JOURNAL ARTICLE

Sublethal staphylococcal enterotoxin B challenge model in pigs to evaluate protection following immunization with a soybean-derived vaccine

Laura C Hudson, Brynn S Seabolt, Jack Odle, Kenneth L Bost, Chad H Stahl, Kenneth J Piller
Clinical and Vaccine Immunology: CVI 2013, 20 (1): 24-32
23114702
In an effort to develop a sustainable platform for manufacturing protein-based vaccine candidates, we expressed a triple mutant of staphylococcal enterotoxin B carrying the L45R, Y89A, and Y94A modifications in transgenic soybean seeds (soy-mSEB). Soy-mSEB possessed no detectable superantigen activity in vitro. We found that this soybean-derived, nontoxic mutant of SEB could be stably expressed, stored in seeds for extended periods at room temperature without degradation, and easily purified from contaminating soy proteins. Vaccination of pigs with purified soy-mSEB, or the identical triple mutant expressed in Escherichia coli (E. coli-mSEB), resulted in high antibody titers against the native toxin in immunized animals. In fact, titers were indistinguishable regardless of the immunogen used, demonstrating the equivalence of soy-mSEB and E. coli-mSEB vaccinations. Antisera from either immunized group were able to block native SEB superantigen activity in an in vitro neutralization assay. Similar results were obtained when immunized animals were challenged with a sublethal dose of native toxin. Significant reductions in toxin-induced serum cytokine levels were observed in soy-mSEB- and E. coli-mSEB-immunized pigs compared to control animals. The reductions in SEB-induced cytokine responses were similar regardless of the immunogen used for vaccination. Surprisingly, however, some clinical symptoms, such as prostration, lethargy, emesis, and/or diarrhea, were still observed in all immunized animals. These studies demonstrate the potential for soybean-derived proteins as a platform technology for sustainable vaccine manufacturing and the usefulness of a sublethal challenge model in pigs for evaluating the efficacy of potential SEB vaccine candidates.

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