Escherichia coli O157:H7 colonization in cattle following systemic and mucosal immunization with purified H7 flagellin

Tom N. McNeilly, Stuart W. Naylor, Arvind Mahajan, Mairi C. Mitchell, Sean P. McAteer, David Deane, David George Emslie Smith, J. Christopher Low, David L. Gally, John F. Huntley

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    72 Citations (Scopus)


    Escherichia coli O157:H7 is an important pathogen of humans. Cattle are most frequently identified as the primary source of infection, and therefore, reduction in E. coli O157:H7 prevalence in cattle by vaccination represents an attractive strategy for reducing the incidence of human disease. H7 flagella have been implicated in intestinal-epithelial colonization of E. coli O157:H7 and may represent a useful target for vaccination. In this study, calves were immunized either systemically with H7 flagellin by intramuscular injection or mucosally via the rectum with either H7 or H7 incorporated into poly(DL-lactide-co-glycolide) microparticles (PLG:H7). Systemic immunization resulted in high levels of flagellin-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgA in both serum and nasal secretions and detectable levels of both antibody isotypes in rectal secretions. Rectal administration of flagellin resulted in levels of rectal IgA similar to those by the intramuscular route but failed to induce any other antibody response, whereas rectal immunization with PLG:H7 failed to induce any H7-specific antibodies. Following subsequent oral challenge with E. coli O157:H7, reduced colonization rates and delayed peak bacterial shedding were observed in the intramuscularly immunized group compared to nonvaccinated calves, but no reduction in total bacterial shedding occurred. Rectal immunization with either H7 or PLG:H7 had no effect on subsequent bacterial colonization or shedding. Furthermore, purified H7-specific IgA and IgG from intramuscularly immunized calves were shown to reduce intestinal-epithelial binding in vitro. These results indicate that H7 flagellin may be a useful component in a systemic vaccine to reduce E. coli O157:H7 colonization in cattle.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2594-2602
    Number of pages9
    JournalInfection and Immunity
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008


    • Administration, Rectal
    • Animals
    • Bacterial Adhesion
    • Bacterial Vaccines
    • Capsules
    • Carrier State
    • Cattle
    • Cattle Diseases
    • Cells, Cultured
    • Epithelial Cells
    • Escherichia coli Infections
    • Escherichia coli O157
    • Flagellin
    • Immunoglobulin A
    • Immunoglobulin G
    • Injections, Intramuscular
    • Intestinal Mucosa
    • Male
    • Nasal Mucosa
    • Rectum


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