Use of anthrax vaccine in the United States.
These recommendations concern the use of aluminum hydroxide adsorbed cell-free anthrax vaccine (Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed [AVA], BioPort Corporation, Lansing, MI) in the United States for protection against disease caused by Bacillus anthracis. In addition, information is included regarding the use of chemoprophylaxis against B. anthracis. (+info)
The role of antibodies to Bacillus anthracis and anthrax toxin components in inhibiting the early stages of infection by anthrax spores.
Vaccines which are efficacious against anthrax, such as the human vaccine, Anthrax Vaccine Absorbed (AVA), contain the protective antigen (PA) component of the anthrax toxins as the major protective immunogen. Although AVA protects against inhalational anthrax, the immune responses to and role in protection of PA and possibly other antigens have yet to be fully elucidated. Sera from animals immunized with a toxin-producing, unencapsulated live vaccine strain of Bacillus anthracis have been reported to have anti-spore activities associated with the antitoxin humoral response. The authors performed studies to determine whether anti-PA antibody (Ab)-containing preparations stimulated spore uptake by phagocytes and suppressed the germination of spores in vitro. AVA- and PA-immune sera from several species enhanced the phagocytosis by murine peritoneal macrophages of spores of the virulent Ames and the Sterne vaccine strains. Antitoxin Abs appeared to contribute significantly, although not solely, to the enhanced uptake. Rabbit antisera to PA purified from either Sterne or a PA-producing pX01-cured recombinant, affinity-purified anti-PA IgG, and monkey antisera to AVA were used to assess the role of anti-PA ABS: Rabbit anti-PA Abs promoted the uptake of spores of the PA-producing strains Sterne, Ames and RP42, a mutant of Sterne producing only PA, but not of the pX01-Sterne-1 strain, Ames strain, or RP4, a mutant of Sterne with deletions in the loci encoding PA and the oedema factor (EF) toxin component and producing only the lethal factor toxin component. Rabbit anti-PA and monkey anti-AVA Abs also significantly inhibited spore germination in vitro compared to preimmune serum or medium. Spore-associated proteins recognized by anti-PA Abs were detected by electron microscopy and confirmed by immunoblotting of spore coat extracts. Thus, the anti-PA Ab-specific immunity induced by AVA has anti-spore activity and might have a role in impeding the early stages of infection with B. anthracis spores. (+info)
Protection against anthrax lethal toxin challenge by genetic immunization with a plasmid encoding the lethal factor protein.
The ability of genetic vaccination to protect against a lethal challenge of anthrax toxin was evaluated. BALB/c mice were immunized via gene gun inoculation with eucaryotic expression vector plasmids encoding either a fragment of the protective antigen (PA) or a fragment of lethal factor (LF). Plasmid pCLF4 contains the N-terminal region (amino acids [aa] 10 to 254) of Bacillus anthracis LF cloned into the pCI expression plasmid. Plasmid pCPA contains a biologically active portion (aa 175 to 764) of B. anthracis PA cloned into the pCI expression vector. One-micrometer-diameter gold particles were coated with plasmid pCLF4 or pCPA or a 1:1 mixture of both and injected into mice via gene gun (1 microg of plasmid DNA/injection) three times at 2-week intervals. Sera were collected and analyzed for antibody titer as well as antibody isotype. Significantly, titers of antibody to both PA and LF from mice immunized with the combination of pCPA and pCLF4 were four to five times greater than titers from mice immunized with either gene alone. Two weeks following the third and final plasmid DNA boost, all mice were challenged with 5 50% lethal doses of lethal toxin (PA plus LF) injected intravenously into the tail vein. All mice immunized with pCLF4, pCPA, or the combination of both survived the challenge, whereas all unimmunized mice did not survive. These results demonstrate that DNA-based immunization alone can provide protection against a lethal toxin challenge and that DNA immunization against the LF antigen alone provides complete protection. (+info)
Efficiency of protection of guinea pigs against infection with Bacillus anthracis spores by passive immunization.
The efficacy of passive immunization as a postexposure prophylactic measure for treatment of guinea pigs intranasally infected with Bacillus anthracis spores was evaluated. Antisera directed either against the lethal toxin components (PA or LF) or against a toxinogenic strain (Sterne) were used for this evaluation. All antisera exhibited high enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay titers against the corresponding antigens, high titers of neutralization of cytotoxicity activity in an in vitro mouse macrophages cell line (J774A.1), as well as in vivo neutralization of toxicity when administered either directly to Fisher rats prior to challenge with the lethal toxin or after incubation with the lethal toxin. In these tests, anti-LF antiserum exhibited the highest neutralization efficiency, followed by anti-Sterne and anti-PA. The time dependence and antibody dose necessary for conferring postexposure protection by the various antibodies of guinea pigs infected with 25 50% lethal doses of Vollum spores was examined. Rabbit anti-PA serum was found to be the most effective. Intraperitoneal injections of anti-PA serum given 24 h postinfection protected 90% of the infected animals, whereas anti-Sterne and anti-LF were less effective. These results further emphasizes the importance of anti-PA antibodies in conferring protection against B. anthracis infection and demonstrated the ability of such antibodies to be effectively applied as an efficient postexposure treatment against anthrax disease. (+info)
Anthrax spores make an essential contribution to vaccine efficacy.
Anthrax is caused by Bacillus anthracis, a gram-positive spore-forming bacterium. Septicemia and toxemia rapidly lead to death in infected mammal hosts. Currently used acellular vaccines against anthrax consist of protective antigen (PA), one of the anthrax toxin components. However, in experimental animals such vaccines are less protective than live attenuated strains. Here we demonstrate that the addition of formaldehyde-inactivated spores (FIS) of B. anthracis to PA elicits total protection against challenge with virulent B. anthracis strains in mice and guinea pigs. The toxin-neutralizing activities of sera from mice immunized with PA alone or PA plus FIS were similar, suggesting that the protection conferred by PA plus FIS was not only a consequence of the humoral response to PA. A PA-deficient challenge strain was constructed, and its virulence was due solely to its multiplication. Immunization with FIS alone was sufficient to protect mice partially, and guinea pigs totally, against infection with this strain. This suggests that spore antigens contribute to protection. Guinea pigs and mice had very different susceptibilities to infection with the nontoxigenic strain, highlighting the importance of verifying the pertinence of animal models for evaluating anthrax vaccines. (+info)
A recombinant carboxy-terminal domain of the protective antigen of Bacillus anthracis protects mice against anthrax infection.
The immunogenicity and protective efficacy of overlapping regions of the protective antigen (PA) polypeptide, cloned and expressed as glutathione S-transferase fusion proteins, have been assessed. Results show that protection can be attributed to individual domains and imply that it is domain 4 which contains the dominant protective epitopes of PA. (+info)
Mucosal or parenteral administration of microsphere-associated Bacillus anthracis protective antigen protects against anthrax infection in mice.
Existing licensed anthrax vaccines are administered parenterally and require multiple doses to induce protective immunity. This requires trained personnel and is not the optimum route for stimulating a mucosal immune response. Microencapsulation of vaccine antigens offers a number of advantages over traditional vaccine formulations, including stability without refrigeration and the potential for utilizing less invasive routes of administration. Recombinant protective antigen (rPA), the dominant antigen for protection against anthrax infection, was encapsulated in poly-L-lactide 100-kDa microspheres. Alternatively, rPA was loosely attached to the surfaces of microspheres by lyophilization. All of the microspheric formulations were administered to A/J mice with a two-dose schedule by either the intramuscular route, the intranasal route, or a combination of these two routes, and immunogenicity and protective efficacy were assessed. An intramuscular priming immunization followed by either an intramuscular or intranasal boost gave optimum anti-rPA immunoglobulin G titers. Despite differences in rPA-specific antibody titers, all immunized mice survived an injected challenge consisting of 10(3) median lethal doses of Bacillus anthracis STI spores. Immunization with microencapsulated and microsphere-associated formulations of rPA also protected against aerosol challenge with 30 median lethal doses of STI spores. These results show that rPA can be encapsulated and surface bound to polymeric microspheres without impairing its immunogenicity and also that mucosal or parenteral administration of microspheric formulations of rPA efficiently protects mice against both injected and aerosol challenges with B. anthracis spores. Microspheric formulations of rPA could represent the next generation of anthrax vaccines, which could require fewer doses because they are more potent, are less reactogenic than currently available human anthrax vaccines, and could be self-administered without injection. (+info)
The Anthrax Vaccine Program: an analysis of the CDC's recommendations for vaccine use.
The anthrax vaccine was never proved to be safe and effective. It is one cause of Gulf War illnesses, and recent vaccinees report symptoms resembling Gulf War illnesses. The vaccine's production has been substandard. Without adequate evaluation, the Food and Drug Administration recently approved (retrospectively) significant changes made to the vaccine's composition since 1990. The vaccine's mandatory use for inhalation anthrax is "off-label." A skewed review of the vaccine literature by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) led to remunerative collaborative research with the army, involving civilian volunteers. Despite acknowledging possible fetal harm, the CDC offered the vaccine to children and pregnant women. New trends could weaken prelicensure efficacy and safety review of medical products intended for biodefense and avoid manufacturer liability for their use. (+info)