Author(s): OBrien CN, Guidry AJ, Fattom A, Shepherd S, Douglass LW
Staphylococcus aureus is responsible for a major portion of the economic losses due to mastitis. Attempts to produce a vaccine to prevent S. aureus mastitis have been hampered by the low immunogenicity of the polysaccharide, which forms on the surface of the organism when it enters the mammary gland. The polysaccharide inhibits phagocytosis and destruction of the organism by neutrophils. This study was conducted to determine if S. aureus polysaccharide serotypes 5, 8, and 336 conjugated to a protein and incorporated in poly(DL-lactide-co-glycolide) microspheres would enhance the production of opsonizing antibodies to the polysaccharide. Cows were immunized with either polysaccharide conjugates emulsified in Freund's incomplete adjuvant or polysaccharide conjugates encapsulated in poly (DL-lactide-co-glycolide) microspheres emulsified in Freund's incomplete adjuvant. All cows produced sustained antibody titers to the three polysaccharide serotypes. Cows immunized with microspheres had higher antibody titers. Cows in both groups produced increased concentrations of IgG1 and IgG2 antibodies; neither group produced an increase in IgM. Immune sera from cows immunized with conjugates alone increased phagocytosis, which decreased at the end of the study. Sera from cows immunized with conjugates in microspheres increased phagocytosis, which was sustained at the end of the study. Immune sera from both groups decreased bacterial adherence to bovine mammary epithelial cells. These data showed that a single injection of antigen in microspheres produced higher titers and more sustained enhancement of phagocytosis, which could aid in the defense of the cow against S. aureus infections.