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Immunogenicity and Efficacy of Cryptococcus neoformans Capsular Polysaccharide Glucuronoxylomannan Peptide Mimotope-Protein Conjugates in Human Immunoglobulin Transgenic Mice

American Society for Microbiology
Publication Date
  • Fungal And Parasitic Infections
  • Biology


Peptide mimotopes of capsular polysaccharides have been proposed as antigens for vaccines against encapsulated pathogens. In this study, we determined the antibody response to and efficacy of P13, a peptide mimetic of the Cryptococcus neoformans capsular polysaccharide glucuronoxylomannan (GXM), in mice that produce human antibodies. P13 was conjugated to tetanus toxoid (TT) or diphtheria toxoid (DT) and administered subcutaneously in Alhydrogel with or without CpG to mice transgenic for human immunoglobulin loci (XenoMouse mice) and expressing either immunoglobulin G2 (IgG2) (G2 mice) or IgG4 (G4 mice). Mice were vaccinated and revaccinated two or three times. The serum antibody responses of the mice to GXM and P13 and antibody idiotype expression were analyzed by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The results showed that both P13-TT and P13-DT were antigenic, inducing a mimetic response to P13 in both G2 and G4 mice, and immunogenic, inducing a mimotope response including VH3 (idiotype)-positive antibodies to GXM in G2 but not G4 mice. CpG led to higher titers of IgG to P13 and GXM in P13-TT-vaccinated G2 mice. C. neoformans challenge of P13-protein conjugate-vaccinated and control G2 mice induced anamnestic IgG- and VH3-positive responses to GXM and was associated with a significantly decreased risk of death and a prolongation of survival in P13-DT-vaccinated mice compared to phosphate-buffered saline-treated or protein carrier-vaccinated mice. These findings reveal that P13 elicited a human antibody response with VH3 expression in human immunoglobulin transgenic mice that has been observed for human antibodies to GXM and support the concept that peptide mimotope-based vaccines may hold promise for the treatment of C. neoformans infections.

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