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Immunol Cell Biol. 2007 Oct;85(7):551-7. Epub 2007 Jun 12.

Development of protective immunity in a murine model of melioidosis is influenced by the source of Burkholderia pseudomallei antigens.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia.


Melioidosis is a potentially fatal disease caused by the bacterium, Burkholderia pseudomallei. The current study was carried out to determine the mechanisms involved in the development of protective immunity in a murine model of melioidosis. Following intravenous infection with B. pseudomallei, both C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice demonstrated delayed-type hypersensitivity responses and lymphocyte proliferation towards B. pseudomallei antigens, indicating the generation of B. pseudomallei-specific lymphocytes. Adoptive transfer of these lymphocytes to naïve C57BL/6 mice was demonstrated by a delayed-type hypersensitivity response. Mice were not protected from a subsequent lethal challenge with a highly virulent strain of B. pseudomallei, suggesting that a single intravenous dose of the bacterium is insufficient to induce a protective adaptive immune response. Attempts to induce resistance in susceptible BALB/c mice used repetitive low-dose exposure to live B. pseudomallei. Immune responses and resistance following subcutaneous immunization with live B. pseudomallei were compared with exposure to heat-killed, culture filtrate and sonicated B. pseudomallei antigens. Compared to heat-killed B. pseudomallei, significant protection was generated in BALB/c mice following immunization with live bacteria. Our studies also demonstrate that the type of immune response generated in vivo is influenced by the antigenic preparation of B. pseudomallei used for immunization.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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