Antibodies that block the adherence of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) to host intestinal epithelial cells are protective. Multiepitope-fusion-antigens (MEFAs) carrying epitopes of ETEC adhesin major subunits or tip minor subunits induced antibodies against ETEC adherence. Adherence inhibition effectiveness of antibodies induced by major subunit epitopes versus minor tip subunit epitopes, however, has not been comparatively characterized. In this study, we immunized mice with a major subunit MEFA or a tip MEFA, evaluated MEFA anti-adhesin immunogenicity, and examined induced-antibodies against bacteria in vitro adherence or in vivo colonization in mice. Mice subcutaneously immunized with major subunit MEFA CFA/I/II/IV or tip MEFA showed no adverse effects and developed strong antigen-specific antibody responses. Data showed that antibodies derived from two MEFAs were equally effective against adherence of the bacteria expressing CS1, CS2, CS3, CS4/CS6, CS5/CS6, or CS6 adhesin in vitro. Subsequently, we immunized mice with CFA/I fimbriae, major subunit CfaB, or minor tip adhesin subunit CfaE. We found that antibodies induced by CFA/I, CfaB and CfaE equally inhibited in vitro adherence of ETEC strain H10407. Furthermore, we immunized mice with CFA/I fimbriae, CfaB, or CfaE, and then challenged the mice with H10407. Data showed that although not significantly, fewer H10407 bacteria colonized the immunized mice. These results suggest that ETEC adhesin major subunit and minor tip subunit should be equally effective in inducing neutralizing anti-adhesin antibodies, and that major subunit CFA/I/II/IV MEFA or tip MEFA, perhaps combined with toxoid fusion 3xSTaN12S-mnLTR192G/L211A, can be used for development of broadly protective vaccines against ETEC diarrhea.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)