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Oral vaccination of weaned rabbits against enteropathogenic Escherichia coli-like E. coli O103 infection: use of heterologous strains harboring lipopolysaccharide or adhesin of pathogenic strains



Oral vaccination of weaned rabbits against enteropathogenic Escherichia coli-like E. coli O103 infection: use of heterologous strains harboring lipopolysaccharide or adhesin of pathogenic strains



Infection and Immunity 60(7): 2702-2709



To test the importance of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and adhesin as major antigens in vaccination against rabbit enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC)-like E. coli O103 infection, we used two nonpathogenic wild-type strains to immunize rabbits at weaning. One of these strains (C127) harbors the O103 LPS but does not express the 32,000-molecular-weight adhesin that characterizes the highly pathogenic O103 strains. The other (C6) belongs to the O128 serogroup, which does not cross-react with the O103 serogroup, but expresses the adhesin. These strains were administered orally, either live or after Formalin inactivation. After vaccination, the animals were challenged with highly pathogenic O103 strain B10. Compared with rabbits vaccinated with the Formalin-killed homologous strain, rabbits vaccinated with killed C127 or C6 showed partial but significant protection. When given live, these strains colonized more or less heavily the digestive tract of the animals and provided nearly complete (C127) or complete (C6) protection against challenge. They induced a quick local immune response, as judged by fecal immunoglobulin A anti-LPS kinetics. Furthermore, strain C6 induced an ecological effect of "resistance to colonization" against challenge strain B10. This effect may have been due to the adhesin that is shared by both strains and to the production of a colicin. Strain C6 could inhibit in vitro the growth of highly pathogenic O103 strains. On the whole, our results show that adhesins and LPS are important, although probably not exclusive, protection-inducing components in rabbit EPEC-like colibacillosis and provide insight into possible protection of rabbits against EPEC-like E. coli infection with live strains.

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Accession: 040877279

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PMID: 1351880


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