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Tobias J.,Gothenburg University | Tobias J.,Collaborating Center for Research on Enterotoxigenic Escherichia Coli | Svennerholm A.-M.,Gothenburg University | Svennerholm A.-M.,Collaborating Center for Research on Enterotoxigenic Escherichia Coli | And 4 more authors.
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology | Year: 2010

Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) are an important cause of diarrheal morbidity in developing countries, especially in children and also of traveler's diarrhea. Colonization factors (CFs) of ETEC, like CFA/I and CS2 which are genetically and structurally related, play a substantial role in pathogenicity, and since intestinal-mucosal immune responses against CFs appear to be protective, much effort has focused on the development of a CF-based ETEC vaccine. We have constructed hybrid operons in which the major CS2 subunit-encoding cotA gene was inserted into the CFA/I operon, either replacing (hybrid I) or being added to the major CFA/I subunit-encoding cfaB gene (hybrid II). Using specific monoclonal antibodies against the major subunits of CFA/I and CS2, high levels of surface expression of both fimbrial subunits were shown in E. coli carrying the hybrid II operon. Oral immunization of mice with formalin-killed bacteria expressing hybrid II fimbriae induced strong CFA/I- and CS2-specific serum IgG+IgM and fecal IgA antibody responses, which were higher than those achieved by similar immunization with the reference strains. Bacteria expressing hybrid fimbriae are potential candidate strains in an oral-killed CF-ETEC vaccine, and the approach represents an attractive and novel means of producing a broad-spectrum ETEC vaccine. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

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