Reactogenicity of live-attenuated Vibrio cholerae vaccines is dependent on flagellins
Ritchie, Jennifer M.
Bronson, Roderick T.
Mekalanos, John J.
Waldor, Matthew K.
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CitationRui, H., J. M. Ritchie, R. T. Bronson, J. J. Mekalanos, Y. Zhang, and M. K. Waldor. 2010. “Reactogenicity of Live-Attenuated Vibrio Cholerae Vaccines Is Dependent on Flagellins.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107 (9): 4359–64. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0915164107.
AbstractCholera is a severe diarrheal disease caused by the motile Gramnegative rod Vibrio cholerae. Live-attenuated V. cholerae vaccines harboring deletions of the genes encoding cholera toxin have great promise for reducing the global burden of cholera. However, development of live vaccines has been hampered by the tendency of such strains to induce noncholeric reactogenic diarrhea in human subjects. The molecular bases of reactogenicity are unknown, but it has been speculated that reactogenic diarrhea is a response to V. cholerae's flagellum and/or the motility that it enables. Here, we used an infant rabbit model of reactogenicity to determine what V. cholerae factors trigger this response. We found that V. cholerae ctx mutants that produced flagellins induced diarrhea, regardless of whether the proteins were assembled into a flagellum or whether the flagellum was functional. In contrast, similar to 90% of rabbits infected with V. cholerae lacking all five flagellin-encoding genes did not develop diarrhea. Thus, flagellin production, independent of flagellum assembly or motility, is sufficient for reactogenicity. The intestinal colonization and intraintestinal localization of the non-reactogenic flagellin-deficient strain were indistinguishable from those of a flagellated motile strain; however, the flagellin-deficient strain stimulated fewer mRNA transcripts coding for proinflammatory cytokines in the intestine. Thus, reactogenic diarrhea may be a consequence of an innate host inflammatory response to V. cholerae flagellins. Our results suggest a simple genetic blueprint for engineering defined nonreactogenic live-attenuated V. cholerae vaccine strains.
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