Protective immunity against recurrent Staphylococcus aureus skin infection requires antibody and interleukin-17A.
ABSTRACT: Although many microbial infections elicit an adaptive immune response that can protect against reinfection, it is generally thought that Staphylococcus aureus infections fail to generate protective immunity despite detectable T and B cell responses. No vaccine is yet proven to prevent S. aureus infections in humans, and efforts to develop one have been hampered by a lack of animal models in which protective immunity occurs. Our results describe a novel mouse model of protective immunity against recurrent infection, in which S. aureus skin and soft tissue infection (SSTI) strongly protected against secondary SSTI in BALB/c mice but much less so in C57BL/6 mice. This protection was dependent on antibody, because adoptive transfer of immune BALB/c serum or purified antibody into either BALB/c or C57BL/6 mice resulted in smaller skin lesions. We also identified an antibody-independent mechanism, because B cell-deficient mice were partially protected against secondary S. aureus SSTI and adoptive transfer of T cells from immune BALB/c mice resulted in smaller lesions upon primary infection. Furthermore, neutralization of interleukin-17A (IL-17A) abolished T cell-mediated protection in BALB/c mice, whereas neutralization of gamma interferon (IFN-?) enhanced protection in C57BL/6 mice. Therefore, protective immunity against recurrent S. aureus SSTI was advanced by antibody and the Th17/IL-17A pathway and prevented by the Th1/IFN-? pathway, suggesting that targeting both cell-mediated and humoral immunity might optimally protect against secondary S. aureus SSTI. These findings also highlight the importance of the mouse genetic background in the development of protective immunity against S. aureus SSTI.
PROVIDER: S-EPMC3993461 | BioStudies |