Publications by authors named "Arianna Marini"

5 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

A Universal Plug-and-Display Vaccine Carrier Based on HBsAg VLP to Maximize Effective Antibody Response.

Front Immunol 2019 12;10:2931. Epub 2019 Dec 12.

Nuffield Department of Medicine, The Jenner Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.

Development of effective malaria vaccines requires delivery platforms to enhance the immunogenicity and efficacy of the target antigens. This is particularly challenging for transmission-blocking malaria vaccines (TBVs), and specifically for those based on the Pfs25 antigen, that need to elicit very high antibody titers to stop the parasite development in the mosquito host and its transmission. Presenting antigens to the immune system on virus-like particles (VLPs) is an efficient way to improve the quantity and quality of the immune response generated. Here we introduce for the first time a new VLP vaccine platform, based on the well-established hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) fused to the SpyCatcher protein, so that the antigen of interest, linked to the SpyTag peptide, can be easily displayed on it (Plug-and-Display technology). As little as 10% of the SpyCatcher::HBsAg VLPs decorated with Pfs25::SpyTag (molar ratio) induces a higher antibody response and transmission-reducing activity in mice compared to the soluble protein, with 50 and 90% of the VLP coupled to the antigen further enhancing the response. Importantly, using this carrier that is a vaccine antigen itself could be beneficial, as we show that anti-HBsAg IgG antibodies are induced without interfering with the Pfs25-specific immune response generated. Furthermore, pre-existing anti-HBsAg immunity does not affect the antigen-specific response to Pfs25::SpyTag-SpyCatcher::HBsAg, suggesting that these VLPs can have a broad use as a vaccine platform.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2019.02931DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6921968PMC
November 2020

Combination of RTS,S and Pfs25-IMX313 Induces a Functional Antibody Response Against Malaria Infection and Transmission in Mice.

Front Immunol 2018 4;9:2780. Epub 2018 Dec 4.

Jenner Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.

The last two decades saw a dramatic reduction in malaria incidence rates, but this decrease has been stalling recently, indicating control measures are starting to fail. An effective vaccine, particularly one with a marked effect on disease transmission, would undoubtedly be an invaluable tool for efforts to control and eliminate malaria. RTS,S/AS01, the most advanced malaria vaccine to date, targets the parasite before it invades the liver and has the potential to prevent malaria disease as well as transmission by preventing blood stage infection and therefore gametocytogenesis. Unfortunately efficacy in a phase III clinical trial was limited and it is widely believed that a malaria vaccine needed to contain multiple antigens from different life-cycle stages to have a realistic chance of success. A recent study in mice has shown that partially efficacious interventions targeting the pre-erythrocytic and the sexual lifecycle stage synergise in eliminating malaria from a population over multiple generations. Hence, the combination of RTS,S/AS01 with a transmission blocking vaccine (TBV) is highly appealing as a pragmatic and powerful way to increase vaccine efficacy. Here we demonstrate that combining Pfs25-IMX313, one of the TBV candidates currently in clinical development, with RTS,S/AS01 readily induces a functional immune response against both antigens in outbred CD1 mice. Formulation of Pfs25-IMX313 in AS01 significantly increased antibody titres when compared to formulation in Alhydrogel, resulting in improved transmission reducing activity in standard membrane feeding assays (SMFA). Upon co-formulation of Pfs25-IMX313 with RTS,S/AS01, the immunogenicity of both vaccines was maintained, and functional assessment of the induced antibody response by SMFA and inhibition of sporozoite invasion assay (ISI) showed no reduction in biological activity against parasites of both lifecycle stages. Should this findings be translatable to human vaccination this could greatly aid efforts to eliminate and eventually eradicate malaria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2018.02780DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6288435PMC
October 2019

Structural basis for recognition of the malaria vaccine candidate Pfs48/45 by a transmission blocking antibody.

Nat Commun 2018 09 20;9(1):3822. Epub 2018 Sep 20.

Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3QU, UK.

The quest to develop an effective malaria vaccine remains a major priority in the fight against global infectious disease. An approach with great potential is a transmission-blocking vaccine which induces antibodies that prevent establishment of a productive infection in mosquitos that feed on infected humans, thereby stopping the transmission cycle. One of the most promising targets for such a vaccine is the gamete surface protein, Pfs48/45. Here we establish a system for production of full-length Pfs48/45 and use this to raise a panel of monoclonal antibodies. We map the binding regions of these antibodies on Pfs48/45 and correlate the location of their epitopes with their transmission-blocking activity. Finally, we present the structure of the C-terminal domain of Pfs48/45 bound to the most potent transmission-blocking antibody, and provide key molecular information for future structure-guided immunogen design.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-06340-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6148045PMC
September 2018

IgG Responses to Porins and Lipopolysaccharide within an Outer Membrane-Based Vaccine against Nontyphoidal Develop at Discordant Rates.

mBio 2018 03 6;9(2). Epub 2018 Mar 6.

Institute for Microbiology and Infection, School of Immunology and Immunotherapy, Institute for Biomedical Research, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom

Antibodies acquired after vaccination or natural infection with Gram-negative bacteria, such as invasive serovar Typhimurium, can protect against disease. Immunization with naturally shed outer membrane vesicles from Gram-negative bacteria is being studied for its potential to protect against many infections, since antigens within vesicles maintain their natural conformation and orientation. Shedding can be enhanced through genetic modification, and the resulting particles, generalized modules for membrane antigens (GMMA), not only offer potential as vaccines but also can facilitate the study of B-cell responses to bacterial antigens. Here we show that the response to immunization with GMMA from  Typhimurium (STmGMMA) provides B-cell-dependent protection and induces antibodies to two immunodominant antigens, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and porins. Antibodies to LPS O antigen (O-Ag) markedly enhance protection in the spleen, but this effect is less marked in the liver. Strikingly, IgG responses to LPS and porins develop with distinct kinetics. In the first week after immunization, there is a dramatic T-cell-independent B1b-cell-associated induction of all IgG isotypes, except IgG1, to porins but not to LPS. In contrast, production of IgG1 to either antigen was delayed and T cell dependent. Nevertheless, after 1 month, cells in the bone marrow secreting IgG against porins or LPS were present at a similar frequency. Unexpectedly, immunization with O-Ag-deficient STmGMMA did not substantially enhance the anti-porin response. Therefore, IgG switching to all antigens does not develop synchronously within the same complex and so the rate of IgG switching to a single component does not necessarily reflect its frequency within the antigenic complex. Vaccines save millions of lives, yet for some infections there are none. This includes some types of infections, killing hundreds of thousands of people annually. We show how a new type of vaccine, called GMMA, that is made from blebs shed from the cell wall, works to protect against infection in mice by inducing host proteins (antibodies) specifically recognizing bacterial components (antigens). The rate of development of IgG antibody to antigens within GMMA occurred with different kinetics. However, the antibody response to GMMA persists and is likely to provide prolonged protection for those who need it. These results help show how antibody responses to bacterial antigens develop and how vaccines like GMMA can work and help prevent infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/mBio.02379-17DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5844998PMC
March 2018

Contribution of factor H-Binding protein sequence to the cross-reactivity of meningococcal native outer membrane vesicle vaccines with over-expressed fHbp variant group 1.

PLoS One 2017 25;12(7):e0181508. Epub 2017 Jul 25.

GSK Vaccines Institute for Global Health (GVGH), Siena, Italy.

Factor H-binding protein (fHbp) is an important meningococcal vaccine antigen. Native outer membrane vesicles with over-expressed fHbp (NOMV OE fHbp) have been shown to induce antibodies with broader functional activity than recombinant fHbp (rfHbp). Improved understanding of this broad coverage would facilitate rational vaccine design. We performed a pair-wise analysis of 48 surface-exposed amino acids involved in interacting with factor H, among 383 fHbp variant group 1 sequences. We generated isogenic NOMV-producing meningococcal strains from an African serogroup W isolate, each over-expressing one of four fHbp variant group 1 sequences (ID 1, 5, 9, or 74), including those most common among invasive African meningococcal isolates. Mice were immunised with each NOMV, and sera tested for IgG levels against each of the rfHbp ID and for ability to kill a panel of heterologous meningococcal isolates. At the fH-binding site, ID pairs differed by a maximum of 13 (27%) amino acids. ID 9 shared an amino acid sequence common to 83 ID types. The selected ID types differed by up to 6 amino acids, in the fH-binding site. All NOMV and rfHbp induced high IgG levels against each rfHbp. Serum killing from mice immunised with rfHbp was generally less efficient and more restricted compared to NOMV, which induced antibodies that killed most meningococci tested, with decreased stringency for ID type differences. Breadth of killing was mostly due to anti-fHbp antibodies, with some restriction according to ID type sequence differences. Nevertheless, under our experimental conditions, no relationship between antibody cross-reactivity and variation fH-binding site sequence was identified. NOMV over-expressing different fHbp IDs belonging to variant group 1 induce antibodies with fine specificities against fHbp, and ability to kill broadly meningococci expressing heterologous fHbp IDs. The work reinforces that meningococcal NOMV with OE fHbp is a promising vaccine strategy, and provides a basis for rational selection of antigen sequence types for over-expression on NOMV.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0181508PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5526518PMC
October 2017