We have constructed a chimeric protein composed of the receptor binding and membrane translocation domains of Pseudomonas exotoxin A (PE) with the outer membrane proteins I and F, together designated as PELF. The potential of PEIF as a vaccine against Pseudomonas infection was evaluated in BALB/c mice and New Zealand white rabbits. We examined titers of anti-PE and anti- OprF antibodies, and the ability both to neutralize PE cytotoxicity and to increase opsonophagocytic uptake of Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain PAO1, serogroups 2 and 6. The results showed that PEIF can induce antibodies not only to neutralize the PE cytotoxicity but also to promote the uptake of various strains of P. aeruginosa by murine peritoneal macrophages. In a burned mouse model, PEIF afforded significant protection against infection by the homologous P. aeruginosa strain PAO1, heterologous serogroup 2, and the PE hyperproducing strain PA103. These observations thus indicate that PEIF may be used as a novel vaccine against P. aeruginosa infection.
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