Intranasal coadministration of the Cry1Ac protoxin with amoebal lysates increases protection against Naegleria fowleri meningoencephalitis

Saúl Rojas-Hernández, Marco A. Rodríguez-Monroy, Rubén López-Revilla, Aldo A. Reséndiz-Albor, Leticia Moreno-Fierros

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Cry1Ac protoxin has potent mucosal and systemic adjuvant effects on antibody responses to proteins or polysaccharides. In this work, we examined whether Cry1Ac increased protective immunity against fatal Naegleria fowleri infection in mice, which resembles human primary amoebic meningoencephalitis. Higher immunoglobulin G (IgG) than IgA anti-N. fowleri responses were elicited in the serum and tracheopulmonary fluids of mice immunized by the intranasal or intraperitoneal route with N. fowleri lysates either alone or with Cry1Ac or cholera toxin. Superior protection against a lethal challenge with 5 × 10 4 live N. fowleri trophozoites was achieved for immunization by the intranasal route. Intranasal immunization of N. fowleri lysates coadministered with Cry1Ac increased survival to 100%; interestingly, immunization with Cry1Ac alone conferred similar protection to that achieved with amoebal lysates alone (60%). When mice intranasally immunized with Cry1Ac plus lysates were challenged with amoebae, both IgG and IgA mucosal responses were rapidly increased, but only the increased IgG response persisted until day 60 in surviving mice. The brief rise in the level of specific mucosal IgA does not exclude the role that this isotype may play in the early defense against this parasite, since higher IgA responses were detected in nasal fluids of mice intranasally immunized with lysates plus either Cry1Ac or cholera toxin, which, indeed, were the treatments that provided the major protection levels. In contrast, serum antibody responses do not seem to be related to the protection level achieved. Both acquired and innate immune systems seem to play a role in host defense against N. fowleri infection, but further studies are required to elucidate the mechanisms involved in protective effects conferred by Cry1Ac, which may be a valuable tool to improve mucosal vaccines.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)4368-4375
Number of pages8
JournalInfection and Immunity
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2004
Externally publishedYes

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