Coccidioides immitis is a fungal pathogen of humans and is classified as a Select Agent. We have identified a new potential vaccine candidate for this pathogen using cDNA expression library immunization (ELI). A C. immitis spherule-phase cDNA library containing 800-1000 genes was divided into 10 pools and each was tested for its protective capacity in BALB/c mice against intraperitoneal challenge with 2500 arthroconidia of this dimorphic fungus. The most protective pool, designated Pool 7, was fractionated into five sublibraries, each containing 60 genes, and of these, only Pool 7-3 induced a significant level of protection in mice. Fractionation of Pool 7-3 into six sublibraries, each with 10 genes, yielded a protective fraction, designated Pool 7-3-5. Subsequent fraction of the latter pool into 10 sublibraries, each with one clone, yielded a clone designated 7-3-5-5 that was highly protective. Clone 7-3-5-5 was sequenced and found to contain a 672bp ORF encoding a 224 amino acid protein having a 19 amino acid signal sequence on the N-terminus and a 15 amino acid C-terminal GPI anchor site. The 7-3-5-5 clone, designated ELI-Antigen 1 (ELI-Ag1), showed partial homology with a hypothetical protein from Neurospora crassa. This is the first study to identify a protective antigen from a fungus using ELI, and it is also the first report in which sequential fractionation of an expression library successfully identified a single protective gene.
- Coccidioides immitis
- Expression library immunization
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases