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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases