Compared colonizing and immunizing efficiency of toxinogenic (A+ B+) Vibrio cholerae and an A- B+ mutant (Texas Star-SR) studied in adult rabbits

E. Tokunaga, W. C. Cray, N. F. Pierce

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Four strains of Vibrio cholerae O1 were compared for their ability to colonize and immunize adult rabbit intestine. Three were virulent, toxinogenic (A+ B+) isolates, and one, an A- B+ mutant (Texas Star-SR), was derived by mutagenesis with nitrosoguanidine. When given orally to nonimmune rabbits, virulent strains colonized the small bowel with similar efficiency, whereas Texas Star-SR colonized poorly. Rabbits fed <50 CFU of an A+ B+ strain developed marked serotype-specific resistance to recolonization. In contrast, Texas Star-SR evoked resistance to reinfection less efficiently, with a minimum immunizing dose of 105 CFU when given once or 103 CFU when given twice. Oral inoculation with an A+ B+ strain also evoked vigorous, dose-dependent mucosal antitoxin responses; comparable inocula of Texas Star-SR were much less effective, causing antitoxin responses that were 90 to 95% smaller. Finally, rabbits inoculated once with 104 CFU of an A+ B+ strain were markedly protected against experimental cholera or fecal shedding of V. cholerae when challenged with 10,000 times the 50% effective dose of a virulent strain by the RITARD technique. In contrast, an inoculum of 104 CFU of Texas Star-SR was nonprotective, and 1010 CFU was only partially protective. These studies reveal the remarkable efficiency with which virulent V. cholerae evokes intestinal immunity to recolonization or experimental cholera and show that the A- B+ mutant, Texas Star-SR, is substantially less effective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)364-369
Number of pages6
JournalInfection and immunity
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases

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