CS21 pili of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) is one of the most prevalent ETEC colonization factors. CS21 major subunit, LngA, mediates ETEC adherence to intestinal cells, and contributes to ETEC pathogenesis in a neonatal mouse infection model. The objectives of this work were to evaluate LngA major subunit purified protein and CS21 purified pili on immunogenicity and protection against ETEC colonization of mice intestine. Recombinant LngA purified protein or purified CS21 pili from E9034A ETEC strain were evaluated for immunogenicity after immunization of C57BL/6 mice. Specific anti-LngA antibodies were detected from mice serum, feces, and intestine fluid samples by ELISA assays. Protection against gut colonization was evaluated on immunized mice orally challenged with wild type E9034A ETEC strain and by subsequent quantification of bacterial colony forming units (CFU) recovered from feces. Recombinant LngA protein and CS21 pili induced specific humoral and mucosal anti-LngA antibodies in the mouse model. CS21 combined with CT delivered intranasally as well as LngA combined with incomplete Freund adjuvant delivered intraperitoneally inhibited ETEC gut colonization in a mouse model. In conclusion, both LngA purified protein and CS21 pili from ETEC are highly immunogenic and may inhibit ETEC intestinal shedding. Our data on immunogenicity and immunoprotection indicates that CS21 is a suitable vaccine candidate for a future multivalent vaccine against ETEC diarrhea.
- Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC)
- Mucosal immunity
- Type IV pili