Open Access Research article

Immunological characterization of a gidA mutant strain of Salmonella for potential use in a live-attenuated vaccine

Daniel C Shippy and Amin A Fadl*

Author Affiliations

Department of Animal Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1675 Observatory Dr, Madison, WI, 53706, USA

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BMC Microbiology 2012, 12:286  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-12-286

Published: 30 November 2012

Abstract

Background

Salmonella is often associated with gastrointestinal disease outbreaks in humans throughout the world due to the consumption of contaminated food. Our previous studies have shown that deletion of glucose-inhibited division gene (gidA) significantly attenuated Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (STM) virulence in both in vitro and in vivo models of infection. Most importantly, immunization with the gidA mutant protected mice from a lethal dose challenge of wild-type STM. In this study, we further characterize the gidA mutant STM strain for potential use in a live-attenuated vaccine.

Results

The protective efficacy of immunization with the gidA mutant was evaluated by challenging immunized mice with a lethal dose of wild-type STM. Sera levels of IgG2a and IgG1, passive transfer of sera and cells, and cytokine profiling were performed to study the induction of humoral and cellular immune responses induced by immunization with the gidA mutant strain. Additionally, a lymphocyte proliferation assay was performed to gauge the splenocyte survival in response to treatment with STM cell lysate. Mice immunized with the gidA mutant strain were fully protected from a lethal dose challenge of wild-type STM. Naïve mice receiving either cells or sera from immunized mice were partially protected from a lethal dose challenge of wild-type STM. The lymphocyte proliferation assay displayed a significant response of splenocytes from immunized mice when compared to splenocytes from non-immunized control mice. Furthermore, the immunized mice displayed significantly higher levels of IgG1 and IgG2a with a marked increase in IgG1. Additionally, immunization with the gidA mutant strain evoked higher levels of IL-2, IFN-γ, and IL-10 cytokines in splenocytes induced with STM cell lysate.

Conclusions

Together, the results demonstrate that immunization with the gidA mutant strain protects mice by inducing humoral and cellular immune responses with the humoral immune response potentially being the main mechanism of protection.

Keywords:
Salmonella; GidA; Vaccine; Immune responses; Mouse model