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Passive antibodies derived from intramuscularly immunized toxoid fusion 3xSTaN12S-dmLT protect against STa+ enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) diarrhea in a pig model

Nandre, RM;Duan, Q;Wang, Y;Zhang, W;

Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) strains are among the most common causes of children’s diarrhea and travelers’ diarrhea. Developing effective vaccines against ETEC associated diarrhea becomes a top priority. ETEC heat-labile toxin (LT) and heat-stable toxin (STa) toxoid fusion 3xSTaN12S-dmLT was demonstrated recently to induce neutralizing antitoxin antibodies in intraperitoneally or subcutaneously immunized mice. However, whether antibodies derived from this toxoid fusion are protective against ETEC diarrhea has not been examined. In this study, we intramuscularly immunized pregnant gilts with toxoid fusion 3xSTaN12S-dmLT, challenged suckling piglets with a STa-positive ETEC strain, and assessed protective efficacy of passive acquire antitoxin antibodies against ETEC diarrhea. Data showed all three immunized gilts developed anti-STa IgG and IgA antibodies, and piglets born to the immunized dams acquired anti-STa and anti-LT antibodies. When challenged with a STa+ ETEC strain, none of the piglets born to the immunized dams developed watery diarrhea, with 20 piglets remained normal and the other 8 piglets developed mild diarrhea indicated with stained butt. In contrast, the control dams and born piglets had no anti-STa or anti-LT antibodies detected, and 26 out 32 piglets developed watery diarrhea after challenge of the STa+ ETEC strain. These results indicated that passive acquired anti-STa antibodies are protective against ETEC diarrhea, and suggested potential application of toxoid fusion 3xSTaN12S-dmLT in ETEC vaccine development.