Bordetella pertussis iron regulated proteins as potential vaccine components

Bordetella pertussis is the etiologic agent of whooping cough, an illness whose incidence has been increasing over the last decades. Pertussis reemergence despite high vaccination coverage, together with the recent isolation of circulating strains deficient in some of the vaccine antigens, highlight the need for new vaccines. Proteins induced under physiological conditions, such as those required for nutrient acquisition during infection, might represent good targets for better preventive strategies. By mean of serological proteome analysis we identified two novel antigens of B.pertussis potentially involved in iron acquisition during host colonization. We had previously demonstrated that one of them, designated IRP1-3, is protective against pertussis infection in mice. In the present study, we show that the other antigen, named AfuA (BP1605), is a highly antigenic protein, exposed on the bacterial surface, conserved among clinical isolates and expressed during infection. Immunization of mice with the recombinant AfuA induced opsonophagocytic antibodies which could explain the protection against B. pertussis infection conferred by mice immunization with rAfuA. Importantly, we found that the addition of rAfuA and rIRP1-3 proteins to the commercial three pertussis components acellular vaccine significantly increased its protective activity. Taken together, our results point at these two antigens as potential components of a new generation of acellular vaccines.

Authors:Hayes JAErben ELamberti YPrincipi GMaschi FAyala MRodriguez ME.

Journal:Vaccine. 2013