A novel neurotoxoid vaccine prevents mucosal botulism

Academic Article


  • The threat posed by botulism, classically a food- and waterborne disease with a high morbidity and mortality, has increased exponentially in an age of bioterrorism. Because botalinum neurotoxin (BoNT) could be easily disseminated by terrorists using an aerosol or could be used to contaminate the food or water supply, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Allergy and Infections Diseases has classified it as a category A agent. Although clearly the development of a safe and effective mucosal vaccine against this toxin should be a high priority, essentially no studies to date have assessed mucosal immune responses to this disease. To bridge this gap in our knowledge, we immunized mice weekly for 4 wk with nasal doses of BoNT type A toxoid and a mutant of cholera toxin termed E112K. We found elevated levels of BoNT-specific IgG Abs in plasma and of secretory IgA Abs in external secretions (nasal washes, saliva, and fecal extracts). When mice given nasal BoNT vaccine were challenged with 4 × 103 LD50 of BoNT type A (BoNT/A) via the i.p. route, complete protection was seen, while naive mice given the same dosage died within 2 h. To further confirm the efficacy of this nasal BoNT vaccine, an oral LD50 was determined. When mice were given an oral challenge of 5 μg (2 x oral LD50) of progenitor BoNT/A, all immunized mice survived beyond 5 days, while nonimmunized mice did not. The fecal extract samples from nasally vaccinated mice were found to contain neutralizing secretory IgA Abs. Taken together, these results show that nasal BoNT/A vaccine effectively prevents mucosal BoNT intoxication.
  • Published In

    Author List

  • Kobayashi R; Kohda T; Kataoka K; Ihara H; Kozaki S; Pascual DW; Staats HF; Kiyono H; McGhee JR; Fujihashi K
  • Start Page

  • 2190
  • End Page

  • 2195
  • Volume

  • 174