Vaccine-mediated immune responses to experimental pulmonary cryptococcus gattii infection in mice

Ashok K. Chaturvedi, Rumanasma S. Hameed, Karen L. Wozniak, Camaron R. Hole, Chrissy M.Leopold Wager, Susan T. Weintraub, Jose L. Lopez-Ribot, Floyd L. Wormley

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Cryptococcus gattii is a fungal pathogen that can cause life-threatening respiratory and disseminated infections in immune-competent and immune-suppressed individuals. Currently, there are no standardized vaccines against cryptococcosis in humans, underlying an urgent need for effective therapies and/or vaccines. In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of intranasal immunization with C. gattii cell wall associated (CW) and/or cytoplasmic (CP) protein preparations to induce protection against experimental pulmonary C. gattii infection in mice. BALB/c mice immunized with C. gattii CW and/or CP protein preparations exhibited a significant reduction in pulmonary fungal burden and prolonged survival following pulmonary challenge with C. gattii. Protection was associated with significantly increased pro-inflammatory and Th1-type cytokine recall responses, in vitro and increased C. gattii-specific antibody production in immunized mice challenged with C. gattii. A number of immunodominant proteins were identified following immunoblot analysis of C. gattii CW and CP protein preparations using sera from immunized mice. Immunization with a combined CW and CP protein preparation resulted in an early increase in pulmonary T cell infiltrates following challenge with C. gattii. Overall, our studies show that C. gattii CW and CP protein preparations contain antigens that may be included in a subunit vaccine to induce prolonged protection against pulmonary C. gattii infection.

Idioma originalEnglish (US)
Número de artículoe104316
PublicaciónPloS one
EstadoPublished - ago 13 2014

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