Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

A vaccine for the notorious Staphylococcus aureus

With its severity of infection and tendency towards antimicrobial resistance, Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) poses a serious threat to human health. A vaccine would eliminate many of the limitations of antibiotics currently available.
A vaccine for the notorious Staphylococcus aureus
The EU-funded SV-STAPH-VAX (Structural vaccinology to drive the design and optimization of protein antigens for a multicomponent vaccine against Staphylococcus aureus) project has developed recombinant antigens based on selected members of the conserved staphylococcal antigen (CSA) and the leukocidin family of leukotoxin (luk) proteins.

Project researchers tested the most promising candidates against wild type proteins for protection against infection in mouse immunisation and challenge models. Other criteria put to the test revealed better cross-reactivity and toxin neutralisation profiles of the immune sera for improved safety.

Using X-ray crystallography and 3D electron microscopy, scientists determined the structure of several mutants of the antigen constructs. This confirmed that these changes did not alter the structures in inappropriate ways. Of these, four constructs provided significant protection against S. aureus in mice.

Still being finalised are cross-reactivity and toxin neutralisation analyses to determine the extent of these properties in sera from immunised mice. However, preliminary tests have shown an enhanced cross-reactivity profile as compared with mice immunised with the corresponding wild type protein.

SV-STAPH-VAX research results show that structure-based design can be used to generate stabilised CSA proteins and leukotoxins for use as staphylococcal vaccine antigens. Ongoing work will reveal whether the modified antigens have potential as broadly-protective immunogens for vaccine formulations against S. aureus.

Related information


Vaccine, Staphylococcus aureus, antimicrobial resistance, recombinant antigens, conserved staphylococcal antigen, leukocidin
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