Immunogenic and neutralization efficacy of recombinant perfringolysin O of Clostridium perfringens and its C-terminal receptor-binding domain in a murine model.
ABSTRACT: Clostridium perfringens is a Gram-positive anaerobe ubiquitously present in different environments, including the gut of humans and animals. C. perfringens have been classified in the seven toxinotypes based on the secreted toxins that cause different diseases in humans and animals. Perfringolysin O (PFO), a cholesterol-dependent pore-forming cytolysin, is one of the potent toxins secreted by almost all C. perfringens isolates. The PFO acts in synergy with α-toxin in the progression of gas gangrene in humans and necrohemorrhagic enteritis in the calves.C. perfringens infections spread very fast, and the animals die within a few hours of the onset of infection. This necessitates the use of vaccines to control clostridial infections. Though the vaccine potential of other toxins has been reported, PFO has remained unexplored. The present study describes the immunogenic and protective potential of native recombinant PFO (WTrPFO). Since the PFO is toxic to the host cells, the non-toxic C-terminal domain of PFO (rPFOC-ter) was also assessed for its immunogenicity and protective efficacy. Immunization of mice with the purified soluble recombinant histidine-tagged WTrPFO and rPFOC-ter, expressed in E. coli, generated robust mixed immune response and T cell memory. Pre-incubation of the WTrPFO with anti-WTrPFO and rPFOC-ter antisera negated its hemolytic activity in mice RBCs, as well as its cytotoxic effect in mice peritoneal macrophages in vitro. Thus, immunization with the WTrPFO and its non-toxic C-terminal domain generated neutralizing antibodies, suggesting their vaccine potential against the PFO. Thus, the non-toxic C-terminal domain of PFO could serve as an alternative to PFO as a vaccine candidate.
Project description:Bovine necrohemorrhagic enteritis is caused by Clostridium perfringens and leads to sudden death. Alpha toxin, together with perfringolysin O, has been identified as the principal toxin involved in the pathogenesis. We assessed the potential of alpha toxin as a vaccine antigen. Using an intestinal loop model in calves, we investigated the protection afforded by antisera raised against native alpha toxin or its non-toxic C-terminal fragment against C. perfringens-induced intestinal necrosis. Immunization of calves with either of the vaccine preparations induced a strong antibody response. The resulting antisera were able to neutralize the alpha toxin activity and the C. perfringens-induced endothelial cytotoxicity in vitro. The antisera raised against the native toxin had a stronger neutralizing activity than those against the C-terminal fragment. However, antibodies against alpha toxin alone were not sufficient to completely neutralize the C. perfringens-induced necrosis in the intestinal loop model. The development of a multivalent vaccine combining the C-terminal fragment of alpha toxin with other C. perfringens virulence factors might be necessary for complete protection against bovine necrohemorrhagic enteritis.
Project description:<i>Clostridium perfringens</i> produces an arsenal of toxins that act together to cause severe infections in humans and livestock animals. Perfringolysin O (PFO) is a cholesterol-dependent pore-forming toxin encoded in the chromosome of virtually all <i>C. perfringens</i> strains and acts in synergy with other toxins to determine the outcome of the infection. However, its individual contribution to the disease is poorly understood. Here, we intoxicated human epithelial and endothelial cells with purified PFO to evaluate the host cytoskeletal responses to PFO-induced damage. We found that, at sub-lytic concentrations, PFO induces a profound reorganization of the actomyosin cytoskeleton culminating into the assembly of well-defined cortical actomyosin structures at sites of plasma membrane (PM) remodeling. The assembly of such structures occurs concomitantly with the loss of the PM integrity and requires pore-formation, calcium influx, and myosin II activity. The recovery from the PM damage occurs simultaneously with the disassembly of cortical structures. PFO also targets the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) by inducing its disruption and vacuolation. ER-enriched vacuoles were detected at the cell cortex within the PFO-induced actomyosin structures. These cellular events suggest the targeting of the endothelium integrity at early stages of <i>C. perfringens</i> infection, in which secreted PFO is at sub-lytic concentrations.
Project description:Clostridium perfringens (C. perfringens) is Gram-positive anaerobic, spore-forming rod-shaped bacterial pathogen that is widely distributed in nature. This bacterium is known as the causative agent of a foodborne illness and of gas gangrene. While the major virulence factors are the ?-toxin and perfringolysin O (PFO) produced by type A strains of C. perfringens, the precise mechanisms of how these toxins induce the development of gas gangrene are still not well understood. In this study, we analyzed the host responses to these toxins, including inflammasome activation, using mouse bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs). Our results demonstrated, for the first time, that C. perfringens triggers the activation of caspase-1 and release of IL-1? through PFO-mediated inflammasome activation via a receptor of the Nod-like receptor (NLR) family, pyrin-domain containing 3 protein (NLRP3). The PFO-mediated inflammasome activation was not induced in the cultured myocytes. We further analyzed the functional roles of the toxins in inducing myonecrosis in a mouse model of gas gangrene. Although the myonecrosis was found to be largely dependent on the ?-toxin, PFO also induced myonecrosis to a lesser extent, again through the mediation of NLRP3. These results suggest that C. perfringens triggers inflammatory responses via PFO-mediated inflammasome activation via NLRP3, and that this axis contributes in part to the progression of gas gangrene. Our findings provide a novel insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of gas gangrene caused by C. perfringens.
Project description:Clostridium perfringens type C isolates cause necrotizing enteritis in humans and domestic animals. In vitro, type C isolates often produce beta toxin (CPB), beta2 toxin (CPB2), alpha toxin (CPA), perfringolysin O (PFO) and TpeL during (or after) late log-phase growth. In contrast, the current study found that many type C isolates respond to close contact with enterocyte-like Caco-2 cells by producing all toxins, except TpeL, much more rapidly than occurs during in vitro growth. This in vivo effect involves rapid transcriptional upregulation of the cpb, cpb2, pfoA and plc toxin genes. Rapid Caco-2 cell-induced upregulation of CPB and PFO production involves the VirS/VirR two-component system, since upregulated in vivo transcription of the pfoA and cpb genes was blocked by inactivating the virR gene and was reversible by complementation to restore VirR expression. However, the luxS quorum-sensing system is not required for the rapid upregulation of type C toxin production induced by contact with Caco-2 cells. These results provide the first indication of host cell:pathogen cross-talk affecting toxin production kinetics by any pathogenic Clostridium spp., identify in vivo versus in vitro differences in C. perfringens toxin expression, and implicate VirS/VirR as a possible contributor to some C. perfringens enteric diseases.
Project description:Clostridium perfringens (C. perfringens) type A strains are the main cause of gas gangrene in humans and animals. Treatment of this lethal disease is limited, and the prognosis is not good. Alpha-toxin (CPA) and perfringolysin O (PFO) secreted by C. perfringens play irreplaceable roles in cytotoxicity to host cells, persistence in host tissues, and lethality of gas gangrene pathology. This work determined the influence of amentoflavone, a biflavonoid isolated from Selaginella tamariscina and other plants, on hemolysis and cytotoxicity mediated by CPA and PFO and evaluated the in vivo therapeutic effect on gas gangrene. Our data showed that amentoflavone could block the hemolysis and cytotoxicity induced by CPA and PFO in vitro, thereby mediating significant protection against mortality of infected mice in a mouse gas gangrene model, efficient bacterial clearance in tissues and alleviation of histological damage in vivo. Based on the above results, amentoflavone may be a potential candidate against C. perfringens infection by reducing CPA and PFO-mediated virulence.
Project description:Clostridium perfringens is an anaerobic bacterium that produces several toxins. Of these, the alpha, beta, and epsilon toxins are responsible for causing the most severe C. perfringens-related diseases in farm animals. The best way to control these diseases is through vaccination. However, commercially available vaccines are based on inactivated toxins and have many production drawbacks, which can be overcome through the use of recombinant antigens. In this study, we produced recombinant alpha, beta, and epsilon toxins in Escherichia coli to formulate a trivalent vaccine. Its effectiveness was evaluated through a potency test in rabbits, in which the vaccine generated 9.6, 24.4, and 25.0?IU/mL of neutralizing antibodies against the respective toxins. Following this, cattle, sheep, and goats received the same formulation, generating, respectively, 5.19?±?0.48, 4.34?±?0.43, and 4.70?±?0.58?IU/mL against alpha toxin, 13.71?±?1.17?IU/mL (for all three species) against beta toxin, and 12.74?±?1.70, 7.66?±?1.69, and 8.91?±?2.14?IU/mL against epsilon toxin. These levels were above the minimum recommended by international protocols. As such, our vaccine was effective in generating protective antibodies and, thus, may represent an interesting alternative for the prevention of C. perfringens-related intoxications in farm animals.
Project description:Clostridium perfringens is a spore-forming, commensal, ubiquitous bacterium that is present in the gastrointestinal tract of healthy humans and animals. This bacterium produces up to 18 toxins. The species is classified into five toxinotypes (A-E) according to the toxins that the bacterium produces: alpha, beta, epsilon, or iota. Each of these toxinotypes is associated with myriad different, frequently fatal, illnesses that affect a range of farm animals and humans. Alpha, beta, and epsilon toxins are the main causes of disease. Vaccinations that generate neutralizing antibodies are the most common prophylactic measures that are currently in use. These vaccines consist of toxoids that are obtained from C. perfringens cultures. Recombinant vaccines offer several advantages over conventional toxoids, especially in terms of the production process. As such, they are steadily gaining ground as a promising vaccination solution. This review discusses the main strategies that are currently used to produce recombinant vaccines containing alpha, beta, and epsilon toxins of C. perfringens, as well as the potential application of these molecules as vaccines for mammalian livestock animals.
Project description:Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are deadly, toxic proteins produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum that can cause significant diseases in humans. The use of the toxic substances as potential bioweapons has raised concerns by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the United States Military. Currently, there is no licensed vaccine to prevent botulinum intoxication. Here we present an immunogenicity study to evaluate the efficacy of novel monovalent vaccines and a trivalent cocktail DNA vaccine targeting the heavy chain C-terminal fragments of Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin serotypes A, B, and E. These synthetic DNA vaccines induced robust humoral and polyfunctional CD4(+) T-cell responses which fully protected animals against lethal challenge after just 2 immunizations. In addition, naïve animals administered immunized sera mixed with the lethal neurotoxin were 100% protected against intoxication. The data demonstrate the protective efficacy induced by a combinative synthetic DNA vaccine approach. This study has importance for the development of vaccines that provide protective immunity against C. botulinum neurotoxins and other toxins.
Project description:Clostridium perfringens type B causes enteritis and enterotoxemia in domestic animals. By definition, these bacteria must produce alpha toxin (CPA), beta toxin (CPB) and epsilon toxin (ETX) although most type B strains also produce perfringolysin O (PFO) and beta2 toxin (CPB2). A recently identified Agr-like quorum-sensing (QS) system in C. perfringens controls all toxin production by surveyed type A, C, and D strains, but whether this QS is involved in regulating toxin production by type B strains has not been explored. Therefore, the current study introduced agrB null mutations into type B strains CN1795 and CN1793. Both type B agrB null mutants exhibited reduced levels of CPB, PFO, and CPA in their culture supernatants, and this effect was reversible by complementation. The reduced presence of CPB in culture supernatant involved decreased cpb transcription. In contrast, the agrB null mutants of both type B strains retained wild-type production levels of ETX and CPB2. In a Caco-2 cell model of enteritis, culture supernatants of the type B agrB null mutants were less cytotoxic than supernatants of their wild-type parents. However, in an MDCK cell in vitro model for enterotoxemic effects, supernatants from the agrB null mutants or wild-type parents were equally cytotoxic after trypsin activation. Coupling these and previous results, it is now evident that strain-dependent variations exist in Agr-like QS system regulation of C. perfringens toxin production. The cell culture results further support a role for trypsin in determining which toxins contribute to disease involving type B strains.
Project description:Clostridium perfringens uses its large arsenal of protein toxins to produce histotoxic, neurologic and intestinal infections in humans and animals. The major toxins involved in diseases are alpha (CPA), beta (CPB), epsilon (ETX), iota (ITX), enterotoxin (CPE), and necrotic B-like (NetB) toxins. CPA is the main virulence factor involved in gas gangrene in humans, whereas its role in animal diseases is limited and controversial. CPB is responsible for necrotizing enteritis and enterotoxemia, mostly in neonatal individuals of many animal species, including humans. ETX is the main toxin involved in enterotoxemia of sheep and goats. ITX has been implicated in cases of enteritis in rabbits and other animal species; however, its specific role in causing disease has not been proved. CPE is responsible for human food-poisoning and non-foodborne C. perfringens-mediated diarrhea. NetB is the cause of necrotic enteritis in chickens. In most cases, host?toxin interaction starts on the plasma membrane of target cells via specific receptors, resulting in the activation of intracellular pathways with a variety of effects, commonly including cell death. In general, the molecular mechanisms of cell death associated with C. perfringens toxins involve features of apoptosis, necrosis and/or necroptosis.