Avian pathology : journal of the W.V.P.A vol:34 issue:3 pages:264-72
The aim of this study was to investigate whether vaccination with the sugar-binding domain of FimH (FimH156) was able to protect chickens against avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC). FimH156 was expressed and purified using Ni-NTA affinity chromatography. Binding of FimH156 to mannosylated bovine serum albumin demonstrated that the protein retained its biological activity. Moreover, anti-FimH156 antisera were able to inhibit in vitro binding of E. coli to mannosylated bovine serum albumin. In a first vaccination experiment, FimH156 was administered intramuscularly as a water-in-oil emulsion to specific pathogen free broiler chicks. A predisposing infection with the Newcastle disease virus strain Lasota was administered 3 weeks later, followed 3 days later by an aerosol challenge with the virulent APEC strain CH2. A good anti-FimH156 immunoglobulin (Ig)G immune response was detected in serum, but no protective effects of FimH156 against APEC were seen. In a second experiment, SPF chicks were vaccinated intramuscularly or intranasally with FimH156. Booster vaccinations were administered 20 days later. While the intramuscular immunization yielded a strong IgG response in the serum and trachea, no significant IgA response could be detected in tracheal washes. Intranasal immunization did not yield a significant IgG or IgA response in serum and trachea. No protective effects of the FimH156 could be detected, confirming the results of the first experiment. Thus, although the FimH156 induced a strong immune response, it was unable to protect chickens against APEC.