Immune responses to a DNA/protein vaccination strategy against Staphylococcus aureus induced mastitis in dairy cows

Lulzim Shkreta, Brian G Talbot, Moussa S Diarra, Pierre Lacasse
Vaccine 2004 November 15, 23 (1): 114-26
The fibronectin binding protein (FnBP) and clumping factor A (ClfA) of Staphylococcus aureus are important proteins involved in the pathogenesis of staphylococcal bovine mastitis. These antigens were the targets of a DNA and protein vaccination strategy against S. aureus induced mastitis in dairy cows. The DNA vaccine comprised the bicistronic plasmid (pCI-D(1)D(3)-IRES-ClfA) that encoded the fusion of two sequences, (D1(21-34); D3(20-33)) from the fibronectin-binding motifs of FnBP and a fragment from ClfA (aa 221-550) of S. aureus 8325-4 separated by an Internal Ribosomal Entry Site (IRES) sequence. In addition, the vaccine contained the plasmid encoding the bovine granulocyte-macrophage-colony stimulatory factor gene (pCI-bGM-CSF). Four, 7-month pregnant heifers were immunized twice with the DNA vaccine and boosted once with recombinant D(1)D(3) and ClfA proteins while four others were not immunized. The immunization induced lymphoproliferative responses and functional antibodies against D(1)D(3) and ClfA antigens. Three weeks after calving, three mammary quarters of each vaccinated and non-vaccinated cow were challenged with 900 CFU/each of S. aureus Newbould 305. The fourth quarter received saline only. Serum haptoglobin levels, cardiac rhythm and the body temperature of vaccinated cows during the 24-72 h post-challenge were lower than in non-vaccinated animals. At 21 days post-challenge, bacteria were present in 5 of the vaccinated and 11 of the control challenged quarters. The bacteria averaged 1.4 and 3.3 log(10) CFU/ml of milk from vaccinated and control cows respectively. In summary, DNA-protein vaccination against FnBP and ClfA of S. aureus caused both lymphoproliferative and humoral immune responses that provided partial protection of mammary gland from staphylococcal mastitis and better post-challenge conditions in vaccinated cows.

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