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Sci Rep. 2015 Oct 22;5:15553. doi: 10.1038/srep15553.

Protective Efficacy and Mechanism of Passive Immunization with Polyclonal Antibodies in a Sepsis Model of Staphylococcus aureus Infection.

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National Engineering Research Center of Immunological Products, Department of Microbiology and Biochemical Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, 400038, PR China.
College of Bioengineering, Chongqing University, Chongqing, 400044, PR China.
Department of Clinical Hematology, Southwest Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, 400038, PR China.


Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is an opportunistic bacterial pathogen responsible for a diverse spectrum of human diseases, resulting in considerable yearly mortality rates. Due to its rapid acquisition of antibiotic resistance, it becomes increasingly difficult to cure S. aureus infections with conventional antibiotics. Immunotherapy represents a promising alternative strategy to prevent and/or treat the infection. In the present study, passive immunization with polyclonal antibodies targeting three possible S. aureus antigens, Hla, SEB and MntC (termed "SAvac-pcAb") after challenge with lethal dose of S. aureus resulted in reduced bacterial loads, inflammatory cell infiltration and decreased pathology, and was able to provide nearly complete protection in a murine sepsis model. In vitro studies confirmed the direct interaction of SAvac-pcAb with S. aureus bacteria. Additional studies validated that SAvac-pcAb contained both opsonic and neutralizing antibodies that contributed to its protective efficacy. The former mediated opsonophagocytosis in a neutrophil-dependent manner, while the later inhibited the biological functions of Hla and SEB, two major virulence factors secreted by S. aureus. Critically, we demonstrated that SAvac-pcAb was cross-reactive with different clinical strains of S. aureus. These results confirmed the efficacy for treatment of S. aureus infection by passive immunization as an important therapeutic option.

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