Burkholderia pseudomallei, the causative agent of melioidosis, is a gram-negative bacillus endemic to areas of southeast Asia and northern Australia. Presently, there is no licensed vaccine for B. pseudomallei and the organism is refractive to antibiotic therapy. The bacterium is known to survive and multiply inside both phagocytic and nonphagocytic host cells and may be able to spread directly from cell to cell. Current vaccine delivery systems are unlikely to induce the correct immune effectors to stimulate a protective response to the organism. In this study, we have developed a procedure to utilize dendritic cells as a vaccine delivery vector to induce cell-mediated immune responses to B. pseudomallei. Dendritic cells were produced by culturing murine bone marrow progenitor cells in medium containing granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor and tumor necrosis factor alpha. Purified dendritic cells were pulsed with heat-killed whole-cell B. pseudomallei and used to immunize syngeneic mice. Strong cellular immune responses were elicited by this immunization method, although antibody responses were low. Booster immunizations of either a second dose of dendritic cells or heat-killed B. pseudomallei were administered to increase the immune response. Immunized animals were challenged with fully virulent B. pseudomallei, and protection was demonstrated in those with strong humoral and cell-mediated immunity. These results indicate the importance of both cell-mediated and humoral immune mechanisms in protection against intracellular pathogens.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases