Bronchus-associated lymphoid tissue (BALT) and survival in a vaccine mouse model of tularemia

Damiana Chiavolini, Javier Rangel-Moreno, Gretchen Berg, Kate Christian, Laura Oliveira-Nascimento, Susan Weir, Joseph Alroy, Troy D. Randall, Lee M. Wetzler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background Francisella tularensis causes severe pulmonary disease, and nasal vaccination could be the ideal measure to effectively prevent it. Nevertheless, the efficacy of this type of vaccine is influenced by the lack of an effective mucosal adjuvant. Methodology/Principal Findings Mice were immunized via the nasal route with lipopolysaccharide isolated from F. tularensis and neisserial recombinant PorB as an adjuvant candidate. Then, mice were challenged via the same route with the F. tularensis attenuated live vaccine strain (LVS). Mouse survival and analysis of a number of immune parameters were conducted following intranasal challenge. Vaccination induced a systemic antibody response and 70% of mice were protected from challenge as showed by their improved survival and weight regain. Lungs from mice recovering from infection presented prominent lymphoid aggregates in peribronchial and perivascular areas, consistent with the location of bronchus-associated lymphoid tissue (BALT). BALT areas contained proliferating B and T cells, germinal centers, T cell infiltrates, dendritic cells (DCs). We also observed local production of antibody generating cells and homeostatic chemokines in BALT areas. Conclusions These data indicate that PorB might be an optimal adjuvant candidate for improving the protective effect of F. tularensis antigens. The presence of BALT induced after intranasal challenge in vaccinated mice might play a role in regulation of local immunity and long-term protection, but more work is needed to elucidate mechanisms that lead to its formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere11156
JournalPloS one
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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