• A clinically parameterized mathematical model of Shigella immunity to inform vaccine design

      Davis, Courtney L.; Wahid, Rezwanul; Toapanta, Franklin R.; Simon, Jakub K.; Sztein, Marcelo B. (PLOS One, 2018-01-05)
      We refine and clinically parameterize a mathematical model of the humoral immune response against Shigella, a diarrheal bacteria that infects 80-165 million people and kills an estimated 600,000 people worldwide each year. Using Latin hypercube sampling and Monte Carlo simulations for parameter estimation, we fit our model to human immune data from two Shigella EcSf2a-2 vaccine trials and a rechallenge study in which antibody and B-cell responses against Shigella0s lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and O-membrane proteins (OMP) were recorded. The clinically grounded model is used to mathematically investigate which key immune mechanisms and bacterial targets confer immunity against Shigella and to predict which humoral immune components should be elicited to create a protective vaccine against Shigella. The model offers insight into why the EcSf2a-2 vaccine had low efficacy and demonstrates that at a group level a humoral immune response induced by EcSf2a-2 vaccine or wild-type challenge against Shigella0s LPS or OMP does not appear sufficient for protection. That is, the model predicts an uncontrolled infection of gut epithelial cells that is present across all best-fit model parameterizations when fit to EcSf2a-2 vaccine or wild-type challenge data. Using sensitivity analysis, we explore which model parameter values must be altered to prevent the destructive epithelial invasion by Shigella bacteria and identify four key parameter groups as potential vaccine targets or immune correlates: 1) the rate that Shigella migrates into the lamina propria or epithelium, 2) the rate that memory B cells (BM) differentiate into antibody-secreting cells (ASC), 3) the rate at which antibodies are produced by activated ASC, and 4) the Shigella-specific BM carrying capacity. This paper underscores the need for a multifaceted approach in ongoing efforts to design an effective Shigella vaccine.
    • Long-term Maintenance of CD4 T Cell Memory Responses to Malaria Antigens in Malian Children Coinfected with Schistosoma haematobium

      Lyke, Kirsten E.; Dabo, Abdoulaye; Arama, Charles; Diarra, Issa; Plowe, Christopher V.; Doumbo, Ogobara K.; Sztein, Marcelo B. (Lausanne, Switzerland: Frontiers, 2018-02-01)
      Polyparasitism is common in the developing world. We have previously demonstrated that schistosomiasis-positive (SP) Malian children, aged 4–8 years, are protected from malaria compared to matched schistosomiasis-negative (SN) children. The effect of concomitant schistosomiasis upon acquisition of T cell memory is unknown. We examined antigen-specific T cell frequencies in 48 Malian children aged 4–14 to a pool of malaria blood stage antigens, and a pool of schistosomal antigens, at a time point during a malaria episode and at a convalescent time point ~6 months later, following cessation of malaria transmission. CD4+ T cell-derived memory responses, defined as one or more significant cytokine (IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-2, and/or IL-17A) responses, was measured to schistoma antigens in 18/23 SP children at one or both time points, compared to 4/23 SN children (P < 0.0001). At the time of malaria infection, 12/24 SN children and 15/23 SP children (P = 0.29) stimulated with malaria antigens demonstrated memory recall as defined by CD4-derived cytokine production. This compares to 7/23 SN children and 16/23 SP children (P = 0.009) at the convalescent timepoint. 46.2% of cytokine-producing CD4+ T cells expressed a single cytokine after stimulation with malaria antigen during the malaria episode. This fell to 40.9% at follow-up with a compensatory rise of multifunctional cytokine secretion over time, a phenomenon consistent with memory maturation. The majority (53.2–59.5%) of responses derived from CD45RA−CD62L− effector memory T cells with little variation in the phenotype depending upon the time point or the study cohort. We conclude that detectable T cell memory responses can be measured against both malaria and schistosoma antigens and that the presence of Schistosoma haematobium may be associated with long-term maintenance of T memory to malaria.
    • Systemic and Terminal Ileum Mucosal Immunity Elicited by Oral Immunization with the Ty21a Typhoid Vaccine in Humans

      Booth, Jayaum S.; Patil, Seema A.; Ghazi, Leyla; Barnes, Robin, DNP; Fraser, Claire M.; Fasano, Alessio; Greenwald, Bruce D.; Sztein, Marcelo B. (Elsevier on behalf of the American Gastroenterological Association, 2017-11)
      This study examines mucosal immune responses to administration of the oral Ty21a-typhoid vaccine in humans. Local antigen-specific CD8+-Tm responses were substantially different from those observed in human mucosal immune regulation and approaches to oral immunization.
    • Use of a novel antigen expressing system to study the Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi protein recognition by T cells

      Salerno-Goncalves, Rosangela; Tettelin, Herve; Lou, David; Steiner, Stephanie; Rezwanul, Tasmia; Guo, Qin; Picking, William D.; Nene, Vishvanath; Sztein, Marcelo B. (San Francisco: PLOS, 2017-09-05)
      Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (S. Typhi), the causative agent of the typhoid fever, is a pathogen of great public health importance. Typhoid vaccines have the potential to be cost-effective measures towards combating this disease, yet the antigens triggering host protective immune responses are largely unknown. Given the key role of cellular-mediated immunity in S. Typhi protection, it is crucial to identify S. Typhi proteins involved in T-cell responses. Here, cells from individuals immunized with Ty21a typhoid vaccine were collected before and after immunization and used as effectors. We also used an innovative antigen expressing system based on the infection of B-cells with recombinant Escherichia coli (E. coli) expressing one of four S. Typhi gene products (i.e., SifA, OmpC, FliC, GroEL) as targets. Using flow cytometry, we found that the pattern of response to specific S. Typhi proteins was variable. Some individuals responded to all four proteins while others responded to only one or two proteins. We next evaluated whether T-cells responding to recombinant E. coli also possess the ability to respond to purified proteins. We observed that CD4+ cell responses, but not CD8+ cell responses, to recombinant E. coli were significantly associated with the responses to purified proteins. Thus, our results demonstrate the feasibility of using an E. coli expressing system to uncover the antigen specificity of T-cells and highlight its applicability to vaccine studies. These results also emphasize the importance of selecting the stimuli appropriately when evaluating CD4+ and CD8+ cell responses.