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J Biomed Biotechnol. 2011;2011:632396. doi: 10.1155/2011/632396. Epub 2011 Oct 9.

Serum antibodies protect against intraperitoneal challenge with enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli.

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Department of Immunology & Infectious Diseases, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717-3610, USA.


To assess whether anticolonization factor antigen I (CFA/I) fimbriae antibodies (Abs) from enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) can protect against various routes of challenge, BALB/c mice were immunized with a live attenuated Salmonella vaccine vector expressing CFA/I fimbriae. Vaccinated mice elicited elevated systemic IgG and mucosal IgA Abs, unlike mice immunized with the empty Salmonella vector. Mice were challenged with wild-type ETEC by the oral, intranasal (i.n.), and intraperitoneal (i.p.) routes. Naïve mice did not succumb to oral challenge, but did to i.n. challenge, as did immunized mice; however, vaccinated mice were protected against i.p. ETEC challenge. Two intramuscular (i.m.) immunizations with CFA/I fimbriae without adjuvant conferred 100% protection against i.p. ETEC challenge, while a single 30 μg dose conferred 88% protection. Bactericidal assays showed that ETEC is highly sensitive to anti-CFA/I sera. These results suggest that parenteral immunization with purified CFA/I fimbriae can induce protective Abs and may represent an alternative method to elicit protective Abs for passive immunity to ETEC.

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