Targeting pili in enterococcal pathogenesis

Kenneth L. Pinkston, Kavindra V. Singh, Peng Gao, Nathaniel Wilganowski, Holly Robinson, Sukhen Ghosh, Ali Azhdarinia, Eva M. Sevick-Muraca, Barbara E. Murray, Barrett R. Harvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Passive protection, the administration of antibodies to prevent infection, has garnered significant interest in recent years as a potential prophylactic countermeasure to decrease the prevalence of hospital-acquired infections. Pili, polymerized protein structures covalently anchored to the peptidoglycan wall of many Gram-positive pathogens, are ideal targets for antibody intervention, given their importance in establishing infection and their accessibility to antibody interactions. In this work, we demonstrated that a monoclonal antibody to the major component of Enterococcus faecalis pili, EbpC, labels polymerized pilus structures, diminishes biofilm formation, and significantly prevents the establishment of a rat endocarditis infection. The effectiveness of this anti-EbpC monoclonal provides strong evidence in support of its potential as a preventative. In addition, after radiolabeling, this monoclonal identified the site of enterococcal infection, providing a rare example of molecularly specific imaging of an established bacterial infection and demonstrating the versatility of this agent for use in future diagnostic and therapeutic applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1540-1547
Number of pages8
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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