-γ expression by these cells, and the anamnestic increases in the levels of opsonizing IgG isotypes are consistent with stimulation of a memory response in immune adult horses and represent correlates for vaccine development in foals.
PMCID: PMC130094  PMID: 12414760

Results 1-4 (4)