Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 9379042
J. Immunol. 1997 Nov;159(9):4435-43
The facultative intracellular pathogen Listeria monocytogenes secretes a 58-kDa hemolysin, listeriolysin O (LLO), that allows bacteria to access the cytoplasm and to multiply inside infected cells. LLO is also a protective Ag required for the development of specific immunity. We studied the capacity of a new bacterial vector, derived from an attenuated strain of Bacillus anthracis, to deliver in vivo LLO and to induce protection against L. monocytogenes infection. The hly gene encoding LLO was fused to a B. anthracis regulatory region induced in vivo and was integrated into a resident plasmid of this bacterium. This recombinant strain secreted a functional LLO in vitro and inside phagosomes of bone marrow macrophages. This LLO production enabled the conversion of the extracellular replicating B. anthracis into an intracytoplasmic bacterium. LLO+ B. anthracis thus mimicked the intracellular behavior of L. monocytogenes in macrophages. Specific protection of mice against lethal doses of L. monocytogenes was induced by immunization with LLO+ B. anthracis. The immunity was mediated by CD8+ T lymphocytes and was associated with the activation of LLO-specific MHC class I-restricted CD8+ CTL, able to recognize the immunodominant H-2d-restricted epitope 91-99 of LLO. This study, therefore, suggests that intracytoplasmic delivery of LLO by B. anthracis is sufficient to induce a MHC class I-restricted CD8-mediated protection against L. monocytogenes. The LLO+ B. anthracis recombinant strain represents a potential vector for delivering foreign Ags involved in CD8-mediated protective responses.