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Neutralization of cholera toxin with nanoparticle decoys for treatment of cholera

Das, S;Angsantikul, P;Le, C;Bao, D;Miyamoto, Y;Gao, W;Zhang, L;Eckmann, L;

Diarrheal diseases are a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. In many cases, antibiotic therapy is either ineffective or not recommended due to concerns about emergence of resistance. The pathogenesis of several of the most prevalent infections, including cholera and enteroxigenic Escherichia coli, is dominated by enterotoxins produced by lumen-dwelling pathogens before clearance by intestinal defenses. Toxins gain access to the host through critical host receptors, making these receptors attractive targets for alternative antimicrobial strategies that do not rely on conventional antibiotics. Here, we developed a new nanotechnology strategy as a countermeasure against cholera, one of the most important and prevalent toxin-mediated enteric infections. The key host receptor for cholera toxin, monosialotetrahexosylganglioside (GM1), was coated onto the surface of polymeric nanoparticles. The resulting GM1-polymer hybrid nanoparticles were shown to function as toxin decoys by selectively and stably binding cholera toxin, and neutralizing its actions on epithelial cells in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, the GM1-coated nanoparticle decoys attenuated epithelial 3′,5′-cyclic adenosine monophosphate production and fluid responses to infection with live Vibrio cholera in cell culture and a murine infection model. Together, these studies illustrate that the new nanotechnology-based platform can be employed as a non-traditional antimicrobial strategy for the management of enteric infections with enterotoxin-producing pathogens.