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Anthrax vaccine recipients lack antibody against the loop neutralizing determinant: A protective neutralizing epitope from Bacillus anthracis protective antigen

Oscherwitz, J;Quinn, CP;Cease, KB;

Epitope-focused immunogens can elicit antibody against the loop neutralizing determinant (LND), a neutralizing epitope found within the 22-23 loop of protective antigen (PA), which can protect rabbits from high-dose inhalation challenge with Bacillus anthracis Ames strain. Interestingly, data suggests that this epitope is relatively immunosilent in rabbits and non-human primates immunized with full length PA.,To determine whether the LND is immunosilent among humans vaccinated with PA, we screened antisera from AVA- or placebo-vaccinees from a clinical trial for antibody reactive with the LND.,AVA-vaccinee sera had significant PA-specific antibody compared to placebo-vaccinee sera; however, sera from the two cohorts were indistinguishable with regard to the frequency of individuals with antibody specific for the LND.,AVA-vaccinees have a low frequency of antibody reactive with the LND. As with rabbits and non-human primates, the elicitation of LND-specific antibody in humans appears to require immunization with an epitope-focused vaccine.