ResearchPad - antigens https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Potency and breadth of human primary ZIKV immune sera shows that Zika viruses cluster antigenically as a single serotype]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7747 The recent emergence of Zika virus as an important human pathogen has raised questions about the durability and breadth of Zika virus immunity following natural infection in humans. While global epidemic patterns suggest that Zika infection elicits a protective immune response that is likely to offer long-term protection against repeat infection by other Zika viruses, only one study to date has formally examined the ability of human Zika immune sera to neutralize different Zika viruses. That study was limited because it evaluated human immune sera no more than 13 weeks after Zika virus infection and tested a relatively small number of Zika viruses. In this study, we examine twelve human Zika immune sera as far as 3 years after infection and test the sera against a total of eleven Zika virus isolates. Our results confirm the earlier study and epidemic patterns that suggest Zika virus exists in nature as a single serotype, and infection with one Zika virus can be expected to elicit protective immunity against repeat infection by any Zika virus for years to decades after the first infection.

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<![CDATA[Identification of a novel single‐nucleotide mutation in SMIM1 gene that results in low Vel antigen expression]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N88f2c579-bc70-49fa-8115-53f7988197af ]]> <![CDATA[Boosting subdominant neutralizing antibody responses with a computationally designed epitope-focused immunogen]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c784fe8d5eed0c4840078de

Throughout the last several decades, vaccination has been key to prevent and eradicate infectious diseases. However, many pathogens (e.g., respiratory syncytial virus [RSV], influenza, dengue, and others) have resisted vaccine development efforts, largely because of the failure to induce potent antibody responses targeting conserved epitopes. Deep profiling of human B cells often reveals potent neutralizing antibodies that emerge from natural infection, but these specificities are generally subdominant (i.e., are present in low titers). A major challenge for next-generation vaccines is to overcome established immunodominance hierarchies and focus antibody responses on crucial neutralization epitopes. Here, we show that a computationally designed epitope-focused immunogen presenting a single RSV neutralization epitope elicits superior epitope-specific responses compared to the viral fusion protein. In addition, the epitope-focused immunogen efficiently boosts antibodies targeting the palivizumab epitope, resulting in enhanced neutralization. Overall, we show that epitope-focused immunogens can boost subdominant neutralizing antibody responses in vivo and reshape established antibody hierarchies.

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<![CDATA[Weighted lambda superstrings applied to vaccine design]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6730d9d5eed0c484f38214

We generalize the notion of λ-superstrings, presented in a previous paper, to the notion of weighted λ-superstrings. This generalization entails an important improvement in the applications to vaccine designs, as it allows epitopes to be weighted by their immunogenicities. Motivated by these potential applications of constructing short weighted λ-superstrings to vaccine design, we approach this problem in two ways. First, we formalize the problem as a combinatorial optimization problem (in fact, as two polynomially equivalent problems) and develop an integer programming (IP) formulation for solving it optimally. Second, we describe a model that also takes into account good pairwise alignments of the obtained superstring with the input strings, and present a genetic algorithm that solves the problem approximately. We apply both algorithms to a set of 169 strings corresponding to the Nef protein taken from patiens infected with HIV-1. In the IP-based algorithm, we take the epitopes and the estimation of the immunogenicities from databases of experimental epitopes. In the genetic algorithm we take as candidate epitopes all 9-mers present in the 169 strings and estimate their immunogenicities using a public bioinformatics tool. Finally, we used several bioinformatic tools to evaluate the properties of the candidates generated by our method, which indicated that we can score high immunogenic λ-superstrings that at the same time present similar conformations to the Nef virus proteins.

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<![CDATA[Seroprevalence, cross antigenicity and circulation sphere of bat-borne hantaviruses revealed by serological and antigenic analyses]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c50c485d5eed0c4845e8865

Bats are newly identified reservoirs of hantaviruses (HVs) among which very divergent HVs have been discovered in recent years. However, their significance for public health remains unclear since their seroprevalence as well as antigenic relationship with human-infecting HVs have not been investigated. In the present study archived tissues of 1,419 bats of 22 species from 6 families collected in 5 south and southwest provinces in China were screened by pan-HV RT-PCR following viral metagenomic analysis. As a result nine HVs have been identified in two bat species in two provinces and phylogenetically classified into two species, Laibin virus (LAIV, ICTV approved species, 1 strain) and Xuan son virus (XSV, proposed species, 8 strains). Additionally, 709 serum samples of these bats were also analyzed by ELISA to investigate the seroprevalence and cross-reactivity between different HVs using expressed recombinant nucleocapsid proteins (rNPs) of LAIV, XSV and Seoul virus (SEOV). The cross-reactivity of some bat sera were further confirmed by western blot (WB) using three rNPs followed by fluorescent antibody virus neutralization test (FAVNT) against live SEOV. Results showed that the total HV seropositive rate of bat sera was 18.5% (131/709) with many cross reacting with two or all three rNPs and several able to neutralize SEOV. WB analysis using the three rNPs and their specific hyperimmune sera demonstrated cross-reactivity between XSV/SEOV and LAIV/XSV, but not LAIV/SEOV, indicating that XSV is antigenically closer to human-infecting HVs. In addition a study of the distribution of the viruses identified an area covering the region between Chinese Guangxi and North Vietnam, in which XSV and LAIV circulate within different bat colonies with a high seroprevalence. A circulation sphere of bat-borne HVs has therefore been proposed.

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<![CDATA[Synthesis of hapten, generation of specific polyclonal antibody and development of ELISA with high sensitivity for therapeutic monitoring of crizotinib]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6b26abd5eed0c484289e48

Crizotinib (CZT) is a potent drug used for treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC); however, its circulating concentration variability has been associated with acquired resistance and toxicity, restricting the success of cancer treatment. As such, the development of an assay that monitors CZT plasma concentrations in patients is a valuable tool in cancer treatment. In this study, a hapten of CZT was synthesized by introducing the acetohydrazide moiety as a spacer into the chemical structure of CZT. The chemical structure of the CZT acetohydrazide (hapten) was confirmed by mass, 1H-, and 13C-NMR spectrometric techniques. The hapten was coupled to each of bovine serum albumin (BSA) and keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) proteins by ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl) carbodiimide as a coupling reagent. CZT-KLH conjugate was used for immunization and generation of a polyclonal antibody recognizing CZT with high affinity (IC50 = 0.5 ng/mL). The polyclonal antibody was used in the development of an ELISA for determination of CZT. The ELISA involved a competitive binding reaction between CZT, in its samples, and immobilized CZT-BSA conjugate for the binding sites on a limited amount of the anti-CZT antibody. The assay limit of detection was 0.03 ng/mL and the working range was 0.05 − 24 ng/mL. Analytical recovery of CZT from spiked plasma was 101.98 ± 2.99%. The precisions of the assay were satisfactory; RSD was 3.2 − 6.5% and 4.8 − 8.2%, for the intra- and inter-assay precision, respectively. The assay is superior to all the existing chromatographic methods for CZT in terms of its procedure simplicity, convenience, and does not require treatment of plasma samples prior to the analysis. The proposed ELISA is anticipated to effectively contribute to the therapeutic monitoring of CZT in clinical settings.

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<![CDATA[Dendritic cells pulsed with placental gp96 promote tumor-reactive immune responses]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5ca291d5eed0c48441e67f

Defining and loading of immunogenic and safe cancer antigens remain a major challenge for designing dendritic cell (DC)-based cancer vaccines. In this study, we defined a prototype strategy of using DC-based vaccines pulsed with placenta-derived heat shock protein gp96 to induces anti-tumor T cell responses. Placental gp96 was efficiently taken up by CD11c+ bone marrow-derived DCs (BMDCs) and resulted in moderate BMDC maturation. Splenocytes and cytotoxic T cells (CTLs) generated with mouse BMDCs pulsed with placental gp96 specifically lysed B16 melanoma and LLC lung carcinoma cells. In both transplantable melanoma and lung carcinoma mice models, immunization with placental gp96-stimulated BMDCs led to a significant decrease in tumor growth and mouse mortality with respect to mice treated with liver gp96-pulsed BMDCs or placental gp96 alone. This vaccine induced strong cross-reactive tumor-specific T cell responses. Our results revealed that DCs pulsed with placenta-derived gp96 represent an effective immunotherapy to induce tumor-reactive immune responses, possibly via loading DCs with its associated carcinoembryonic antigens.

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<![CDATA[Is the unique camouflage strategy of Pneumocystis associated with its particular niche within host lungs?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c536a6ad5eed0c484a4736b ]]> <![CDATA[Synthetic peptides as a novel approach for detecting antibodies against sand fly saliva]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c536a0ed5eed0c484a46de6

Background

Hosts repeatedly bitten by sand flies develop antibodies against sand fly saliva and screening of these immunoglobulins can be employed to estimate the risk of Leishmania transmission, to indicate the feeding preferences of sand flies, or to evaluate the effectiveness of vector control campaigns. Previously, antibodies to sand fly saliva were detected using whole salivary gland homogenate (SGH) or recombinant proteins, both of which also have their disadvantages. This is the first study on sand flies where short peptides designed based on salivary antigens were successfully utilized for antibody screening.

Methodology/Principal findings

Specific IgG was studied in hosts naturally exposed to Phlebotomus orientalis, the main vector of Leishmania donovani in East Africa. Four peptides were designed by the commercial program EpiQuest-B, based on the sequences of the two most promising salivary antigens, yellow-related protein and ParSP25-like protein. Short amino acid peptides were synthesised and modified for ELISA experiments. Specific anti-P. orientalis IgG was detected in sera of dogs, goats, and sheep from Ethiopia. The peptide OR24 P2 was shown to be suitable for antibody screening; it correlated positively with SGH and its specificity and sensitivity were comparable or even better than that of previously published recombinant proteins.

Conclusions/Significance

OR24 P2, the peptide based on salivary antigen of P. orientalis, was shown to be a valuable tool for antibody screening of domestic animals naturally exposed to P. orientalis. We suggest the application of this promising methodology using species-specific short peptides to other sand fly-host combinations.

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<![CDATA[Elimination within reach: A cross-sectional study highlighting the factors that contribute to persistent lymphatic filariasis in eight communities in rural Ghana]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c390b89d5eed0c48491d1b8

Background

Despite the progress achieved in scaling-up mass drug administration (MDA) for lymphatic filariasis (LF) in Ghana, communities with persistent LF still exist even after 10 years of community treatment. To understand the reasons for persistence, we conducted a study to assess the status of disease elimination and understand the adherence to interventions including MDA and insecticide treated nets.

Methodology and principal findings

We conducted a parasitological and epidemiological cross-sectional study in adults from eight villages still under MDA in the Northern Region savannah and the coastal Western Region of the country. Prevalence of filarial antigen ranged 0 to 32.4% and in five villages the prevalence of night blood microfilaria (mf) was above 1%, ranging from 0 to 5.7%. Median mf density was 67 mf/ml (range: 10–3,560). LF antigen positivity was positively associated with male sex but negatively associated with participating in MDA the previous year. Male sex was also associated with a decreased probability of participating in MDA. A stochastic model (TRANSFIL) was used to assess the expected microfilaria prevalence under different MDA coverage scenarios using historical data on one community in the Western Region. In this example, the model simulations suggested that the slow decline in mf prevalence is what we would expect given high baseline prevalence and a high correlation between MDA adherence from year to year, despite high MDA coverage.

Conclusions

There is a need for an integrated quantitative and qualitative research approach to identify the variations in prevalence, associated risk factors and intervention coverage and use levels between and within regions and districts. Such knowledge will help target resources and enhance surveillance to the communities most at risk and to reach the 2020 LF elimination goals in Ghana.

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<![CDATA[Validation of Multiplex Serology for human hepatitis viruses B and C, human T-lymphotropic virus 1 and Toxoplasma gondii]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3d012dd5eed0c484038f6b

Multiplex Serology is a high-throughput technology developed to simultaneously measure specific serum antibodies against multiple pathogens in one reaction vessel. Serological assays for hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV) viruses, human T-lymphotropic virus 1 (HTLV-1) and the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) were developed and validated against established reference assays. For each pathogen, between 3 and 5 specific antigens were recombinantly expressed as GST-tag fusion proteins in Escherichia coli and tested in Monoplex Serology, i.e. assays restricted to the antigens from one particular pathogen. For each of the four pathogen-specific Monoplex assays, overall seropositivity was defined using two pathogen-specific antigens. In the case of HBV Monoplex Serology, the detection of past natural HBV infection was validated based on two independent reference panels resulting in sensitivities of 92.3% and 93.0%, and specificities of 100% in both panels. Validation of HCV and HTLV-1 Monoplex Serology resulted in sensitivities of 98.0% and 95.0%, and specificities of 96.2% and 100.0%, respectively. The Monoplex Serology assay for T. gondii was validated with a sensitivity of 91.2% and specificity of 92.0%. The developed Monoplex Serology assays largely retained their characteristics when they were included in a multiplex panel (i.e. Multiplex Serology), containing additional antigens from a broad range of other pathogens. Thus HBV, HCV, HTLV-1 and T. gondii Monoplex Serology assays can efficiently be incorporated into Multiplex Serology panels tailored for application in seroepidemiological studies.

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<![CDATA[A microbial-based cancer vaccine for induction of EGFRvIII-specific CD8+ T cells and anti-tumor immunity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3667f7d5eed0c4841a6b65

Dysregulated signaling via the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-family is believed to contribute to the progression of a diverse array of cancers. The most common variant of EGFR is EGFRvIII, which results from a consistent and tumor-specific in-frame deletion of exons 2–7 of the EGFR gene. This deletion generates a novel glycine at the junction and leads to constitutive ligand-independent activity. This junction forms a novel shared tumor neo-antigen with demonstrated immunogenicity in both mice and humans. A 21-amino acid peptide spanning the junctional region was selected, and then one or five copies of this 21-AA neo-peptide were incorporated into live-attenuated Listeria monocytogenes-based vaccine vector. These vaccine candidates demonstrated efficient secretion of the recombinant protein and potent induction of EGFRvIII-specific CD8+ T cells, which prevented growth of an EGFRvIII-expressing squamous cell carcinoma. These data demonstrate the potency of a novel cancer-specific vaccine candidate that can elicit EGFRvIII-specific cellular immunity, for the purpose of targeting EGFRvIII positive cancers that are resistant to conventional therapies.

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<![CDATA[Ribonuclease H1-targeted R-loops in surface antigen gene expression sites can direct trypanosome immune evasion]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1c0ab6d5eed0c484426932

Switching of the Variant Surface Glycoprotein (VSG) in Trypanosoma brucei provides a crucial host immune evasion strategy that is catalysed both by transcription and recombination reactions, each operating within specialised telomeric VSG expression sites (ES). VSG switching is likely triggered by events focused on the single actively transcribed ES, from a repertoire of around 15, but the nature of such events is unclear. Here we show that RNA-DNA hybrids, called R-loops, form preferentially within sequences termed the 70 bp repeats in the actively transcribed ES, but spread throughout the active and inactive ES, in the absence of RNase H1, which degrades R-loops. Loss of RNase H1 also leads to increased levels of VSG coat switching and replication-associated genome damage, some of which accumulates within the active ES. This work indicates VSG ES architecture elicits R-loop formation, and that these RNA-DNA hybrids connect T. brucei immune evasion by transcription and recombination.

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<![CDATA[Quantitative comparison of the neutralizing capacity, immunogenicity and cross-reactivity of anti-TNF-α biologicals and an Infliximab-biosimilar]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1966ebd5eed0c484b53548

Introduction

TNF-α-neutralizing antibodies, such as infliximab (IFX) and adalimumab (ADA), are effective in the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), but they are expensive and become ineffective when patients develop anti-IFX or anti-ADA antibodies (ATI and ATA, respectively). Second-generation anti-TNF-α antibodies, such as Golimumab, Etanercept, Certolizumab-pegol and IFX biosimilars, may solve these issues.

Aim

To determine the neutralizing capacity of first- and second generation anti-TNF-α antibodies and to determine whether ATI show cross-reactivity with the IFX biosimilar CT-P13 (Inflectra).

Methods

TNF-α neutralization was measured using a quantitative TNF-α sensor assay consisting of HeLa 8D8 cells that express the Green Fluorescence Protein (GFP) under control of a NF-кB response element. All available anti-TNF-α drugs and the IFX biosimilar CT-P13 (Inflectra) were tested for their TNF-α-neutralizing capacity. In addition, patient sera with ATI were tested for their potential to block the activity of IFX, IFX (F)ab2-fragment, biosimilar CT-P13 (Inflectra) and ADA.

Results

TNF-α strongly induced GFP expression in Hela 8D8 cells. Higher concentrations of first-generation anti-TNF-α drugs were required to neutralize TNF-α compared to the second-generation anti-TNF-α drugs. Serum of IBD patients with proven ATI blocked TNF-α-neutralizing properties of IFX biosimilar CT-P13 (Inflectra), whereas such sera did not block the effect of ADA.

Conclusion

The second-generation anti-TNF-α drugs show increased TNF-α-neutralizing potential compared to first-generation variants. ATI show cross-reactivity toward IFX biosimilar CT-P13 (Inflectra), consequently patients with ATI are unlikely to benefit from treatment with this IFX biosimilar.

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<![CDATA[Characterization of Mycoplasma gallisepticum pyruvate dehydrogenase alpha and beta subunits and their roles in cytoadherence]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1813bad5eed0c484775ac6

Mycoplasma gallisepticum is a causative agent of chronic respiratory disease in chickens, typically causing great economic losses. Cytoadherence is the critical stage for mycoplasma infection, and the associated proteins are important for mycoplasma pathogenesis. Many glycolytic enzymes are localized on the cell surface and can bind the extracellular matrix of host cells. In this study, the M. gallisepticum pyruvate dehydrogenase E1 alpha subunit (PDHA) and beta subunit (PDHB) were expressed in Escherichia coli, and their enzymatic activities were identified based on 2,6-dichlorophenol indophenol reduction. When recombinant PDHA (rPDHA) and recombinant PDHB (rPDHB) were mixed at a 1:1 molar ratio, they exhibited strong enzymatic activity. Alone, rPDHA and rPDHB exhibited no or weak enzymatic activity. Further experiments indicated that both PDHA and PDHB were surface-exposed immunogenic proteins of M. gallisepticum. Bactericidal assays showed that the mouse anti-rPDHA and anti-rPDHB sera killed 48.0% and 75.1% of mycoplasmas respectively. A combination of rPDHA and rPDHB antisera had a mean bactericidal rate of 65.2%, indicating that rPDHA and rPDHB were protective antigens, and combining the two sera did not interfere with bactericidal activity. Indirect immunofluorescence and surface display assays showed that both PDHA and PDHB adhered to DF-1 chicken embryo fibroblast cells and adherence was significantly inhibited by antisera against PDHA and PDHB. Adherence inhibition of M. gallisepticum to DF-1 chicken embryo fibroblast cells was 30.2% for mouse anti-rPDHA serum, 45.1% for mouse anti-rPDHB serum and 72.5% for a combination of rPDHA and rPDHB antisera, suggesting that rPDHA and rPDHB antisera may have synergistically interfered with M. gallisepticum cytoadherence. Plasminogen (Plg)-binding assays further demonstrated that both PDHA and PDHB were Plg-binding proteins, which may have contributed to bacterial colonization. Our results clarified the enzymatic activity of M. gallisepticum PDHA and PDHB and demonstrated these compounds as Plg-binding proteins involved in cytoadherence.

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<![CDATA[Immunogenic particles with a broad antigenic spectrum stimulate cytolytic T cells and offer increased protection against EBV infection ex vivo and in mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c12cf07d5eed0c484913d6c

The ubiquitous Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is the primary cause of infectious mononucleosis and is etiologically linked to the development of several malignancies and autoimmune diseases. EBV has a multifaceted life cycle that comprises virus lytic replication and latency programs. Considering EBV infection holistically, we rationalized that prophylactic EBV vaccines should ideally prime the immune system against lytic and latent proteins. To this end, we generated highly immunogenic particles that contain antigens from both these cycles. In addition to stimulating EBV-specific T cells that recognize lytic or latent proteins, we show that the immunogenic particles enable the ex vivo expansion of cytolytic EBV-specific T cells that efficiently control EBV-infected B cells, preventing their outgrowth. Lastly, we show that immunogenic particles containing the latent protein EBNA1 afford significant protection against wild-type EBV in a humanized mouse model. Vaccines that include antigens which predominate throughout the EBV life cycle are likely to enhance their ability to protect against EBV infection.

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<![CDATA[Association of HLA class I type with prevalence and outcome of patients with acute myeloid leukemia and mutated nucleophosmin]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c215145d5eed0c4843f96fa

Acute myeloid leukemia with mutated nucleophosmin (NPMc+ AML) forms a distinct AML subgroup with better prognosis which can potentially be associated with immune response against the mutated nucleophosmin (NPM). As the T-cell-mediated immunity involves antigen presentation on HLA class I molecules, we hypothesized that individuals with suitable HLA type could be less prone to develop NPMc+ AML. We compared HLA class I distribution in NPMc+ AML patient cohort (398 patients from 5 centers) with the HLA allele frequencies of the healthy population and found HLA-A*02, B*07, B*40 and C*07 underrepresented in the NPMc+ AML group. Presence of B*07 or C*07:01 antigen was associated with better survival in patients without concomitant FLT3 internal tandem duplication. Candidate NPM-derived immunopeptides were found for B*40 and B*07 using prediction software tools. Our findings suggest that a T-cell-mediated immune response could actually explain better prognosis of NPMc+ patients and provide a rationale for attempts to explore the importance of immunosuppressive mechanisms in this AML subgroup.

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<![CDATA[The adjuvant AlhydroGel elicits higher antibody titres than AddaVax when combined with HIV-1 subtype C gp140 from CAP256]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c215190d5eed0c4843faca8

With the HIV-1 epidemic in southern Africa still rising, a prophylactic vaccine against the region’s most prolific subtype (subtype C) would be a significant step forward. In this paper we report on the effect of 2 different adjuvants, AddaVax and AlhydroGel, formulated with HIV-1 subtype C gp140, on the development of binding and neutralising antibody titres in rabbits. AddaVax is a squalene-based oil-in-water nano-emulsion (similar to MF59) which can enhance both cellular and humoral immune responses, whilst AlhydroGel (aluminium hydroxide gel) mainly drives a Th2 response. The gp140 gene tested was derived from the superinfecting virus (SU) from participant CAP256 in the CAPRISA 002 Acute infection cohort. The furin cleavage site of the Env protein was replaced with a flexible linker and an I559P mutation introduced. Lectin affinity purified soluble Env protein was mainly trimeric as judged by molecular weight using BN-PAGE and contained intact broadly neutralising epitopes for the V3-glycan supersite (monoclonal antibodies PGT128 and PGT135), the CD4 binding site (VRC01) and the V2-glycan (PG9) but not for the trimer-specific monoclonal antibodies PG16, PGT145 and CAP256-VRC26_08. When this soluble Env protein was tested in rabbits, AlhydroGel significantly enhanced soluble Env and V1V2 binding antibodies when compared to AddaVax. Finally, AlhydroGel resulted in significantly higher neutralization titres for a subtype C Tier 1A virus (MW965.26) and increased neutralization breadth to Tier 1A and 1B viruses. However, no autologous Tier 2 neutralisation was observed. These data suggest that adjuvant selection is critical for developing a successful vaccine and AlhydroGel should be further investigated. Additional purification of trimeric native-like CAP256 Env and/or priming with DNA or MVA might enhance the induction of neutralizing antibodies and possible Tier 2 HIV-1 neutralisation.

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<![CDATA[Sulfated archaeol glycolipids: Comparison with other immunological adjuvants in mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c102894d5eed0c4842478b2

Archaeosomes are liposomes traditionally comprised of total polar lipids (TPL) or semi-synthetic glycerolipids of ether-linked isoprenoid phytanyl cores with varied glyco- and amino-head groups. As adjuvants, they induce robust, long-lasting humoral and cell-mediated immune responses and enhance protection in murine models of infectious disease and cancer. Traditional total polar lipid (TPL) archaeosome formulations are relatively complex and first generation semi-synthetic archaeosomes involve many synthetic steps to arrive at the final desired glycolipid composition. We have developed a novel archaeosome formulation comprising a sulfated disaccharide group covalently linked to the free sn-1 hydroxyl backbone of an archaeal core lipid (sulfated S-lactosylarchaeol, SLA) that can be more readily synthesized yet retains strong immunostimulatory activity for induction of cell-mediated immunity following systemic immunization. Herein, we have evaluated the immunostimulatory effects of SLA archaeosomes when used as adjuvant with ovalbumin (OVA) and hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and compared this to various other adjuvants including TLR3/4/9 agonists, oil-in-water and water-in-oil emulsions and aluminum hydroxide. Overall, we found that semi-synthetic sulfated glycolipid archaeosomes induce strong Ag-specific IgG titers and CD8 T cells to both antigens. In addition, they induce the expression of a number of cytokines/chemokines including IL-6, G-CSF, KC & MIP-2. SLA archaeosome formulations demonstrated strong adjuvant activity, superior to many of the other tested adjuvants.

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<![CDATA[Global emergence and population dynamics of divergent serotype 3 CC180 pneumococci]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c059dbdd5eed0c4849c8ffb

Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype 3 remains a significant cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, despite inclusion in the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13). Serotype 3 increased in carriage since the implementation of PCV13 in the USA, while invasive disease rates remain unchanged. We investigated the persistence of serotype 3 in carriage and disease, through genomic analyses of a global sample of 301 serotype 3 isolates of the Netherlands3–31 (PMEN31) clone CC180, combined with associated patient data and PCV utilization among countries of isolate collection. We assessed phenotypic variation between dominant clades in capsule charge (zeta potential), capsular polysaccharide shedding, and susceptibility to opsonophagocytic killing, which have previously been associated with carriage duration, invasiveness, and vaccine escape. We identified a recent shift in the CC180 population attributed to a lineage termed Clade II, which was estimated by Bayesian coalescent analysis to have first appeared in 1968 [95% HPD: 1939–1989] and increased in prevalence and effective population size thereafter. Clade II isolates are divergent from the pre-PCV13 serotype 3 population in non-capsular antigenic composition, competence, and antibiotic susceptibility, the last of which resulting from the acquisition of a Tn916-like conjugative transposon. Differences in recombination rates among clades correlated with variations in the ATP-binding subunit of Clp protease, as well as amino acid substitutions in the comCDE operon. Opsonophagocytic killing assays elucidated the low observed efficacy of PCV13 against serotype 3. Variation in PCV13 use among sampled countries was not independently correlated with the CC180 population shift; therefore, genotypic and phenotypic differences in protein antigens and, in particular, antibiotic resistance may have contributed to the increase of Clade II. Our analysis emphasizes the need for routine, representative sampling of isolates from disperse geographic regions, including historically under-sampled areas. We also highlight the value of genomics in resolving antigenic and epidemiological variations within a serotype, which may have implications for future vaccine development.

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