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Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2013 Oct;20(10):1592-8. doi: 10.1128/CVI.00347-13. Epub 2013 Aug 14.

Antibody-secreting cell responses after Vibrio cholerae O1 infection and oral cholera vaccination in adults in Bangladesh.

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  • 1Division of Infectious Diseases, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


Infection with Vibrio cholerae and oral cholera vaccines (OCVs) induce transient circulating plasmablast responses that peak within approximately 7 days after infection or vaccination. We previously demonstrated that plasmablast responses strongly correlate with subsequent levels of V. cholerae-specific duodenal antibodies up to 6 months after V. cholerae infection. Hence, plasmablast responses provide an early window into the immunologic memory at the mucosal surface. In this study, we characterized plasmablast responses following V. cholerae infection using a flow cytometrically defined population and compared V. cholerae-specific responses in adult patients with V. cholerae O1 infection and vaccinees who received the OCV Dukoral (Crucell Vaccines Canada). Among flow cytometrically sorted populations of gut-homing plasmablasts, almost 50% of the cells recognized either cholera toxin B subunit (CtxB) or V. cholerae O1 lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Using a traditional enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot assay (ELISPOT), we found that infection with V. cholerae O1 and OCVs induce similar responses to the protein antigen CtxB, but responses to LPS were diminished after OCV compared to those after natural V. cholerae infection. A second dose of OCV on day 14 failed to boost circulating V. cholerae-specific plasmablast responses in Bangladeshi adults. Our results differ from those in studies from areas where cholera is not endemic, in which a second vaccination on day 14 significantly boosts plasmablast responses. Given these results, it is likely that the optimal boosting strategies for OCVs differ significantly between areas where V. cholerae infection is endemic and those where it is not.

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