Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/17/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Intimin is a surface protein of E. coli O157:H7 that is required for this organism to colonize the intestine of gnotobiotic pigs and to provoke attaching and effacing (A/E) lesions in these animals and in tissue culture. We recently used a neonatal calf E. coli O157:H7 oral infection model to show that intimin is also necessary for the bacterium to colonize the bowel and to cause diarrhea and A/E lesions in calves. These findings taken with our previous observation that anti-intimin antisera blocks adhesion of E. coli O157:H7 to HEp-2 cells suggested to us that intimin would be a good antigen to incorporate into a vaccine for cattle to impede transmission of the agent to humans via manure-contaminated hamburger, apples, or water. Therefore, we have begun to characterize intimin as an immunogen by purifying it in mg quantities, showing that it is acid stable and sticks directly to cells, and generating and evaluating anti-intimin antibodies. In parallel, we have expressed intimin in tobacco as a first step in the construction of a fodder plant-based edible vaccine for cattle.