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Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia call (EHEC) O157:H7 is a human pathogen that can cause gastrointestinal disease with potentially fatal consequences as a result of systemic Shiga toxin activity. Cattle are the main reservoir host of EHEC O157 and interventions need to be developed that prevent cattle colonization or limit shedding of the organism from this host. EHEC 0157 predominately colonizes the bovine terminal rectum and requires a type III secretion system (T3SS) for adherence and persistence at this site. A vaccine based on concentrated bacterial supernatant that contains T3S proteins has shown some efficacy. Here we have demonstrated that vaccination with a combination of antigens associated with T3S-mediated adherence; the translocon filament protein, EspA, the extracellular region of the outer membrane adhesin, intimin, and the translocated intimin receptor (Tir) significantly reduced shedding of EHEC 0157 from experimentally infected animals. Furthermore, this protection may be augmented by addition of H7 flagellin to the vaccine preparation that has been previously demonstrated to be partially protective in cattle. Protection correlates with systemic and mucosal antibody responses to the defined antigens and validates the targeting of these colonization factors.
- Type III secretion
- E. coli O157
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