Date of this Version
Vaccine 29 (2011) 5078– 5086; doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2011.04.073
Escherichia coli O157:H7 colonizes cattle intestines by using the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE)- encoded proteins. The induction of systemic immune response against LEE-encoded proteins, therefore, will prove effective in reducing E. coli O157:H7 colonization in cattle. The previous studies have demonstrated that a hha (encodes for a hemolysin expression modulating protein) deletion enhances expression of LEE-encoded proteins and a sepB (encodes an ATPase required for the secretion of LEE-encoded proteins) deletion results in intracellular accumulation of LEE proteins. In this study, we demonstrate the efficacy of the hha and hha sepB deletion mutants as bacterins for reducing fecal shedding of E. coli O157:H7 in experimentally inoculated weaned calves. The weaned calves were injected intramuscularly with the bacterins containing 109 heat-killed cells of the hha+ wild-type or hha or hha sepB isogenic mutants, and boosted with the same doses 2- and 4-weeks later. The evaluation of the immune response two weeks after the last booster immunization revealed that the calves vaccinated with the hha mutant bacterin had higher antibody titers against LEE proteins compared to the titers for these antibodies in the calves vaccinated with the hha sepB mutant or hha+ wild-type bacterins. Following oral inoculations with 1010 CFU of the wild-type E. coli O157:H7, the greater numbers of calves in the group vaccinated with the hha or hha sepB mutant bacterins stopped shedding the inoculum strain within a few days after the inoculations compared to the group of calves vaccinated with the hha+ wild-type bacterin or PBS sham vaccine. Thus, the use of bacterins prepared from the hha and hha sepB mutants for reducing colonization of E. coli O157:H7 in cattle could represent a potentially important pre-harvest strategy to enhance post-harvest safety of bovine food products, water and produce.