Active Immunization with Extracellular Vesicles Derived from Staphylococcus aureus Effectively Protects against Staphylococcal Lung Infections, Mainly via Th1 Cell-Mediated Immunity.

Research paper by Seng Jin SJ Choi, Min-Hye MH Kim, Jinseong J Jeon, Oh Youn OY Kim, Youngwoo Y Choi, Jihye J Seo, Sung-Wook SW Hong, Won-Hee WH Lee, Seong Gyu SG Jeon, Yong Song YS Gho, Young-Koo YK Jee, Yoon-Keun YK Kim

Indexed on: 04 Sep '15Published on: 04 Sep '15Published in: PloS one


Staphylococcus aureus is an important pathogenic bacterium that causes various infectious diseases. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) released from S. aureus contain bacterial proteins, nucleic acids, and lipids. These EVs can induce immune responses leading to similar symptoms as during staphylococcal infection condition and have the potential as vaccination agent. Here, we show that active immunization (vaccination) with S. aureus-derived EVs induce adaptive immunity of antibody and T cell responses. In addition, these EVs have the vaccine adjuvant ability to induce protective immunity such as the up-regulation of co-stimulatory molecules and the expression of T cell polarizing cytokines in antigen-presenting cells. Moreover, vaccination with S. aureus EVs conferred protection against lethality induced by airway challenge with lethal dose of S. aureus and also pneumonia induced by the administration of sub-lethal dose of S. aureus. These protective effects were also found in mice that were adoptively transferred with splenic T cells isolated from S. aureus EV-immunized mice, but not in serum transferred mice. Furthermore, this protective effect of S. aureus EVs was significantly reduced by the absence of interferon-gamma, but not by the absence of interleukin-17. Together, the study herein suggests that S. aureus EVs are a novel vaccine candidate against S. aureus infections, mainly via Th1 cellular response.