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Infect Immun. 2011 Mar;79(3):1289-99. doi: 10.1128/IAI.01139-10. Epub 2010 Dec 13.

Mucosal vaccination with a multivalent, live-attenuated vaccine induces multifactorial immunity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa acute lung infection.

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Channing Laboratory, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 181 Longwood Ave., Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Many animal studies investigating adaptive immune effectors important for protection against Pseudomonas aeruginosa have implicated opsonic antibody to the antigenically variable lipopolysaccharide (LPS) O antigens as a primary effector. However, active and passive vaccination of humans against these antigens has not shown clinical efficacy. We hypothesized that optimal immunity would require inducing multiple immune effectors targeting multiple bacterial antigens. Therefore, we evaluated a multivalent live-attenuated mucosal vaccination strategy in a murine model of acute P. aeruginosa pneumonia to assess the contributions to protective efficacy of various bacterial antigens and host immune effectors. Vaccines combining 3 or 4 attenuated strains having different LPS serogroups were associated with the highest protective efficacy compared to vaccines with fewer components. Levels of opsonophagocytic antibodies, which were directed not only to the LPS O antigens but also to the LPS core and surface proteins, correlated with protective immunity. The multivalent live-attenuated vaccines overcame prior problems involving immunologic interference in the development of O-antigen-specific antibody responses when closely related O antigens were combined in multivalent vaccines. Antibodies to the LPS core were associated with in vitro killing and in vivo protection against strains with O antigens not expressed by the vaccine strains, whereas antibodies to the LPS core and surface proteins augmented the contribution of O-antigen-specific antibodies elicited by vaccine strains containing a homologous O antigen. Local CD4 T cells in the lung also contributed to vaccine-based protection when opsonophagocytic antibodies to the challenge strain were absent. Thus, multivalent live-attenuated vaccines elicit multifactorial protective immunity to P. aeruginosa lung infections.

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