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Sullivan J.P.,University of Tennessee Health Science Center | Nair N.,University of Tennessee Health Science Center | Potula H.-H.,University of Tennessee Health Science Center | Potula H.-H.,Immuno Technologies, Inc. | And 2 more authors.
Infection and Immunity | Year: 2017

Leptospirosis is potentially a fatal zoonosis acquired by contact of skin and mucosal surfaces with soil and water contaminated with infected urine. We analyzed the outcome of infection of C3H/HeJ mice with Leptospira interrogans serovar Copenhageni using an enzootic mode of transmission, the conjunctival route. Infection led to weight loss and L. interrogans dissemination from blood to urine, and spirochetes were detected in blood and urine simultaneously. The infectious dose that led to consistent dissemination to kidney after conjunctival infection was ~108 leptospires. Interestingly, a lower number of spirochetes appeared to colonize the kidney, given that we quantified ~105 and ~10 leptospires per μl of urine and per μg of kidney, respectively. Leptospira-specific IgM and IgG were detected at 15 days postinfection, and isotyping of the Ig subclass showed that the total IgG response switched from an IgG1 response to an IgG3 response after infection with L. interrogans. Histological periodic acid-Schiff D staining of infected kidney showed interstitial nephritis, mononuclear cell infiltrates, and reduced size of glomeruli. Quantification of proinflammatory immunomediators in kidney showed that keratinocyte-derived chemokine, macrophage inflammatory protein 2, RANTES, tumor necrosis factor alpha, gamma interferon, and interleukin-10 were upregulated in infected mice. We show that the kinetics of disease progression after infection via the ocular conjunctiva is delayed compared with infection via the standard intraperitoneal route. Differences may be related to the number of L. interrogans spirochetes that succeed in overcoming the natural defenses of the ocular conjunctiva and transit through tissue. © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.


PubMed | University of Tennessee Health Science Center, OPKO Diagnostics LLC, Immuno Technologies, Inc. and Columbia University
Type: | Journal: Scientific reports | Year: 2016

Currently, diagnostic testing for Lyme disease is done by determination of the serologic responses to Borrelia burgdorferi antigens, with the exception of the early localized phase of disease where diagnosis must be done clinically. Here, we describe the use of microfluidics technology to develop a multiplexed rapid lab-on-a-chip point of care (POC) assay for the serologic diagnosis of human Lyme disease. Following ELISA screening of 12 candidate antigens, we tested 8 on a microfluidic diagnostic system, called mChip-Ld, using a set of 60 serological samples. The mChip-Ld test, which can be performed in 15minutes at the point of care, showed promising performance for detection of antibodies to B. burgdorferi using the PPO triplex test (rP100+PepVF+rOspC-K, AUC of 0.844) compared to a gold-standard reference of culture confirmed clinical samples. The performance is comparable to the commonly used C6 peptide by lab-based ELISA. In addition, the mChip-Ld test showed promising performance for early-stage diagnosis of the disease using the antigen OspC-K (sensitivity and specificity of 84% and 92%, respectively; AUC of 0.877). Overall, this study underscores the potential of using microfluidics to aid the diagnosis of Lyme disease at the point of care.


Karkada M.,Immuno Technologies, Inc. | Karkada M.,Dalhousie University | Weir G.M.,Immuno Technologies, Inc. | Quinton T.,Immuno Technologies, Inc. | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Immunotherapy | Year: 2010

In light of lack of efficacy associated with current cancer vaccines, we aimed to develop a novel vaccine platform called DepoVax as a therapeutic vaccine for breast/ovarian cancer. This study was designed to examine the efficacy of this novel platform over conventional emulsion vaccine using human class I MHC transgenic mice. We have developed a water-free depot vaccine formulation (DPX-0907) with high immune activating potential. Naturally processed peptides bound to HLA-A2 molecules isolated from independent breast and ovarian tumor cell lines, but not normal cells, were isolated and used as antigens in DPX-0907 along with a proprietary adjuvant and a T helper peptide epitope. Efficacy of vaccine was tested in immunized HLA-A *0201/H2Dd transgenic mice by measuring the frequency of IFN-γ secreting cells in the draining lymph nodes, and regulatory T-cell frequencies in the spleen. Compared with a water-in-oil emulsion vaccine, DPX-0907 enhanced IFN-γ+CD8+ T cells in vaccine site-draining lymph nodes, as seen by immunofluorescence staining and increased the frequency of IFN-γ+ lymph node cells as seen by enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot assay. Notably, while conventional vaccine formulations elicited elevated levels of splenic Foxp3+CD4+ and IL10-secreting T cells, this was not the case for DPX-0907-based vaccines, with treated animals exhibiting normal levels of regulatory T cells. These data support the unique capabilities of a vaccine formulation containing novel tumor peptides and DPX-0907 to elicit type-1 dominated, specific immunity that may represent a potent clinical therapeutic modality for patients with breast or ovarian carcinoma. Copyright © 2010 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Melo R.,University of Tennessee Health Science Center | Richer L.,Immuno Technologies, Inc. | Johnson D.L.,University of Tennessee Health Science Center | Gomes-Solecki M.,University of Tennessee Health Science Center | Gomes-Solecki M.,Immuno Technologies, Inc.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2016

Oral vaccination strategies are of interest to prevent transmission of Lyme disease as they can be used to deliver vaccines to humans, pets, and to natural wildlife reservoir hosts of Borrelia burgdorferi. We developed a number of oral vaccines based in E. coli expressing recombinant OspC type K, OspB, BBK32 from B. burgdorferi, and Salp25, Salp15 from Ixodes scapularis. Of the five immunogenic candidates only OspC induced significant levels of antigen-specific IgG and IgA when administered to mice via the oral route. Antibodies to OspC did not prevent dissemination of B. burgdorferi as determined by the presence of spirochetes in ear, heart and bladder tissues four weeks after challenge. Next generation sequencing of genomic DNA from ticks identified multiple phyletic types of B. burgdorferi OspC (A, D, E, F, I, J, K, M, Q, T, X) in nymphs that engorged on vaccinated mice. PCR amplification of OspC types A and K from flat and engorged nymphal ticks, and from heart and bladder tissues collected after challenge confirmed sequencing analysis. Quantification of spirochete growth in a borreliacidal assay shows that both types of spirochetes (A and K) survived in the presence of OspC-K specific serum whereas the spirochetes were killed by OspA specific serum. We show that oral vaccination of C3H-HeN mice with OspC-K induced significant levels of antigen-specific IgG. However, these serologic antibodies did not protect mice from infection with B. burgdorferi expressing homologous or heterologous types of OspC after tick challenge. © 2016 Melo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Richer L.,University of Tennessee Health Science Center | Richer L.,Immuno Technologies, Inc. | Potula H.-H.,University of Tennessee Health Science Center | Potula H.-H.,Immuno Technologies, Inc. | And 4 more authors.
Infection and Immunity | Year: 2015

Although Leptospira can infect a wide range of mammalian species, most studies have been conducted in golden Syrian hamsters, a species particularly sensitive to acute disease. Chronic disease has been well characterized in the rat, one of the natural reservoir hosts. Studies in another asymptomatic reservoir host, the mouse, have occasionally been done and have limited infection to mice younger than 6 weeks of age.Weanalyzed the outcome of sublethal infection of C3H/HeJ mice older than age 10 weeks with Leptospira interrogans serovar Copenhageni. Infection led to bloodstream dissemination of Leptospira, which was followed by urinary shedding, body weight loss, hypothermia, and colonization of the kidney by live spirochetes 2 weeks after infection. In addition, Leptospira dissemination triggered inflammation in the kidney but not in the liver or lung, as determined by increased levels of mRNA transcripts for the keratinocyte-derived chemokine, RANTES, macrophage inflammatory protein 2, tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin- 1β, inducible nitric oxide synthase, interleukin-6, and gamma interferon in kidney tissue. The acquired humoral response to Leptospira infection led to the production of IgG mainly of the IgG1 subtype. Flow cytometric analysis of splenocytes from infected mice revealed that cellular expansion was primarily due to an increase in the levels of CD4+ and double-negative T cells (not CD8+ cells) and that CD4+ T cells acquired a CD44high CD62Llow effector phenotype not accompanied by increases in memory T cells. A mouse model for sublethal Leptospira infection allows understanding of the bacterial and host factors that lead to immune evasion, which can result in acute or chronic disease or resistance to infection (protection). © 2015, American Society for Microbiology.


PubMed | Immuno Technologies, Inc. and University of Tennessee Health Science Center
Type: Evaluation Studies | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2016

Oral vaccination strategies are of interest to prevent transmission of Lyme disease as they can be used to deliver vaccines to humans, pets, and to natural wildlife reservoir hosts of Borrelia burgdorferi. We developed a number of oral vaccines based in E. coli expressing recombinant OspC type K, OspB, BBK32 from B. burgdorferi, and Salp25, Salp15 from Ixodes scapularis. Of the five immunogenic candidates only OspC induced significant levels of antigen-specific IgG and IgA when administered to mice via the oral route. Antibodies to OspC did not prevent dissemination of B. burgdorferi as determined by the presence of spirochetes in ear, heart and bladder tissues four weeks after challenge. Next generation sequencing of genomic DNA from ticks identified multiple phyletic types of B. burgdorferi OspC (A, D, E, F, I, J, K, M, Q, T, X) in nymphs that engorged on vaccinated mice. PCR amplification of OspC types A and K from flat and engorged nymphal ticks, and from heart and bladder tissues collected after challenge confirmed sequencing analysis. Quantification of spirochete growth in a borreliacidal assay shows that both types of spirochetes (A and K) survived in the presence of OspC-K specific serum whereas the spirochetes were killed by OspA specific serum. We show that oral vaccination of C3H-HeN mice with OspC-K induced significant levels of antigen-specific IgG. However, these serologic antibodies did not protect mice from infection with B. burgdorferi expressing homologous or heterologous types of OspC after tick challenge.

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