Background. Bacillus anthracis has two major virulence factors: a tripartite toxin that produces lethal and edema toxins and a polyglutamic acid capsule. A recent report suggested that a toxin belonging to the cholesterol dependant cytolysin (CDC) family, anthrolysin O (ALO) was a new virulence factor for B. anthracis but subsequent studies have questioned its relevance in pathogenesis. In this study, we examined the immunogenicity of recombinant anthrolysin O (rALO) in mice. Results. BALB/c mice immunized with rALO and boosted after two weeks, produce sera with strong Ab responses with a predominance of IgG1 and IgG2a. Five hybridomas to rALO were recovered representing the IgM, IgG1, and IgG2b isotypes. Passive administration of 3 of the five monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to rALO prior to infection with lethal intravenous (i.v.) B. anthracis Sterne strain infection in mice was associated with enhanced average survival and a greater likelihood of surviving infection. A combination of two mAbs to ALO was more effective than either mAb separately. One mAb (64F8) slowed the toxicity of rALO for J774.16 macrophage-like cells. Conclusion. Our results suggest that ALO contributes to the virulence of B. anthracis Sterne strain in this infection model and that Ab response to ALO may contribute to protection in certain circumstances.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)