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Galveston, TX, United States

Meyer M.,Galveston National Laboratory | Meyer M.,University of Texas Medical Branch | Garron T.,Galveston National Laboratory | Garron T.,University of Texas Medical Branch | And 16 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Investigation | Year: 2015

Direct delivery of aerosolized vaccines to the respiratory mucosa elicits both systemic and mucosal responses. This vaccine strategy has not been tested for Ebola virus (EBOV) or other hemorrhagic fever viruses. Here, we examined the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of an aerosolized human parainfluenza virus type 3-vectored vaccine that expresses the glycoprotein (GP) of EBOV (HPIV3/EboGP) delivered to the respiratory tract. Rhesus macaques were vaccinated with aerosolized HPIV3/EboGP, liquid HPIV3/EboGP, or an unrelated, intramuscular, Venezuelan equine encephalitis replicon vaccine expressing EBOV GP. Serum and mucosal samples from aerosolized HPIV3/EboGP recipients exhibited high EBOV-specific IgG, IgA, and neutralizing antibody titers, which exceeded or equaled titers observed in liquid recipients. The HPIV3/EboGP vaccine induced an EBOV-specific cellular response that was greatest in the lungs and yielded polyfunctional CD8+ T cells, including a subset that expressed CD103 (αE integrin), and CD4+ T helper cells that were predominately type 1. The magnitude of the CD4+ T cell response was greater in aerosol vaccinees. The HPIV3/EboGP vaccine produced a more robust cell-mediated and humoral immune response than the systemic replicon vaccine. Moreover, 1 aerosol HPIV3/EboGP dose conferred 100% protection to macaques exposed to EBOV. Aerosol vaccination represents a useful and feasible vaccination mode that can be implemented with ease in a filovirus disease outbreak situation. © 2015, American Society for Clinical Investigation. All rights reserved.

Garg N.J.,University of Texas Medical Branch | Garg N.J.,Sealy Center for Vaccine Development | Soman K.V.,UTMB | Zago M.P.,CONICET | And 11 more authors.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases | Year: 2016

Trypanosoma cruzi (Tc) infection causes chagasic cardiomyopathy; however, why 30–40% of the patients develop clinical disease is not known. To discover the pathomechanisms in disease progression, we obtained the proteome signature of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of normal healthy controls (N/H, n = 30) and subjects that were seropositive for Tc-specific antibodies, but were clinically asymptomatic (C/A, n = 25) or clinically symptomatic (C/S, n = 28) with cardiac involvement and left ventricular dysfunction. Protein samples were labeled with BODIPY FL-maleimide (dynamic range: > 4 orders of magnitude, detection limit: 5 f-mol) and resolved by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2D-GE). After normalizing the gel images, protein spots that exhibited differential abundance in any of the two groups were analyzed by mass spectrometry, and searched against UniProt human database for protein identification. We found 213 and 199 protein spots (fold change: |≥ 1.5|, p< 0.05) were differentially abundant in C/A and C/S individuals, respectively, with respect to N/H controls. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) of PBMCs proteome dataset identified an increase in disorganization of cytoskeletal assembly and recruitment/activation and migration of immune cells in all chagasic subjects, though the invasion capacity of cells was decreased in C/S individuals. IPA predicted with high probability a decline in cell survival and free radical scavenging capacity in C/S (but not C/A) subjects. The MYC/SP1 transcription factors that regulate hypoxia and oxidative/inflammatory stress were predicted to be key targets in the context of control of Chagas disease severity. Further, MARS-modeling identified a panel of proteins that had >93% prediction success in classifying infected individuals with no disease and those with cardiac involvement and LV dysfunction. In conclusion, we have identified molecular pathways and a panel of proteins that could aid in detecting seropositive individuals at risk of developing cardiomyopathy. © 2016 Garg et al.

Ponnusamy D.,UTMB | Fitts E.C.,UTMB | Sha J.,UTMB | Sha J.,Institute for Human Infections and Immunity | And 9 more authors.
Infection and Immunity | Year: 2015

The identification of new virulence factors in Yersinia pestis and understanding their molecular mechanisms during an infection process are necessary in designing a better vaccine or to formulate an appropriate therapeutic intervention. By using a high-throughput, signature-tagged mutagenic approach, we created 5,088 mutants of Y. pestis strain CO92 and screened them in a mouse model of pneumonic plague at a dose equivalent to 5 50% lethal doses (LD50) of wild-type (WT) CO92. From this screen, we obtained 118 clones showing impairment in disseminating to the spleen, based on hybridization of input versus output DNA from mutant pools with 53 unique signature tags. In the subsequent screen, 20/118 mutants exhibited attenuation at 8 LD50 when tested in a mouse model of bubonic plague, with infection by 10/20 of the aforementioned mutants resulting in 40% or higher survival rates at an infectious dose of 40 LD50. Upon sequencing, six of the attenuated mutants were found to carry interruptions in genes encoding hypothetical proteins or proteins with putative functions. Mutants with in-frame deletion mutations of two of the genes identified from the screen, namely, rbsA, which codes for a putative sugar transport system ATP-binding protein, and vasK, a component of the type VI secretion system, were also found to exhibit some attenuation at 11 or 12 LD50 in a mouse model of pneumonic plague. Likewise, among the remaining 18 signature-tagged mutants, 9 were also attenuated (40 to 100%) at 12 LD50 in a pneumonic plague mouse model. Previously, we found that deleting genes encoding Braun lipoprotein (Lpp) and acyltransferase (MsbB), the latter of which modifies lipopolysaccharide function, reduced the virulence of Y. pestis CO92 in mouse models of bubonic and pneumonic plague. Deletion of rbsA and vasK genes from either the Δlpp single or the Δlpp ΔmsbB double mutant augmented the attenuation to provide 90 to 100% survivability to mice in a pneumonic plague model at 20 to 50 LD50. The mice infected with the Δlpp ΔmsbB ΔrbsA triple mutant at 50 LD50 were 90% protected upon subsequent challenge with 12 LD50 of WT CO92, suggesting that this mutant or others carrying combinational deletions of genes identified through our screen could potentially be further tested and developed into a live attenuated plague vaccine(s). © 2015, American Society for Microbiology.

Xia J.,University of Texas Medical Branch | Winkelmann E.R.,UTMB | Gorder S.R.,UTMB | Mason P.W.,UTMB | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Virology | Year: 2013

Recognition of conserved pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) by host pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) results in the activation of innate signaling pathways that drive the innate immune response and ultimately shape the adaptive immune response. RepliVAX WN, a single-cycle flavivirus (SCFV) vaccine candidate derived from West Nile virus (WNV), is intrinsically adjuvanted with multiple PAMPs and induces a vigorous anti-WNV humoral response. However, the innate mechanisms that link pattern recognition and development of vigorous antigen-specific B cell responses are not completely understood. Moreover, the roles of individual PRR signaling pathways in shaping the B cell response to this live attenuated SCFV vaccine have not been established. We examined and compared the role of TLR3-and MyD88-dependent signaling in the development of anti-WNV-specific antibody-secreting cell responses and memory B cell responses induced by RepliVAX WN. We found that MyD88 deficiency significantly diminished B cell responses by impairing B cell activation, development of germinal centers (GC), and the generation of long-lived plasma cells (LLPCs) and memory B cells (MBCs). In contrast, TLR3 deficiency had more effect on maintenance of GCs and development of LLPCs, whereas differentiation of MBCs was unaffected. Our data suggest that both TLR3-and MyD88-dependent signaling are involved in the intrinsic adjuvanting of RepliVAXWNand differentially contribute to the development of vigorous WNV-specific antibody and B cell memory responses following immunization with this novel SCFV vaccine. © 2013, American Society for Microbiology.

Winkelmann E.R.,UTMB | Widman D.G.,University of Texas Medical Branch | Widman D.G.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Xia J.,University of Texas Medical Branch | And 13 more authors.
Vaccine | Year: 2012

Type I interferons (IFNs) are critical for controlling pathogenic virus infections and can enhance immune responses. Hence their impact on the effectiveness of live-attenuated vaccines involves a balance between limiting viral antigen expression and enhancing the development of adaptive immune responses. We examined the influence of type I IFNs on these parameters following immunization with RepliVAX WN, a single-cycle flavivirus vaccine (SCFV) against West Nile virus (WNV) disease. RepliVAX WN-immunized mice produced IFN-α and displayed increased IFN-stimulated gene transcription in draining lymph nodes (LN). SCFV gene expression was over 100 fold-higher on days 1-3 post-infection in type I IFN receptor knockout mice (IFNAR -/-) compared to wild-type (wt) mice indicating a profound IFN-mediated suppression of SCFV gene expression in the wt animals. IFNAR -/- mice produced nearly equivalent levels of WNV-specific serum IgG and WNV-specific CD4 + T cell responses compared to wt mice. However, significantly higher numbers of WNV-specific CD8 + T cells were produced by IFNAR -/- mice and a significantly greater percentage of these T cells from IFNAR -/- mice produced only IFN-γ following antigen-specific re-stimulation. This altered cytokine expression was not associated with increased antigen load suggesting the loss of type I IFN receptor signaling was responsible for the altered quality of the CD8 + effector T cell response. Together, these results indicate that although type I IFN is not essential for the intrinsic adjuvanting of RepliVAX WN, it plays a role in shaping the cytokine secretion profiles of CD8 + effector T cells elicited by this SCFV. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

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