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FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 1999 Apr;23(4):273-82.

Adjuvant and protective properties of native and recombinant Bordetella pertussis adenylate cyclase toxin preparations in mice.

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Division of Infection and Immunity, Institute of Biomedical and Life Sciences, Glasgow University, UK.


Bordetella pertussis produces a cell-invasive adenylate cyclase toxin which is synthesised from the cyaA gene as an inactive protoxin that is post-translationally activated by the product of the cyaC gene. Purified active and inactive CyaA proteins were prepared from B. pertussis or from recombinant Escherichia coli expressing both cyaA and cyaC genes or the cyaA gene alone. respectively. In addition, a hybrid toxin (Hyb2) in which an internal region of CyaA had been replaced with the analogous region from the leukotoxin (LktA) of Pasteurella haemolytica, and which had low cell-invasive activity, was also prepared from E. coli expressing the cyaC gene. The CyaA preparations showed no evidence of toxicity in a mouse weight-gain test. Active toxin preparations were protective in mice against intranasal challenge with wild-type B. pertussis, as evidenced by lung:body weight ratios and bacterial numbers in the lungs, which were comparable to those in mice given whole-cell DPT vaccine. Hyb2 was not as protective as active CyaA and inactive CyaA preparations were not protective. Active CyaA, when co-administered with ovalbumin (OA), had a marked adjuvant effect on the anti-OA IgG antibody response which was not as apparent with inactive CyaA preparations. Similarly, active CyaA stimulated a greater anti-CyaA response than the inactive form.

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