Publications by authors named "David O Beenhouwer"

21 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Complexing amphotericin B with gold nanoparticles improves fungal clearance from the brains of mice infected with Cryptococcal neoformans.

Med Mycol 2021 Jul 31. Epub 2021 Jul 31.

Division of Infectious Diseases, VA Greater Los Angeles Health Care System, Los Angeles, CA 90073, USA.

Amphotericin B (AmB) is used to treat cryptococcal meningoencephalitis. However, the mortality rate remains high. Higher doses of AmB in deoxycholate buffer (AmBd) are toxic to human red blood cells (hRBC) and have no effect on brain organism load in mice. Here we show that while AmBd lysed 96% of hRBC, AmB complexed with gold nanoparticles (AuNP-SA-AmB) lysed only 27% of hRBC. In vitro growth of C. neoformans was inhibited by 0.25 μg/ml AmBd and 0.04 μg/ml of AuNP-SA-AmB. In mice infected with C. neoformans, five daily treatments with AuNP-SA-AmB containing 0.25 mg/kg AmB significantly lowered the fungal burden in the brain tissue compared to either untreated or treatment with 0.25 mg/kg of AmBd. When a single dose of AmBd was injected intravenously into BALB/c mice, 81.61% of AmB cleared in the α-phase and 18.39% cleared in the β-phase at a rate of 0.34% per hour. In contrast, when AuNP-SA-AmB was injected, 49.19% of AmB cleared in the α-phase and 50.81% of AmB cleared in the β-phase at a rate of 0.27% per hour. These results suggest that AmB complexed with gold nanoparticles is less toxic to hRBC, is more effective against C. neoformans and persists longer in blood when injected into mice resulting in more effective clearing of C. neoformans from the brain tissue.

Lay Summary: Amphotericin B (AmB) was complexed with gold nanoparticles (AuNP-SA-AmB) to improve brain delivery. AuNP-SA-AmB was more effective than AmB alone in clearing of Cryptococcus neoformans from the brain tissue of infected mice. This may be due to longer plasma half-life of AmB as AuNP-SA-AmB.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mmy/myab042DOI Listing
July 2021

Using Serologic Testing to Assess the Effectiveness of Outbreak Control Efforts, Serial Polymerase Chain Reaction Testing, and Cohorting of Positive Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Patients in a Skilled Nursing Facility.

Clin Infect Dis 2021 08;73(3):545-548

Division of Infectious Diseases, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA.

We characterized serology following a nursing home outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) where residents were serially tested by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and positive residents were cohorted. When tested 46-76 days later, 24 of 26 RT-PCR-positive residents were seropositive; none of the 124 RT-PCR-negative residents had confirmed seropositivity, supporting serial SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR testing and cohorting in nursing homes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciaa1286DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7499538PMC
August 2021

Incidence, etiology, and severity of acute gastroenteritis among prospectively enrolled patients in 4 Veterans Affairs hospitals and outpatient centers, 2016-18.

Clin Infect Dis 2020 Jun 25. Epub 2020 Jun 25.

Division of Viral Diseases, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA.

Background: Acute gastroenteritis (AGE) burden, etiology, and severity in adults is not well-characterized. We implemented a multisite AGE surveillance platform in 4 Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (Atlanta, Bronx, Houston and Los Angeles), collectively serving >320,000 patients annually.

Methods: From July 1, 2016-June 30, 2018, we actively identified AGE inpatient cases and non-AGE inpatient controls through prospective screening of admitted patients and passively identified outpatient cases through stool samples submitted for clinical diagnostics. We abstracted medical charts and tested stool samples for 22 pathogens via multiplex gastrointestinal PCR panel followed by genotyping of norovirus- and rotavirus-positive samples. We determined pathogen-specific prevalence, incidence, and modified Vesikari severity scores.

Results: We enrolled 724 inpatient cases, 394 controls, and 506 outpatient cases. Clostridioides difficile and norovirus were most frequently detected among inpatients (cases vs controls: C. difficile, 18.8% vs 8.4%; norovirus, 5.1% vs 1.5%; p<0.01 for both) and outpatients (norovirus: 10.7%; C. difficile: 10.5%). Incidence per 100,000 population was highest among outpatients (AGE: 2715; C. difficile: 285; norovirus: 291) and inpatients ≥65 years old (AGE: 459; C. difficile: 91; norovirus: 26). Clinical severity scores were highest for inpatient norovirus, rotavirus, and Shigella/EIEC cases. Overall, 12% of AGE inpatient cases had ICU stays and 2% died; 3 deaths were associated with C. difficile and 1 with norovirus. C. difficile and norovirus were detected year-round with a fall/winter predominance.

Conclusions: C. difficile and norovirus were leading AGE pathogens in outpatient and hospitalized US Veterans, resulting in severe disease. Clinicians should remain vigilant for bacterial and viral causes of AGE year-round.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciaa806DOI Listing
June 2020

Widespread severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) laboratory surveillance program to minimize asymptomatic transmission in high-risk inpatient and congregate living settings.

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2020 11 16;41(11):1331-1334. Epub 2020 Jun 16.

David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, California.

We describe a widespread laboratory surveillance program for severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) at an integrated medical campus that includes a tertiary-care center, a skilled nursing facility, a rehabilitation treatment center, and temporary shelter units. We identified 22 asymptomatic cases of SARS-CoV-2 and implemented infection control measures to prevent SARS-CoV-2 transmission in congregate settings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/ice.2020.301DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7308632PMC
November 2020

Validation of Acute Gastroenteritis-related International Classification of Diseases, Clinical Modification Codes in Pediatric and Adult US Populations.

Clin Infect Dis 2020 05;70(11):2423-2427

Division of Viral Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

International Classification of Diseases diagnostic codes are used to estimate acute gastroenteritis (AGE) disease burden. We validated AGE-related codes in pediatric and adult populations using 2 multiregional active surveillance platforms. The sensitivity of AGE codes was similar (54% and 58%) in both populations and increased with addition of vomiting-specific codes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciz846DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7390357PMC
May 2020

Trends in Incidence of Norovirus-associated Acute Gastroenteritis in 4 Veterans Affairs Medical Center Populations in the United States, 2011-2015.

Clin Infect Dis 2020 01;70(1):40-48

National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.

Background: Norovirus is an important cause of epidemic acute gastroenteritis (AGE), yet the burden of endemic disease in adults has not been well documented. We estimated the prevalence and incidence of outpatient and community-acquired inpatient norovirus AGE at 4 Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMC) (Atlanta, Georgia; Bronx, New York; Houston, Texas; and Los Angeles, California) and examined trends over 4 surveillance years.

Methods: From November 2011 to September 2015, stool specimens collected within 7 days of AGE symptom onset for clinician-requested diagnostic testing were tested for norovirus, and positive samples were genotyped. Incidence was calculated by multiplying norovirus prevalence among tested specimens by AGE-coded outpatient encounters and inpatient discharges, and dividing by the number of unique patients served.

Results: Of 1603 stool specimens, 6% tested were positive for norovirus; GII.4 viruses (GII.4 New Orleans [17%] and GII.4 Sydney [47%]) were the most common genotypes. Overall prevalence and outpatient and inpatient community-acquired incidence followed a seasonal pattern, with higher median rates during November-April (9.2%, 376/100 000, and 45/100 000, respectively) compared to May-October (3.0%, 131/100 000, and 13/100 000, respectively). An alternate-year pattern was also detected, with highest peak prevalence and outpatient and inpatient community-acquired norovirus incidence rates in the first and third years of surveillance (14%-25%, 349-613/100 000, and 43-46/100 000, respectively).

Conclusions: This multiyear analysis of laboratory-confirmed AGE surveillance from 4 VAMCs demonstrates dynamic intra- and interannual variability in prevalence and incidence of outpatient and inpatient community-acquired norovirus in US Veterans, highlighting the burden of norovirus disease in this adult population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciz165DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7188231PMC
January 2020

Septins: Regulators of Protein Stability.

Front Cell Dev Biol 2016 20;4:143. Epub 2016 Dec 20.

Department of Medicine, Geffen School of Medicine at UCLALos Angeles, CA, USA; Division of Infectious Diseases, VA Greater Los Angeles Health Care SystemLos Angeles, CA, USA.

Septins are small GTPases that play a role in several important cellular processes. In this review, we focus on the roles of septins in protein stabilization. Septins may regulate protein stability by: (1) interacting with proteins involved in degradation pathways, (2) regulating the interaction between transmembrane proteins and cytoskeletal proteins, (3) affecting the mobility of transmembrane proteins in lipid bilayers, and (4) modulating the interaction of proteins with their adaptor or signaling proteins. In this context, we discuss the role of septins in protecting four different proteins from degradation. First we consider botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNT/A) and the contribution of septins to its extraordinarily long intracellular persistence. Next, we discuss the role of septins in stabilizing the receptor tyrosine kinases EGFR and ErbB2. Finally, we consider the contribution of septins in protecting hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) from degradation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fcell.2016.00143DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5168428PMC
December 2016

Increased Susceptibility of Humanized NSG Mice to Panton-Valentine Leukocidin and Staphylococcus aureus Skin Infection.

PLoS Pathog 2015 30;11(11):e1005292. Epub 2015 Nov 30.

Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases and the Immunobiology Research Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, United States of America.

Staphylococcus aureus is a leading cause of skin and soft-tissue infections worldwide. Mice are the most commonly used animals for modeling human staphylococcal infections. However a supra-physiologic S. aureus inoculum is required to establish gross murine skin pathology. Moreover, many staphylococcal factors, including Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) elaborated by community-associated methicillin-resistant S. aureus (CA-MRSA), exhibit selective human tropism and cannot be adequately studied in mice. To overcome these deficiencies, we investigated S. aureus infection in non-obese diabetic (NOD)/severe combined immune deficiency (SCID)/IL2rγnull (NSG) mice engrafted with human CD34+ umbilical cord blood cells. These "humanized" NSG mice require one to two log lower inoculum to induce consistent skin lesions compared with control mice, and exhibit larger cutaneous lesions upon infection with PVL+ versus isogenic PVL- S. aureus. Neutrophils appear important for PVL pathology as adoptive transfer of human neutrophils alone to NSG mice was sufficient to induce dermonecrosis following challenge with PVL+ S. aureus but not PVL- S. aureus. PMX53, a human C5aR inhibitor, blocked PVL-induced cellular cytotoxicity in vitro and reduced the size difference of lesions induced by the PVL+ and PVL- S. aureus, but PMX53 also reduced recruitment of neutrophils and exacerbated the infection. Overall, our findings establish humanized mice as an important translational tool for the study of S. aureus infection and provide strong evidence that PVL is a human virulence factor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1005292DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4664407PMC
April 2016

Separately or combined, LukG/LukH is functionally unique compared to other staphylococcal bicomponent leukotoxins.

PLoS One 2014 20;9(2):e89308. Epub 2014 Feb 20.

Division of Infectious Diseases, Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Los Angeles, California, United States of America ; Department of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, California, United States of America.

Staphylococcus aureus is a major human pathogen that elaborates several exotoxins. Among these are the bicomponent leukotoxins (BCLs), which include γ-hemolysin, Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL), and LukDE. The toxin components are classified as either F or S proteins, which are secreted individually and assemble on cell surfaces to form hetero-oligomeric pores resulting in lysis of PMNs and/or erythrocytes. F and S proteins of γ-hemolysin, PVL and LukDE have ∼ 70% sequence homology within the same class and several heterologous combinations of F and S members from these three bicomponent toxin groups are functional. Recently, an additional BCL pair, LukGH (also called LukAB) that has only 30% homology to γ-hemolysin, PVL and LukDE, has been characterized from S. aureus. Our results showed that LukGH was more cytotoxic to human PMNs than PVL. However, LukGH-induced calcium ion influx in PMNs was markedly attenuated and slower than that induced by PVL and other staphylococcal BCLs. In contrast to other heterologous BCL combinations, LukG in combination with heterologous S components, and LukH in combination with heterologous F components did not induce calcium ion entry or cell lysis in human PMNs or rabbit erythrocytes. Like PVL, LukGH induced IL-8 production by PMNs. While individual components LukG and LukH had no cytolytic or calcium influx activity, they each induced high levels of IL-8 transcription and secretion. IL-8 production induced by LukG or LukH was dependent on NF-κB. Therefore, our results indicate LukGH differs functionally from other staphylococcal BCLs.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0089308PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3930693PMC
January 2015

Outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy at large Veterans Administration medical center.

Am J Manag Care 2013 Sep;19(9):e317-24

Objectives: To evaluate our outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT) program to determine its impact on infection management in a facility notable for high patient comorbidity and a large catchment area that includes most of Southern California.

Study Design: Retrospective chart review.

Methods: We reviewed all episodes of patients receiving OPAT from our institution from 2006 through 2009 for patient utilization characteristics and assessment of complications.

Results: A total of 333 patients received 393 courses of OPAT for a mean of 21.1 days. Diabetes mellitus (53.5%), psychiatric disease (39%), and chronic kidney disease (31%) were common; more than half the patients lived more than 20 miles from our medical center. Osteomyelitis (39.7%) and bacteremia (19.3%) accounted for the majority of OPAT indications. Staphylococcus aureus (36.4%) was the most frequent infecting organism, and vancomycin (37.4%) was the most frequently prescribed medication. Complications including hospital readmission, adverse drug reactions, or line-related complications were noted in 96 of 393 (24.4%) episodes, but most were minor, reversible, or not directly related to the OPAT given. Serious line-related complications that required hospital readmission were noted in only 6 (1.5%) episodes. OPAT was completed as planned in 313 (79.6%) episodes; end-stage renal disease was associated with OPAT noncompletion in multivariable analysis (odds ratio = 2.20, P = .047). We estimated that OPAT saved our medical center $4 million per year.

Conclusions: Despite our patients' high level of comorbidity and our facility's large catchment area, we were able to deliver OPAT successfully and safely with significant cost savings.
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September 2013

In vitro C3 deposition on Cryptococcus capsule occurs via multiple complement activation pathways.

Mol Immunol 2011 Sep 1;48(15-16):2009-18. Epub 2011 Jul 1.

Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics and the Molecular Biology Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, United States.

Complement can be activated via three pathways: classical, alternative, and lectin. Cryptococcus gattii and Cryptococcus neoformans are closely related fungal pathogens possessing a polysaccharide capsule composed mainly of glucuronoxylomannan (GXM), which serves as a site for complement activation and deposition of complement components. We determined C3 deposition on Cryptococcus spp. by flow cytometry and confocal microscopy after incubation with serum from C57BL/6J mice as well as mice deficient in complement components C4, C3, factor B, and mannose binding lectin (MBL). C. gattii and C. neoformans activate complement in EGTA-treated serum indicating that they can activate the alternative pathway. However, complement activation was seen with factor B(-/-) serum suggesting activation could also take place in the absence of a functional alternative pathway. Furthermore, we uncovered a role for C4 in the alternative pathway activation by Cryptococcus spp. We also identified an unexpected and complex role for MBL in complement activation by Cryptococcus spp. No complement activation occurred in the absence of MBL-A and -C proteins although activation took place when the lectin binding activity of MBL was disrupted by calcium chelation. In addition, alternative pathway activation by C. neoformans required both MBL-A and -C, while either MBL-A or -C was sufficient for alternative pathway activation by C. gattii. Thus, complement activation by Cryptococcus spp. can take place through multiple pathways and complement activation via the alternative pathway requires the presence of C4 and MBL proteins.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molimm.2011.06.215DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3163710PMC
September 2011

Detection and quantification of Panton-Valentine leukocidin in Staphylococcus aureus cultures by ELISA and Western blotting: diethylpyrocarbonate inhibits binding of protein A to IgG.

J Immunol Methods 2010 Apr 19;356(1-2):1-5. Epub 2010 Mar 19.

Division of Infectious Diseases, Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Los Angeles, California, United States.

Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and Western blotting are common techniques used to detect and quantify proteins in Staphylococcus aureus culture supernatants, such as Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL). However, protein A (Spa) secreted by most S. aureus strains may interfere with these assays by binding to the capturing and detecting antibodies. Here, we have shown that the addition of diethylpyrocarbonate (DEPC) inhibits the binding of Spa to rabbit anti-PVL used as the capturing antibody in ELISA. In Western blotting, the presence of DEPC prevented the binding of detecting antibody to Spa. These modified ELISA and Western blot techniques should prove useful for detecting and quantifying proteins in S. aureus culture supernatants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jim.2010.03.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2878937PMC
April 2010

Staphylococcus aureus Panton-Valentine leukocidin targets muscle tissues in a child with myositis and necrotizing fasciitis.

Clin Infect Dis 2010 Jan;50(1):69-72

Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California 90048, USA.

The incidence of myositis has been increasing since the advent of the epidemic of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection, and Panton-Valentine leukocidin has been implicated as a factor contributing to more-severe muscle injury. We report a case of severe myositis accompanying septic osteomyelitis and necrotizing fasciitis caused by a Panton-Valentine leukocidin-positive S. aureus strain. Immunostaining showed strong binding of the Panton-Valentine leukocidin toxin to necrotic muscle tissues.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/649217DOI Listing
January 2010

Staphylococcus aureus Panton-Valentine leukocidin contributes to inflammation and muscle tissue injury.

PLoS One 2009 Jul 27;4(7):e6387. Epub 2009 Jul 27.

Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases and the Immunobiology Research Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) threatens public health worldwide, and epidemiologic data suggest that the Panton-Valentine Leukocidin (PVL) expressed by most CA-MRSA strains could contribute to severe human infections, particularly in young and immunocompetent hosts. PVL is proposed to induce cytolysis or apoptosis of phagocytes. However, recent comparisons of isogenic CA-MRSA strains with or without PVL have revealed no differences in human PMN cytolytic activity. Furthermore, many of the mouse studies performed to date have failed to demonstrate a virulence role for PVL, thereby provoking the question: does PVL have a mechanistic role in human infection? In this report, we evaluated the contribution of PVL to severe skin and soft tissue infection. We generated PVL mutants in CA-MRSA strains isolated from patients with necrotizing fasciitis and used these tools to evaluate the pathogenic role of PVL in vivo. In a model of necrotizing soft tissue infection, we found PVL caused significant damage of muscle but not the skin. Muscle injury was linked to induction of pro-inflammatory chemokines KC, MIP-2, and RANTES, and recruitment of neutrophils. Tissue damage was most prominent in young mice and in those strains of mice that more effectively cleared S. aureus, and was not significant in older mice and mouse strains that had a more limited immune response to the pathogen. PVL mediated injury could be blocked by pretreatment with anti-PVL antibodies. Our data provide new insights into CA-MRSA pathogenesis, epidemiology and therapeutics. PVL could contribute to the increased incidence of myositis in CA-MRSA infection, and the toxin could mediate tissue injury by mechanisms other than direct killing of phagocytes.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0006387PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2711303PMC
July 2009

Role of complement in protection against Cryptococcus gattii infection.

Infect Immun 2009 Mar 29;77(3):1061-70. Epub 2008 Dec 29.

Division of Infectious Diseases, Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Los Angeles, CA 90073, USA.

Previous studies have shown that the alternative pathway of complement activation plays an important role in protection against infection with Cryptococcus neoformans. Cryptococcus gattii does not activate the alternative pathway as well as C. neoformans in vitro. The role of complement in C. gattii infection in vivo has not been reported. In this study, we used mice deficient in complement components to investigate the role of complement in protection against a C. gattii isolate from an ongoing outbreak in northwestern North America. While factor B-deficient mice showed an enhanced rate of death, complement component C3-deficient mice died even more rapidly, indicating that the alternative pathway was not the only complement pathway contributing to protection against disease. Both C3- and factor B-deficient mice had increased fungal burdens in comparison to wild-type mice. Histopathology revealed an overwhelming fungal burden in the lungs of these complement-deficient mice, which undoubtedly prevented efficient gas exchange, causing death. Following the fate of radiolabeled organisms showed that both factor B- and C3-deficient mice were less effective than wild-type mice in clearing organisms. However, opsonization of C. gattii with complement components was not sufficient to prolong life in mice deficient in complement. Killing of C. gattii by macrophages in vitro was decreased in the presence of serum from factor B- and C3-deficient versus wild-type mice. In conclusion, we have demonstrated that complement activation is crucial for survival in C. gattii infection. Additionally, we have shown that the alternative pathway of complement activation is not the only complement pathway contributing to protection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/IAI.01119-08DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2643623PMC
March 2009

Human immunoglobulin G2 (IgG2) and IgG4, but not IgG1 or IgG3, protect mice against Cryptococcus neoformans infection.

Infect Immun 2007 Mar 12;75(3):1424-35. Epub 2007 Jan 12.

Division of Infectious Diseases, Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, 11301 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90073, USA.

The encapsulated yeast Cryptococcus neoformans is a significant cause of meningitis and death in patients with AIDS. Some murine monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against the glucuronoxylomannan (GXM) component of the C. neoformans capsular polysaccharide can prolong the lives of infected mice, while others have no effect or can even shorten survival. To date, no one has systematically compared the efficacies of antibodies with the same variable regions and different human constant regions with their unique combination of effector functions in providing protection against murine C. neoformans infection. In the present study, we examined the efficacies of anti-GXM MAbs of the four human immunoglobulin G (IgG) subclasses, which have identical variable regions but differ in their capacities to bind the three types of Fc receptors for IgG (FcgammaR), their abilities to activate complement, and their half-lives. IgG2 and IgG4 anti-GXM prolonged the lives of infected BALB/c mice, IgG3 anti-GXM did not affect animal survival, while mice treated with IgG1 anti-GXM died earlier than mice treated with phosphate-buffered saline or irrelevant isotype-matched MAbs. All MAbs decreased serum GXM in infected animals. Effector pathways traditionally believed to be important in defense against microbes, such as opsonophagocytosis and complement binding, negatively correlated with antibody efficacy. It is generally accepted that human IgG1 has the most favorable combination of effector functions for therapeutic use against infections. Therefore, our findings have significant implications for humanization of the mouse IgG1 currently in clinical trials for cryptococcal meningitis and for the design of antibody therapeutics to treat other infectious diseases as well.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/IAI.01161-06DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1828574PMC
March 2007

Tumor necrosis factor antagonists: different kinetics and/or mechanisms of action may explain differences in the risk for developing granulomatous infection.

Semin Arthritis Rheum 2006 Dec 3;36(3):159-67. Epub 2006 Jul 3.

Department of Rheumatology, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Objective: Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) antagonists fall into 2 classes:etanercept (ETA) is a soluble TNF receptor, while infliximab (INF) and adalimumab (ADA) are monoclonal antibodies against TNF. All 3 drugs are effective in treating rheumatoid arthritis. However, these agents have been associated with an increased risk of granulomatous infections, such as tuberculosis and histoplasmosis. Several reports indicate that the incidence of granulomatous infections may potentially be higher in individuals treated with INF than ETA.

Methods: We conducted a comprehensive literature search (1966 to 2004) to review the role of TNF in normal and disease states, and the mechanisms of action of the TNF inhibitors. Specifically, we searched for possible mechanisms for the apparent increase in granulomatous infections associated with TNF inhibitors and for reasons that there may be differences between them.

Results: Infection may result from a number of differences between ETA and INF or ADA. First, binding avidities are different, with ETA binding in a 1:1 ratio and INF/ADA binding in 2 to 3:1 ratios. Second, the clearances of ADA, ETA, and INF are different, being about 13 times higher for ETA than INF or ADA, thus resulting in higher steady-state drug levels for ADA and INF. Also, the methods of administration are different, intravenously (for INF) versus subcutaneously (for ETA and ADA), which results in lower peak concentrations for ETA and ADA, potentially explaining some of the differences in effects on granuloma formation. Third, INF and ADA have somewhat different mechanisms of action from ETA: INF and ADA are associated with antibody-mediated cell lysis, while ETA is not; INF may induce apoptosis in some tissues (eg, gastrointestinal [GI] mucosa) while ETA does not--although this is controversial and may not be true at steady state in synovium, where both drugs seem to cause apoptosis; ETA binds lymphotoxin-alpha while INF does not (ETA may thus be more efficient at preventing granuloma formation by this mechanism than INF); finally, ADA and INF seem to inhibit IFN-gamma expression (probably indirectly), while ETA does not.

Conclusions: There are significant differences between the 2 classes of TNF antagonists in terms of both their kinetics and mechanisms of action. These differences may help explain the apparent differences in the incidence of granuloma-dependent infections among them.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.semarthrit.2006.02.001DOI Listing
December 2006

Production of human monoclonal antibody in eggs of chimeric chickens.

Nat Biotechnol 2005 Sep 28;23(9):1159-69. Epub 2005 Aug 28.

Origen Therapeutics, 1450 Rollins Road, Burlingame, California 94010, USA.

The tubular gland of the chicken oviduct is an attractive system for protein expression as large quantities of proteins are deposited in the egg, the production of eggs is easily scalable and good manufacturing practices for therapeutics from eggs have been established. Here we examined the ability of upstream and downstream DNA sequences of ovalbumin, a protein produced exclusively in very high quantities in chicken egg white, to drive tissue-specific expression of human mAb in chicken eggs. To accommodate these large regulatory regions, we established and transfected lines of chicken embryonic stem (cES) cells and formed chimeras that express mAb from cES cell-derived tubular gland cells. Eggs from high-grade chimeras contained up to 3 mg of mAb that possesses enhanced antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), nonantigenic glycosylation, acceptable half-life, excellent antigen recognition and good rates of internalization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nbt1132DOI Listing
September 2005

Antibodies to keyhole limpet hemocyanin cross-react with an epitope on the polysaccharide capsule of Cryptococcus neoformans and other carbohydrates: implications for vaccine development.

J Immunol 2003 Nov;171(9):4905-12

Department of Cell Biology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461, USA.

Cryptococcus neoformans causes a life-threatening meningoencephalitis in AIDS patients. Mice immunized with a glycoconjugate vaccine composed of the glucuronoxylomannan (GXM) component of the cryptococcal capsular polysaccharide conjugated to tetanus toxoid produce Abs that can be either protective or nonprotective. Because nonprotective Abs block the efficacy of protective Abs, an effective vaccine must focus the Ab response on a protective epitope. Mice immunized with peptide mimetics of GXM conjugated to keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) with glutaraldehyde developed Abs to GXM. However, control peptides P315 and P24 conjugated to KLH also elicited Abs to GXM. GXM-binding Abs from mice immunized with P315-KLH were inhibited by KLH treated with glutaraldehyde (KLH-g), but not by P315. Furthermore, KLH-g inhibited binding of GXM by serum of mice immunized with GXM-TT, indicating that glutaraldehyde treatment of KLH reveals an epitope(s) that cross-reacts with GXM. Vaccination with KLH-g or unmodified KLH elicited Abs to GXM, but did not confer protection against C. neoformans, suggesting the cross-reactive epitope on KLH was not protective. This was supported by the finding that 4H3, a nonprotective mAb, cross-reacted strongly with KLH-g. Sera from mice immunized with either native KLH or KLH-g cross-reacted with several other carbohydrate Ags, many of which have been conjugated to KLH for vaccine development. This study illustrates how mAbs can be used to determine the efficacy of potential vaccines, in addition to describing the complexity of using KLH and glutaraldehyde in the development of vaccines to carbohydrate Ags.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.171.9.4905DOI Listing
November 2003

High affinity mimotope of the polysaccharide capsule of Cryptococcus neoformans identified from an evolutionary phage peptide library.

J Immunol 2002 Dec;169(12):6992-9

Department of Cell Biology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461, USA.

Cryptococcus neoformans causes a life-threatening meningoencephalitis in a significant percentage of AIDS patients. Mice immunized with a glycoconjugate vaccine composed of the glucuronoxylomannan (GXM) component of the cryptococcal capsular polysaccharide conjugated to tetanus toxoid (TT) produce Abs that, based on the epitope recognized, can be either protective or nonprotective. Since nonprotective Abs block the efficacy of protective Abs, we are interested in developing a vaccine that would focus the immune response specifically to protective epitopes. Previously, we screened a phage display library with 2H1, a protective anti-GXM mAb, and isolated PA1, a representative peptide that had a K(d) of 295 nM for 2H1. Mice immunized with PA1 conjugated to keyhole limpet hemocyanin developed high anti-peptide (1/13,000), but low anti-GXM (maximum, 1/200) titers. We now report our efforts to improve this vaccine by screening a sublibrary with six random amino acids added to either end of the PA1 motif to identify higher affinity peptides. P206.1, a peptide isolated from this sublibrary, had 80-fold higher affinity for 2H1 (K(d) = 3.7 nM) than PA1. P206.1 bound protective, but not nonprotective, anti-GXM Abs. Mice immunized with P206.1 conjugated to various carriers did not mount an Ab response to GXM despite developing high anti-peptide titers. However, mice primed with GXM-TT and boosted with P206.1-TT developed significant anti-GXM titers (maximum, 1/180,000). This latter immunization scheme focused the immune response on protective epitopes, since only 2-5% of these titers were directed against nonprotective de-O-acetylated GXM epitopes compared with 20-60% in animals primed and boosted with GXM-TT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.169.12.6992DOI Listing
December 2002

Immunoglobulin G monoclonal antibodies to Cryptococcus neoformans protect mice deficient in complement component C3.

Infect Immun 2002 May;70(5):2598-604

Department of Cell Biology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York 10461, USA.

Passive administration of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) to the capsular polysaccharide of Cryptococcus neoformans can alter the course of infection in mice. In a murine model of cryptococcal infection, immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1), IgG2a, and IgG2b switch variants of the anti-capsular 3E5 MAb prolong the survival of lethally infected mice, whereas the 3E5 IgG3 MAb does not protect and in some cases enhances infection, shortening the life spans of infected mice. We examined the role of complement component C3 in Ab-mediated protection by determining the efficacy of the four mouse IgG subclasses against C. neoformans in mice genetically deficient in factor C3 as well as mice acutely depleted of C3. Similar to other complement-deficient animal models, C3(-/-) mice and mice depleted of C3 by cobra venom factor were more susceptible to C. neoformans infection than control mice, providing further evidence that complement is important in the host defense against the fungus. In the absence of C3, all IgG isotypes prolonged the lives of mice infected with C. neoformans, indicating that protection by IgG does not require the complement pathways. Furthermore, we observed protection with IgG3 in the complement-deficient mice, suggesting that complement is involved in the lack of protection observed with IgG3 in other mouse models.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC127925PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/IAI.70.5.2598-2604.2002DOI Listing
May 2002
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