Effective mucosal immunity to anthrax: Neutralizing antibodies and Th cell responses following nasal immunization with protective antigen

Prosper N. Boyaka, Angela Tafaro, Romy Fischer, Stephen H. Leppla, Kohtaro Fujihashi, Jerry R. McGhee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Mucosal, but not parenteral, immunization induces immune responses in both systemic and secretory immune compartments. Thus, despite the reports that Abs to the protective Ag of anthrax (PA) have both anti-toxin and anti-spore activities, a vaccine administered parenterally, such as the aluminum-adsorbed anthrax vaccine, will most likely not induce the needed mucosal immunity to efficiently protect the initial site of infection with inhaled anthrax spores. We therefore took a nasal anthrax vaccine approach to attempt to induce protective immunity both at mucosal surfaces and in the peripheral immune compartment. Mice nasally immunized with recombinant PA (rPA) and cholera toxin (CT) as mucosal adjuvant developed high plasma PA-specific IgG Ab responses. Plasma IgA Abs as well as secretory IgA anti-PA Abs in saliva, nasal washes, and fecal extracts were also induced when a higher dose of rPA was used. The anti-PA IgG subclass responses to nasal rPA plus CT consisted of IgG1 and IgG2b Abs. A more balanced profile of IgG subclasses with IgG1, IgG2a, and IgG2b Abs was seen when rPA was given with a CpG oligodeoxynucleotide as adjuvant, suggesting a role for the adjuvants in the nasal rPA-induced immunity. The PA-specific CD4+ T cells from mice nasally immunized with rPA and CT as adjuvant secreted low levels of CD4+ Th1-type cytokines in vitro, but exhibited elevated IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, and IL-10 responses. The functional significance of the anti-PA Ab responses was established in an in vitro macrophage toxicity assay in which both plasma and mucosal secretions neutralized the lethal effects of Bacillus anthracis toxin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5636-5643
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Volume170
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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