Scientific Institute of Public Health WIV ISP Site Ukkel

Brussels, Belgium

Scientific Institute of Public Health WIV ISP Site Ukkel

Brussels, Belgium
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PubMed | Scientific Institute of Public Health WIV ISP Site Ukkel, National Polytechnic Institute of Mexico and CNRS Infectiology and Public Health
Type: | Journal: Journal of theoretical biology | Year: 2015

Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) is the etiologic agent of paratuberculosis disease affecting ruminants worldwide. The aim of this study was to identify potential candidate antigens and epitopes by bio and immuno-informatic tools which could be later evaluated as vaccines and/or diagnosis. 110 protein sequences were selected from MAP K-10 genome database: 48 classified as putative enzymes involved in surface polysaccharide and lipopolysaccharide synthesis, as membrane associated and secreted proteins, 32 as conserved membrane proteins, and 30 as absent from other mycobacterial genomes. These 110 proteins were preliminary screened for Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) class II affinity and promiscuity using ProPred program. In addition, subcellular localization and host protein homology was analyzed. From these analyses, 23 MAP proteins were selected for a more accurate inmunoinformatic analysis (i.e. T cell and B cell epitopes analysis) and for homology with mycobacterial proteins. Finally, eleven MAP proteins were identified as potential candidates for further immunogenic evaluation: six proteins (MAP0228c, MAP1239c, MAP2232, MAP3080, MAP3131 and MAP3890) were identified as presenting potential T cell epitopes, while 5 selected proteins (MAP0232c, MAP1240c, MAP1738, MAP2239 and MAP3641c) harbored a large numbers of epitopes predicted to induce both cell- and antibody-mediated immune responses. Moreover, immunogenicity of selected epitopes from MAP1239c were evaluated in IFN- release assay. In summary, eleven M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis proteins were identified by in silico analysis and need to be further evaluated for their immunodiagnostic and vaccine potential in field and mice model.


Cappoen D.,Scientific Institute of Public Health WIV ISP Site Ukkel | Forge D.,University of Mons | Vercammen F.,Scientific Institute of Public Health WIV ISP Site Ukkel | Mathys V.,Scientific Institute of Public Health Site Ukkel | And 7 more authors.
European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2013

A series of bisbenzaldehydes and structurally related analogs, conveniently synthesized via microwave-assisted reactions, were evaluated in vitro against drug susceptible and multi-drug resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis, against virulent Mycobacterium bovis, against Mycobacterium ulcerans and against two Mycobacterium avium subspecies. Among the 33 substances that were tested, compound 12, i.e. 4,4′-[1,12-dodecanediyl(oxy)]bisbenzaldehyde, emerged as the most promising hit. Its activity was further confirmed in an intracellular growth inhibition assay of M. tb in murine J774 A.1 macrophages. None of the compounds showed significant cytotoxicity on human C3A hepatocytes in a neutral red dye uptake assay and no genotoxicity or mutagenicity was observed as demonstrated by a VITOTOX™ test and confirmed with a comet assay. © 2013 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.


Todoroff J.,Catholic University of Louvain | Lemaire M.M.,Catholic University of Louvain | Lemaire M.M.,Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research | Fillee C.,Cliniques Universitaires Saint Luc | And 5 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Pulmonary vaccination is a promising route for immunization against tuberculosis because the lung is the natural site of infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Yet, adjuvants with a suitable safety profile need to be found to enhance mucosal immunity to recombinant antigens. The aim of this study was to evaluate the immunogenicity, the safety and the protective efficacy of a subunit vaccine composed of the immunodominant mycolyl-transferase antigen 85A (Ag85A) and one of three powerful mucosal adjuvants: the oligodeoxynucleotide containing unmethylated cytosine-phosphate-guanine motifs (CpG), the monophosphoryl lipid A of Salmonella minnesota (MPLA) or the B subunit of heat-labile enterotoxin of Escherichia coli (LTB). BALB/c mice were vaccinated in the deep lungs. Our results showed that lung administration of these adjuvants could specifically induce different types of T cell immunity. Both CpG and MPLA induced a Th-1 type immune response with significant antigen-specific IFN-γ production by spleen mononuclear cells in vitro and a tendency of increased IFN-γ in the lungs. Moreover, MPLA triggered a Th-17 response reflected by high IL-17A levels in the spleen and lungs. By contrast, LTB promoted a Th-2 biased immune response, with a production of IL-5 but not IFN-γ by spleen mononuclear cells in vitro. CpG did not induce inflammation in the lungs while LTB and MPLA showed a transient inflammation including a neutrophil influx one day after pulmonary administration. Pulmonary vaccination with Ag85A without or with MPLA or LTB tended to decrease bacterial counts in the spleen and lungs following a virulent challenge with M. tuberculosis H37Rv. In conclusion, CpG and MPLA were found to be potential adjuvants for pulmonary vaccination against tuberculosis, providing Th-1 and Th-17 immune responses and a good safety profile. © 2013 Todoroff et al.


Todoroff J.,Catholic University of Louvain | Ucakar B.,Catholic University of Louvain | Inglese M.,Catholic University of Louvain | Vandermarliere S.,Catholic University of Louvain | And 4 more authors.
European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics | Year: 2013

The current Bacille Calmette-Guérin vaccine provides variable protection against tuberculosis and new vaccination approaches are urgently needed. Pulmonary vaccination could be the best way to induce a protective immunity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis as it targets its natural site of infection. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential of Poloxamer 407 (P407) combined with a CpG oligonucleotide (CpG) to enhance immune responses to M. tuberculosis antigen 85A (Ag85A) following pulmonary delivery in BALB/c mice. An additional goal of this study was to localize the optimal delivery site of Ag85A within the lungs for generating the most intense immunity. We also investigated the capacity of P407 to prolong the residence time of the antigen within the lungs and we studied the safety of the adjuvants following pulmonary delivery. Targeting the antigen to the deep lungs produced more intense specific immune responses than targeting it to the upper airways. P407 and CpG further increased humoral immune responses and splenocyte proliferation in vitro. CpG strongly increased the Th-1 immune response with high IgG2a/IgG1 ratio, high IFN-γ and TNF-α productions by spleen mononuclear cells in vitro. P407 tended to induce a Th-2 response, as indicated by the slight decrease in IgG2a/IgG1 ratio and the slight increase in IL-5 levels. The combination of P407 and CpG produced the highest Th-1 and Th-17 responses by generating IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-2, and IL-17A cytokines. Targeting the antigen to the deep lungs and the presence of P407 increased the residence time of the antigen within the lungs. This might explain the enhancement of immune responses induced by these factors. CpG did not induce inflammation in the lungs while P407 produced a reversible alteration of the alveolo-capillary barrier. Adding CpG to P407 did not further increase this alteration of the alveolo-capillary barrier. In conclusion, delivery of Ag85A formulated in a combination of P407 and CpG to the deep lungs induced strong immune responses, with a polyfunctional T cells phenotype. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Romano M.,Scientific Institute of Public Health WIV ISP Site Ukkel | Huygen K.,Scientific Institute of Public Health WIV ISP Site Ukkel
Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy | Year: 2012

Introduction: Apart from better diagnostics and new anti-microbial drugs, an effective vaccine for tuberculosis is urgently needed to halt this poverty-related disease, afflicting millions of people worldwide. Areas covered: After a general introduction on the global threat of tuberculosis, the pros and cons of the existing M. bovis BCG vaccine are discussed. As the correlates of protection against tuberculosis remain largely unknown, new findings in biomarker research are described. Next, an update on the ongoing Phase I and Phase II clinical trials is given. Finally, some of the most promising novel pre-clinical developments using live attenuated vaccines, sub-unit vaccines, prime-boost strategies, and new vaccination routes are discussed. The field has made considerable progress and 12 vaccine candidates have now actually entered Phase I or Phase IIa and IIb clinical trials. Expert opinion: It is argued that the variable protection conferred by the existing BCG vaccine against reactivation of latent TB is caused not only by waning of its efficacy with time but also by its weak induction of MHC class I restricted responses. Prime-boost strategies based on the actual BCG vaccine may not be sufficient to overcome this hurdle. The use of plasmid DNA vaccination might offer a solution. © Informa UK, Ltd.


Vincent M.,Scientific Institute of Public Health WIV ISP Site Ukkel | Rodeghiero C.,Scientific Institute of Public Health WIV ISP Site Ukkel | Eylenbosch R.,Scientific Institute of Public Health WIV ISP Site Ukkel | Mans Y.,Scientific Institute of Public Health WIV ISP Site Ukkel | And 4 more authors.
Clinical and Vaccine Immunology | Year: 2011

Diagnosis of pertussis by culture and PCR is most sensitive when performed on nasopharyngeal specimens collected <2 weeks and <3 weeks, respectively, after the onset of clinical disease. Conversely, serological testing allows the diagnosis of patients (mostly adults) with less typical whooping cough symptoms, for whom clinical samples are often collected at later time points. Here, we report on a 20-year serodiagnostic survey of pertussis in Belgium from 1990 to 2009. In total, 13,163 patients were analyzed for Bordetella pertussis-specific antibodies by agglutination, complement fixation, immunofluorescence, and ELISA. The number of positive pertussis cases detected by serodiagnosis ranged between 50 and 150 annually. The mean age of positive cases increased from 9.9 years in 1990 to 33.9 years in 2009. Whereas from 1990 to 2003, children and young adolescents made up the majority of cases, from 2004 onwards, cases were detected in all age groups and the distribution became bimodal, with a first peak at the age of 10 to 20 years and a second at the age of 35 to 50 years. In contrast, patients diagnosed since 2001 by PCR and/or culture were mostly children younger than 1 year of age. Despite extensive childhood vaccination campaigns, whooping cough is still present in Belgium. Our findings confirm the potential role of adults in the continued transmission of pertussis and strongly warrant booster or cocoon vaccinations in older age groups. Copyright © 2011, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


Roupie V.,Scientific Institute of Public Health WIV ISP Site Ukkel | Pidot S.J.,University of Melbourne | Einarsdottir T.,Scientific Institute of Public Health WIV ISP Site Ukkel | Van Den Poel C.,Scientific Institute of Public Health WIV ISP Site Ukkel | And 3 more authors.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases | Year: 2014

There is no effective vaccine against Buruli ulcer. In experimental footpad infection of C57BL/6 mice with M. ulcerans, a prime-boost vaccination protocol using plasmid DNA encoding mycolyltransferase Ag85A of M. ulcerans and a homologous protein boost has shown significant, albeit transient protection, comparable to the one induced by M. bovis BCG. The mycolactone toxin is an obvious candidate for a vaccine, but by virtue of its chemical structure, this toxin is not immunogenic in itself. However, antibodies against some of the polyketide synthase domains involved in mycolactone synthesis, were found in Buruli ulcer patients and healthy controls from the same endemic region, suggesting that these domains are indeed immunogenic. Here we have analyzed the vaccine potential of nine polyketide synthase domains using a DNA prime/protein boost strategy. C57BL/6 mice were vaccinated against the following domains: acyl carrier protein 1, 2, and 3, acyltransferase (acetate) 1 and 2, acyltransferase (propionate), enoylreductase, ketoreductase A, and ketosynthase load module. As positive controls, mice were vaccinated with DNA encoding Ag85A or with M. bovis BCG. Strongest antigen specific antibodies could be detected in response to acyltransferase (propionate) and enoylreductase. Antigen-specific Th1 type cytokine responses (IL-2 or IFN-γ) were induced by vaccination against all antigens, and were strongest against acyltransferase (propionate). Finally, vaccination against acyltransferase (propionate) and enoylreductase conferred some protection against challenge with virulent M. ulcerans 1615. However, protection was weaker than the one conferred by vaccination with Ag85A or M. bovis BCG. Combinations of these polyketide synthase domains with the vaccine targeting Ag85A, of which the latter is involved in the integrity of the cell wall of the pathogen, and/or with live attenuated M. bovis BCG or mycolactone negative M. ulcerans may eventually lead to the development of an efficacious BU vaccine. © 2014 Roupie et al.


Huygen K.,Scientific Institute of Public Health WIV ISP Site Ukkel
Frontiers in Immunology | Year: 2014

The Ag85 complex is a 30-32 kDa family of three proteins (Ag85A, Ag85B, and Ag85C), which all three possess enzymatic mycolyl-transferase activity involved in the coupling of mycolic acids to the arabinogalactan of the cell wall and in the biogenesis of cord factor. By virtue of their strong potential to induce Th1-type immune responses, important for the control of intracellular infections, members of the Ag85 family rank among the most promising TB vaccine candidate antigens. Ag85A and Ag85B, initially purified from Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG)/Mycobacterium tuberculosis culture filtrate respectively, induce strong T-cell proliferation and IFN-γ production in most healthy individuals latently infected with M. tuberculosis and in BCG-vaccinated mice and humans but not in tuberculosis patients. Members of the Ag85 complex are highly conserved in other mycobacterial species. Mice and humans infected with Mycobacterium ulcerans or cattle infected with M. bovis or Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis also show strong T-cell responses to this protein family. Using synthetic overlapping peptides, bio-informatic prediction programs and tetramer-binding studies, a number of immunodominant CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell epitopes have been identified in experimental animal models as well as in humans, using proliferation and Th1 cytokine secretion as main read-outs. The results from these studies are summarized in this review. © 2014 Huygen.


PubMed | Scientific Institute of Public Health WIV ISP Site Ukkel and University of Melbourne
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PLoS neglected tropical diseases | Year: 2014

There is no effective vaccine against Buruli ulcer. In experimental footpad infection of C57BL/6 mice with M. ulcerans, a prime-boost vaccination protocol using plasmid DNA encoding mycolyltransferase Ag85A of M. ulcerans and a homologous protein boost has shown significant, albeit transient protection, comparable to the one induced by M. bovis BCG. The mycolactone toxin is an obvious candidate for a vaccine, but by virtue of its chemical structure, this toxin is not immunogenic in itself. However, antibodies against some of the polyketide synthase domains involved in mycolactone synthesis, were found in Buruli ulcer patients and healthy controls from the same endemic region, suggesting that these domains are indeed immunogenic. Here we have analyzed the vaccine potential of nine polyketide synthase domains using a DNA prime/protein boost strategy. C57BL/6 mice were vaccinated against the following domains: acyl carrier protein 1, 2, and 3, acyltransferase (acetate) 1 and 2, acyltransferase (propionate), enoylreductase, ketoreductase A, and ketosynthase load module. As positive controls, mice were vaccinated with DNA encoding Ag85A or with M. bovis BCG. Strongest antigen specific antibodies could be detected in response to acyltransferase (propionate) and enoylreductase. Antigen-specific Th1 type cytokine responses (IL-2 or IFN-) were induced by vaccination against all antigens, and were strongest against acyltransferase (propionate). Finally, vaccination against acyltransferase (propionate) and enoylreductase conferred some protection against challenge with virulent M. ulcerans 1615. However, protection was weaker than the one conferred by vaccination with Ag85A or M. bovis BCG. Combinations of these polyketide synthase domains with the vaccine targeting Ag85A, of which the latter is involved in the integrity of the cell wall of the pathogen, and/or with live attenuated M. bovis BCG or mycolactone negative M. ulcerans may eventually lead to the development of an efficacious BU vaccine.


Freches D.,Scientific Institute of Public Health WIV ISP Site Ukkel | Korf H.,Scientific Institute of Public Health WIV ISP Site Ukkel | Korf H.,Catholic University of Leuven | Denis O.,Scientific Institute of Public Health WIV ISP Site Ukkel | And 3 more authors.
Immunology | Year: 2013

Summary: Interleukin-17A (IL-17A), a pro-inflammatory cytokine acting on neutrophil recruitment, is known to play an important role during Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection, but the role of IL-17A receptor signalling in immune defence against this intracellular pathogen remains poorly documented. Here we have analysed this signalling using C57BL/6 mice genetically inactivated in the IL-17 receptor A subunit (IL-17RA-/-). Although early after infection bacterial growth was controlled to the same extent as in wild-type mice, IL-17RA-/- mice were defective in exerting long-term control of M. tuberculosis infection, as demonstrated by a progressively increasing pulmonary bacterial burden and shortened survival time. Compared with infected wild-type mice, IL-17RA-/- mice showed impaired recruitment of neutrophils to the lungs at the early but not the late stage of infection. Pulmonary tumour necrosis factor-α, IL-6 and particularly IL-10 levels were decreased in the absence of IL-17RA signalling, whereas IL-1β was increased. CD4+-mediated and γδ-mediated IL-17A production was dramatically increased in IL-17RA-/- mice (confirming part of their phenotype), whereas production of interferon-γ and expression of the bactericidal enzyme inducible nitric oxide synthase were not affected. Collectively, our data suggest that early but not late neutrophil recruitment is essential for IL-17A-mediated long-term control of M. tuberculosis infection and that a functional interferon-γ response is not sufficient to control M. tuberculosis growth when the IL-17RA pathway is deficient. As treatment of auto-immune diseases with anti-IL-17A antibodies is actually being tested in clinical studies, our data suggest that caution should be taken with respect to possible reactivation of tuberculosis. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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