Staphylococcus Aureus Antigenic Polypeptides And Compositions

  *US07585658B2*
  US007585658B2                                 
(12)United States Patent(10)Patent No.: US 7,585,658 B2
 Foster et al. (45) Date of Patent:Sep.  8, 2009

(54)Staphylococcus aureus antigenic polypeptides and compositions 
    
(75)Inventors: Simon Foster,  Hathersage (GB); 
  Philip McDowell,  Mapperley (GB); 
  Kirsty Brummell,  West Bridgford (GB); 
  Simon Clarke,  Sheffield (GB) 
(73)Assignee:Biosynexus Incorporated,  Gaithersburg, MD (US), Type: US Company 
(*)Notice: Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this patent is extended or adjusted under 35 U.S.C. 154(b) by 192 days. 
(21)Appl. No.: 11/256,173 
(22)Filed: Oct.  24, 2005 
(65)Prior Publication Data 
 US 2006/0140979 A1 Jun.  29, 2006 
 Related U.S. Patent Documents 
(62) .
Division of application No. 10/311,879, now abandoned .
 
(30)Foreign Application Priority Data 
 Jun.  20, 2000     (GB)   0014907.0
(51)Int. Cl. C12N 001/20 (20060101); A61K 039/085 (20060101); C12P 021/04 (20060101); C07K 014/00 (20060101)
(52)U.S. Cl. 435/252.3; 435/69.7; 435/320.1; 424/243.1; 424/190.1; 530/350
(58)Field of Search  None

 
(56)References Cited

 
 FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS 
 
       EP       0786519       A2                7/1997      
       WO       WO 99/50418                         10/1999      

 OTHER PUBLICATIONS
  
  Lederman et al (Molecular Immunology 28:1171-1181, 1991). *
  Li et al (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 77:3211-3214, 1980). *
  Cancer Immunity, vol. 2, p. 5 (Jun. 28, 2002). *
  Spencer, et al 1990 Dev. Biol. 139, 279-291. *
  XP-002278160; Kuroda, M., et al., “Whole Genome Sequencing of Meticillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus,” Lancet, 357:1225-1240 (2001).
  XP-002278159; Foster, Simon, “Molecular Characterization and Functional Analysis of the Major Autolysin of Staphylococcus aureus 8325/4,” J. of Bacteriology, 177(19):5723-5725 (1995).
  XP-002278161; Kuroda, M., et al., “Nucleotide Substitutions in Staphylococcus aureus Strains,” DNA Res., 11:51-56 (2004).
  XP-002278162: Kuroda, M., et al., “Whole Genome Sequencing of Meticillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus,” Lancet, 357:1225-1240 (2001).
  Rahman et al., “Gamma Hemolysin genes in the same familuy with LukF and lukS genes in methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus,” Bioscience Biotechnology Biochemistry, 57(7):1234-1236 (1993).
  International Search Report, Sep. 18, 2001.
  Foster, Simon, “Molecular Characterization and Functional Analysis of the Major Autolysin of Staphylococcus aureus 8325/4,” J. of Bacteriology, 177(19):5723-5725 (1995).
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  Infect. Immun., 62(5):1843-7 (1994).
  Rudinger et al., “Peptide Hormones,” Parsons, J.A., University Park Press, 1976, 1976 pg.
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  Database EMBL [Online] Jul. 3, 2000, “Staphylococcus aureus sai-1 gene for 29-kDa cell surface protein, complete cds.” XP002445369 retrieved from EBI accession No. EMBL:AB042826 Database accession No. AB042826.
 
 
     * cited by examiner
 
     Primary Examiner —Robert B Mondesi
     Assistant Examiner —Padma V Baskar
     Art Unit — 1645
     Exemplary claim number — 1
 
(74)Attorney, Agent, or Firm — Casimir Jones S.C.

(57)

Abstract

The invention relates to a method for the identification of antigenic polypeptides expressed by pathogenic microbes; vaccines comprising such polypeptides; recombinant methods to manufacture such polypeptides; and therapeutic antibodies directed to such polypeptides.
6 Claims, Drawing Sheets, and Figures
 
 
[0001] This application is divisional application of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/311,879, filed Mar. 18, 2003, which is now abandoned, which is a national stage application of PCT/GB01/02685, filed Jun. 20, 2001, which claims the benefit of priority of Great Britain Application No. GB 0014907.0, filed Jun. 20, 2000, each of which is herein incorporated by reference in its entirety.
[0002] The invention relates to a method for the identification of antigenic polypeptides expressed by pathogenic microbes; vaccines comprising said polypeptides; recombinant methods to manufacture said polypeptides; and therapeutic antibodies directed to said polypeptides.
[0003] Microbial organisms cause a number of fatal or debilitating diseases which affect many millions of people around the world. Currently methods to control microbial organisms include the use of antimicrobial agents (antibiotics) and disinfectants. These have proved to be problematic since exposure to these agents places a significant selection pressure resulting in the creation of resistant microbes which can avoid the effects of the antimicrobial agent(s). For example, recently it has been discovered that microbial organisms have become resistant to triclosan, an agent added to many disinfectants used in households and industrial environments.
[0004] An arguably greater problem is the evolution of antibiotic resistant strains of a number of significant pathogenic microbes.
[0005] For example, and not by way of limitation, it is estimated that there are up to 50 million people world-wide infected with drug resistant tuberculosis (TB) (Figures from the World Health Organisation, 1998). In the past the use of antibiotics to treat TB relied on the administration of single drugs (eg ethionamide) which promoted a relatively high frequency of resistance. For this reason, combinations of drugs are now used to treat tuberculosis. However the fatality rate in cases caused by strains that are resistant to at least one drug used to treat tuberculosis still approaches 50% even when treatment is given. Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of TB, is a slow growing bacteria and takes a long time to kill. Therefore, for a drug combination to be effective a person with TB must take the drug combination daily for at least six months. Accordingly, patients frequently have to take two or more pills daily and this requires a regimented dosage over a relatively long period of treatment. Many patients take the medications only intermittently and therefore do not finish the full course of therapy to completely eradicate the M. tuberculosis infection. Moreover, TB is strongly associated with HIV infection and therefore the establishment of TB is strongly correlated with immunosuppression.
[0006] Vaccination against TB has been available for many years. The bacillus calmette and guerin (BCG) vaccination has been widely used throughout the world for a long time because it is a safe and inexpensive means to vaccinate large numbers of people who potentially could contract TB. BCG is derived from live, attenuated strains of Mycobacterium bovis. However the impact of vaccination on the infectious forms of TB is minimal and BCG has therefore contributed little to the overall control of the disease.
[0007] A further example of a pathogenic organism which has developed resistance to antibiotics is Staphylococcus aureus. S. aureus is a bacterium whose normal habitat is the epithelial lining of the nose in about 20-40% of normal healthy people and is also commonly found on people's skin usually without causing harm. However, in certain circumstances, particularly when skin is damaged, this germ can cause infection. This is a particular problem in hospitals where patients may have surgical procedures and/or be taking immunosuppressive drugs. These patients are much more vulnerable to infection with S. aureus because of the treatment they have received. Resistant strains of S. aureus have arisen in recent years. Methicillin resistant strains are prevalent and many of these resistant strains are also resistant to several other antibiotics. Currently there is no effective vaccination procedure for S. aureus. In the US, S. aureus infections are the cause of 13% of the two million hospitalised infections each year. This represents 260,000 people with an infection of S. aureus, of which 60-80,000 die.
[0008] S. aureus is therefore a major human pathogen capable of causing a wide range of life threatening diseases including septicaemia, endocarditis, arthritis and toxic shock. This ability is determined by the versatility of the organism and its arsenal of components involved in virulence. Pathogenicity is multifactorial and no one component has shown to be responsible for a particular infection, see Projan, S. J. & Novick, R. P. (1997) in The Staphylococci in Human Disease (Crossley, K. B. & Archer, G. L., eds.) pp.55-81.
[0009] At the onset of infection, and as it progresses, the needs and environment of the organism changes and this is mirrored by a corresponding alteration in the virulence determinants which S. aureus produces. At the beginning of infection it is important for the pathogen to adhere to host tissues and so a large repertoire of cell surface associated attachment proteins are made. These include collagen-, fibrinogen- and fibronectin-binding proteins. The pathogen also has the ability to evade host defences by the production of factors that reduce phagocytosis or interfere with the ability of the cells to be recognised by circulating antibodies.
[0010] Often a focus of infection develops as an abscess and the number of organisms increases. S. aureus has the ability to monitor its own cell density by the production of a quorum sensing peptide. Accumulation of the peptide, associated with physiological changes brought about by the beginning of starvation of the cells, elicits a switch in virulence determinant production from adhesins to components involved in invasion and tissue penetration. These include a wide range of hemolysins, proteases and other degradative enzymes.
[0011] During the process of any infection the virulence determinants made by S. aureus are produced in response to environmental and physiological stimuli. These stimuli will be dependent on the niche within the body and will change as the infection progresses. Little is known of the conditions in vivo and it is likely that some components are produced solely in this environment. These are therefore potential vaccine components, which could not be discovered by previous techniques.
[0012] One of the most important developments in recent medical history is the development of vaccines which provide prophylactic protection from a wide variety of pathogenic organisms. Many vaccines are produced by inactivated or attenuated pathogens which are injected into an individual. The immunised individual responds by producing both a humoral (antibody) and cellular (cytolytic T cells, CTL's) response. For example, hepatitis vaccines are made by heat inactivating the virus and treating it with a cross linking agent such as formaldehyde. An example of an attenuated pathogen useful as a vaccine is represented by polio vaccines which are produced by attenuating a live pathogen.
[0013] However the use of attenuated organisms in vaccines for certain diseases is problematic due to the lack of knowledge regarding the pathology of the condition and the nature of the attenuation. For certain viral agents this is a particular problem since viruses, in particular retroviruses, have an error prone replication cycle which results viable mutations in the genes which comprise the virus. This can result in alterations to antigenic determinants which have previously been used as vaccines. An alternative to the use of inactivated or attenuated pathogens is the identification of pathogen epitopes to which the immune system is particularly sensitive. In this regard many pathogenic toxins produced by pathogenic organisms during an infection are particularly useful in the development of vaccines which protect the individual from a particular pathogenic organism.
[0014] The development of so-called subunit vaccines (vaccines in which the immunogen is a fragment or subunit of a protein or complex expressed by a particular pathogenic organism) has been the focus of considerable medical research. The need to identify candidate molecules useful in the development of subunit vaccines is apparent not least because conventional chemotherapeutic approaches to the control of pathogenic organisms has more recently been stymied by the development of antibiotic resistance. A number of methods have been developed to identify potential antigenic polypeptides which can be used as a vaccine. One such method is disclosed herein.
[0015] It has been known for many years that tumour cells produce a number of tumour cell specific antigens, some of which are presented at the tumour cell surface. The immune system recognises these antigens as foreign thereby resulting in the production of antibodies to self antigens, so called autoantibodies or autologous antisera.
[0016] One such technique is Serological identification of antigens by recombinant Expression Cloning, abbreviated to SEREX.
[0017] Typically, the technique involves the extraction of RNA from tumour tissue followed by the selective enrichment of mRNA from the isolated total RNA. The mRNA is reverse transcribed into cDNA using viral reverse transcriptase. The cDNA thus synthesised is subcloned into an expression vector and transformed into an appropriate bacterial strain. The transformed bacteria are plated onto a suitable nutrient agar and under appropriate growth conditions the subcloned cDNA is expressed from the expression vector in the bacterial cell. The cells are lysed naturally by the use of phage based expression vectors, for example λ phage or phagemid based vectors, which through their lytic cycle cause cell lysis. The released polypeptides are transferred to a suitable membrane support (i.e. nitrocellulose, nylon) and exposed to autologous antisera from the patient from which the tumour tissue was originally isolated. The immunoscreening methodology allows the identification of genes that are over expressed or inappropriately expressed in a selected tumour tissue from a patient.
[0018] We have exploited this technique to identify antigenic polypeptides expressed by pathogenic organisms during an infection. Autologous antisera produced during the infection is used to screen an expression library created from genomic DNA to identify and clone antigens.
[0019] In its broadest aspect the invention relates to the identification of antigenic polypeptides expressed during an infection by a pathogenic microbe.
[0020] According to a first aspect of the invention there is provided a method to identify antigenic polypeptides comprising:
[0021] (i) providing a nucleic acid library encoding genes or partial gene sequences of a pathogenic organism;
[0022] (ii) transforming/transfecting said library into a host cell;
[0023] (iii) providing conditions conducive to the expression of said transformed/transfected genes or partial gene sequences;
[0024] (iv) contacting the polypeptides expressed by the genes/partial gene sequences with autologous antisera derived from an animal infected with, or has been infected with, said pathogenic organism; and
[0025] (v) purifying the nucleic acid encoding the polypeptide or partial polypeptide binding to said autologous antisera.
[0026] In a preferred method of the invention said library comprises genomic DNA of a pathogenic organism.
[0027] Ideally said pathogenic organism is bacterial.
[0028] More preferably still said bacterial organism is selected from the following: Staphylococcus aureus; Staphylococcus epidermidis; Enterococcus faecalis; Mycobacterium tuberculsis; Streptococcus group B; Streptoccocus pneumoniae; Helicobacter pylori; Neisseria gonorrhea; Streptococcus group A; Borrelia burgdorferi; Coccidiodes immitis; Histoplasma sapsulatum; Neisseria meningitidis type B; Shigella flexneri; Escherichia coli; Haemophilus influenzae.
[0029] Preferably still said pathogenic organism is of the genus Staphylococcus spp. Ideally organism is Staphylococcus aureus or Staphylococcus epidermidis.
[0030] In a further preferred embodiment of the invention said nucleic acid library is a lambda library, ideally a lambda expression library.
[0031] According to a second aspect of the invention there is provided a nucleic acid molecule comprising a DNA sequence selected from:
[0032] (i) the DNA sequence as represented in SEQ ID NO's 1-13;
[0033] (ii) DNA sequences which hybridise to the sequence presented in the SEQ ID No's 1-13 identified in (i) above which encode a polypeptide expressed by a pathogenic organism and
[0034] (iii) DNA sequences which are degenerate as a result of the genetic code to the DNA sequences defined in (i) and (ii).
[0035] In a yet still further preferred embodiment of the invention said nucleic acid molecule is genomic DNA.
[0036] In a preferred embodiment of the invention there is provided an isolated nucleic acid molecule which anneals under stringent hybridisation conditions to the sequences presented in SEQ ID NO's 1-13.
[0037] Stringent hybridisation/washing conditions are well known in the art. For example, nucleic acid hybrids that are stable after washing in 0.1×SSC, 0.1% SDS at 60° C. It is well known in the art that optimal hybridisation conditions can be calculated if the sequences of the nucleic acid is known. For example, hybridisation conditions can be determined by the GC content of the nucleic acid subject to hybridisation. Please see Sambrook et al (1989) Molecular Cloning; A Laboratory Approach. A common formula for calculating the stringency conditions required to achieve hybridisation between nucleic acid molecules of a specified homology is:
          Tm=81.50C+16.6 Log[Na+]+0.41[% G+C]−0.63(% formamide).
[0038] According to a third aspect of the invention there is provided at least one polypeptide identified by the method according to the invention.
[0039] In a preferred embodiment of the invention, said polypeptide is associated with infective pathogenicity of an organism according to any previous aspect or embodiment of the invention.
[0040] More preferably still said polypeptide is at least one, or part of SEQ ID NOs: 14-32.
[0041] According to a fourth aspect of the invention there is provided a nucleic acid molecule characterised in that said nucleic acid molecule is part of a vector adapted to facilitate recombinant expression of the polypeptide encoded by said nucleic acid molecule.
[0042] In a preferred embodiment of the invention said vector is an expression vector adapted for prokaryotic gene expression. Alternatively said expression vector is adapted for eukaryotic gene expression.
[0043] Typically said adaptation includes, by example and not by way of limitation, the provision of transcription control sequences (promoter sequences) which mediate cell specific expression. These promoter sequences may be cell specific, inducible or constitutive.
[0044] Promoter is an art recognised term and, for the sake of clarity, includes the following features which are provided by example only, and not by way of limitation. Enhancer elements are cis acting nucleic acid sequences often found 5′ to the transcription initiation site of a gene (enhancers can also be found 3′ to a gene sequence or even located in intronic sequences and is therefore position independent). Enhancers function to increase the rate of transcription of the gene to which the enhancer is linked. Enhancer activity is responsive to trans acting transcription factors (polypeptides) which have been shown to bind specifically to enhancer elements. The binding/activity of transcription factors (please see Eukaryotic Transcription Factors, by David S Latchman, Academic Press Ltd, San Diego) is responsive to a number of environmental cues which include, by example and not by way of limitation, intermediary metabolites (eg glucose, lipids), environmental effectors (eg light, heat,).
[0045] Promoter elements also include so called TATA box and RNA polymerase initiation selection (RIS) sequences which function to select a site of transcription initiation. These sequences also bind polypeptides which function, inter alia, to facilitate transcription initiation selection by RNA polymerase.
[0046] Adaptations also include the provision of selectable markers and autonomous replication sequences which both facilitate the maintenance of said vector in either the eukaryotic cell or prokaryotic host. Vectors which are maintained autonomously are referred to as episomal vectors.
[0047] Adaptations which facilitate the expression of vector encoded genes include the provision of transcription termination/polyadenylation sequences. This also includes the provision of internal ribosome entry sites (IRES) which function to maximise expression of vector encoded genes arranged in bicistronic or multi-cistronic expression cassettes.
[0048] These adaptations are well known in the art. There is a significant amount of published literature with respect to expression vector construction and recombinant DNA techniques in general. Please see, Sambrook et al (1989) Molecular Cloning: A Laboratory Manual, Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbour, N.Y. and references therein; Marston, F (1987) DNA Cloning Techniques: A Practical Approach Vol III IRL Press, Oxford UK; DNA Cloning: F M Ausubel et al, Current Protocols in Molecular Biology, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.(1994).
[0049] According to yet a further aspect of the invention there is provided a method for the production of the polypeptides according to any previous aspect or embodiment of the invention comprising:
[0050] (i) providing a cell transformed/transfected with a vector according to the invention;
[0051] (ii) growing said cell in conditions conducive to the manufacture of said polypeptides; and
[0052] (iii) purifying said polypeptide from said cell, or its growth environment.
[0053] In a preferred method of the invention said vector encodes, and thus said recombinant polypeptide is provided with, a secretion signal to facilitate purification of said polypeptide.
[0054] According to a fifth aspect of the invention there is provided a cell or cell-line transformed or transfected with the vector according to the invention.
[0055] In a preferred embodiment of the invention said cell is a prokaryotic cell. Alternatively said cell is a eukaryotic cell selected from: fungal, insect, amphibian; mammalian; plant.
[0056] According to a yet further aspect of the invention there is provided a vaccine comprising at least one polypeptide according to the invention.
[0057] Ideally said vaccine further comprises a carrier and/or adjuvant.
[0058] The terms adjuvant and carrier are construed in the following manner. Some polypeptide or peptide antigens contain B-cell epitopes but no T cell epitopes. Immune responses can be greatly enhanced by the inclusion of a T cell epitope in the polypeptide/peptide or by the conjugation of the polypeptide/peptide to an immunogenic carrier protein such as key hole limpet haemocyanin or tetanus toxoid which contain multiple T cell epitopes. The conjugate is taken up by antigen presenting cells, processed and presented by human leukocyte antigens (HLA's) class II molecules. This allows T cell help to be given by T cell's specific for carrier derived epitopes to the B cell which is specific for the original antigenic polypeptide/peptide. This can lead to increase in antibody production, secretion and isotype switching.
[0059] An adjuvant is a substance or procedure which augments specific immune responses to antigens by modulating the activity of immune cells. Examples of adjuvants include, by example only, agonsitic antibodies to co-stimulatory molecules, Freunds adjuvant, muramyl dipeptides, liposomes. An adjuvant is therefore an immunomodulator. A carrier is an immunogenic molecule which, when bound to a second molecule augments immune responses to the latter.
[0060] In yet a further aspect of the invention there is provided a method to immunise an animal against a pathogenic microbe comprising administering to said animal at least one polypeptide, or part thereof, according to the invention or the vaccine according to the invention.
[0061] In a preferred method of the invention said animal is human.
[0062] Preferably the vaccine, or antigenic polypeptide, can be delivered by direct injection either intravenously, intramuscularly, subcutaneously. Further still, the vaccine or antigenic polypeptide, may be taken orally.
[0063] Preferably the vaccine is against the bacterial species Staphylococcus aureus.
[0064] The vaccine may also be against the bacterial species Staphylococcus epidermidis.
[0065] It will also be apparent that vaccines or antigenic polypeptides are effective at preventing or alleviating conditions in animals other than humans, for example and not by way of limitation, family pets, livestock, horses.
[0066] According to a further aspect of the invention there is provided an antibody, or at least an effective binding part thereof, which binds at least one polypeptide according to the invention.
[0067] In a preferred embodiment of the invention said antibody is a polyclonal or monoclonal antibody wherein said antibody is specific to said polypeptide.
[0068] Alternatively, said antibody is a chimeric antibody produced by recombinant methods to contain the variable region of said antibody with an invariant or constant region of a human antibody.
[0069] In a further alternative embodiment of the invention, said antibody is humanised by recombinant methods to combine the complimentarity determining regions of said antibody with both the constant (C) regions and the framework regions from the variable (V) regions of a human antibody.
[0070] Preferably said antibody is provided with a marker including a conventional label or tag, for example a radioactive and/or fluorescent and/or epitope label or tag.
[0071] Preferably said humanised monoclonal antibody to said polypeptide is produced as a fusion polypeptide in an expression vector suitably adapted for transfection or transformation of prokaryotic or eukaryotic cells.
[0072] Antibodies, also known as immunoglobulins, are protein molecules which have specificity for foreign molecules (antigens). Immunoglobulins (Ig) are a class of structurally related proteins consisting of two pairs of polypeptide chains, one pair of light (L) (low molecular weight) chain (κ or λ), and one pair of heavy (H) chains (γ, α, μ, δ and ε), all four linked together by disulphide bonds. Both H and L chains have regions that contribute to the binding of antigen and that are highly variable from one Ig molecule to another. In addition, H and L chains contain regions that are non-variable or constant.
[0073] The L chains consist of two domains. The carboxy-terminal domain is essentially identical among L chains of a given type and is referred to as the “constant” (C) region. The amino terminal domain varies from L chain to L chain and contributes to the binding site of the antibody. Because of its variability, it is referred to as the “variable” (V) region.
[0074] The H chains of Ig molecules are of several classes, α, μ, σ, α, and γ (of which there are several sub-classes). An assembled Ig molecule consisting of one or more units of two identical H and L chains, derives its name from the H chain that it possesses. Thus, there are five Ig isotypes: IgA, IgM, IgD, IgE and IgG (with four sub-classes based on the differences in the H chains, i.e., IgG1, IgG2, IgG3 and IgG4). Further detail regarding antibody structure and their various functions can be found in, Using Antibodies: A laboratory manual, Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory Press.
[0075] Chimeric antibodies are recombinant antibodies in which all of the V-regions of a mouse or rat antibody are combined with human antibody C-regions. Humanised antibodies are recombinant hybrid antibodies which fuse the complimentarily determining regions from a rodent antibody V-region with the framework regions from the human antibody V-regions. The C-regions from the human antibody are also used. The complimentarity determining regions (CDRs) are the regions within the N-terminal domain of both the heavy and light chain of the antibody to where the majority of the variation of the V-region is restricted. These regions form loops at the surface of the antibody molecule. These loops provide the binding surface between the antibody and antigen.
[0076] Antibodies from non-human animals provoke an immune response to the foreign antibody and its removal from the circulation. Both chimeric and humanised antibodies have reduced antigenicity when injected to a human subject because there is a reduced amount of rodent (i.e. foreign) antibody within the recombinant hybrid antibody, while the human antibody regions do not illicit an immune response. This results in a weaker immune response and a decrease in the clearance of the antibody. This is clearly desirable when using therapeutic antibodies in the treatment of human diseases. Humanised antibodies are designed to have less “foreign” antibody regions and are therefore thought to be less immunogenic than chimeric antibodies.
[0077] In another aspect of the invention there is provided a vector which is adapted for the expression of the humanised or chimeric antibodies according to the invention.
[0078] In a yet further aspect of the invention, there is provided a cell or cell line which has been transformed or transfected with the vector encoding the humanised or chimeric antibody according to the invention.
[0079] In a yet further aspect of the invention there is provided a method for the production of the humanised or chimeric antibody according to the invention comprising:
[0080] (i) providing a cell transformed or transfected with a vector which comprises a nucleic acid molecule encoding the humanised or chimeric antibody according to the invention;
[0081] (ii) growing said cell in conditions conducive to the manufacture of said antibody; and
[0082] (iii) purifying said antibody from said cell, or its growth environment.
[0083] In a yet further aspect of the invention there is provided a hybridoma cell line which produces a monoclonal antibody as hereinbefore described.
[0084] In a further aspect of the invention there is provided a method of producing monoclonal antibodies according to the invention using hybridoma cell lines according to the invention.
[0085] In a further aspect of the invention there is provided a method for preparing a hybridoma cell-line producing monoclonal antibodies according to the invention comprising the steps of:
[0086] i) immunising an immunocompetent mammal with an immunogen comprising at least one polypeptide having the amino acid sequence as represented in SEQ. ID No 14-32, or fragments thereof;
[0087] ii) fusing lymphocytes of the immunised immunocompetent mammal with myeloma cells to form hybridoma cells;
[0088] iii) screening monoclonal antibodies produced by the hybridoma cells of step (ii) for binding activity to the amino acid sequences of (i);
[0089] iv) culturing the hybridoma cells to proliferate and/or to secrete said monoclonal antibody; and
[0090] v) recovering the monoclonal antibody from the culture supernatant.
[0091] Preferably, the said immunocompetent mammal is a mouse. Alternatively, said immunocompetent mammal is a rat.
[0092] The production of monoclonal antibodies using hybridoma cells is well-known in the art. The methods used to produce monoclonal antibodies are disclosed by Kohler and Milstein in Nature 256, 495-497 (1975) and also by Donillard and Hoffman, “Basic Facts about Hybridomas” in Compendium of Immunology V.II ed. by Schwartz, 1981, which are incorporated by reference.
[0093] In a further aspect of the invention there is provided the use of the antibodies for manufacture of a medicament for the treatment of Staphylococcus aureus-associated septicaemia, food-poisoning or skin disorders.
[0094] In another aspect of the invention there is provided the use of the antibodies according to the invention for the manufacture of a medicament for the treatment of Staphylococcus epidermidis-associated septicaemia, peritonitis or endocarditis.
[0095] It will be apparent that the polypeptides identified by the method according to the invention will facilitate the production of therapeutic antibodies to a range of diseases resulting from pathogenic infection, for example, septicaemia; tuberculosis; bacteria-associated food poisoning; blood infections; peritonitis; endocarditis; sepsis; meningitis; pneumonia; stomach ulcers; gonorrhoea; strep throat; streptococcal-associated toxic shock; necrotizing fasciitis; impetigo; histoplasmosis; Lyme disease; gastro-enteritis; dysentery; shigellosis.
[0096] As has already been stated earlier, microbial organisms cause a wide variety of diseases. Listed below, and not by way of limitation, are a number of micro-organisms and some of the diseases they cause.
[0097] 
[00001] [TABLE-US-00001]
 
  Micro-organism   Disease(s) caused
 
Staphylococcus aureus   Sepsis, food poisoning, septicaemia,
Staphylococcus epidermidis   Peritonitis, septicaemia, endocarditis,
    other hospital-associated diseases
Enterococcus faecalis   Endocarditis, cystitis, wound infections
Mycobacterium tuberculosis   Tuberculosis
Streptococcus group B   Sepsis, meningitis, pneumonia, bladder
    infections
Streptococcus pneumoniae   Pneumonia, meningitis
Helicobacter pylori   Stomach ulcers
Neisseria gonorrhoea   Gonorrhoea
Streptococcus group A   Strep throat, necrotizing fasciitis,
    impetigo, Strep. Toxic shock syndrome
Borrelia burgdoferi   Lyme disease
Coccidiodes immitis   Pneumonia
Histoplasma sapsulatum   Histoplasmosis, pneumonia
Neisseria meningitidis type B   Meningitis
Shigella flexneri   Gastro-enteritis, shigellosis, dysentry
Escherichia coli   Food-poisoning, gastro-enteritis
Haemophilus influenzae   Meningitis, pneumonia, arthritis,
    cellulitis
 
[0098] An embodiment of the invention will now be described by example only and with reference to the following materials, methods and SEQ ID NO's 1-19 and Table 1.

Materials and Methods

[0099] A λZAP Express library of genomic DNA of S. aureus 8325/4 was used. It contains fragments of 2-10 kb from a partial Sau3A digest of total genomic DNA. This was cloned into the BamH1 site of the vector. The library contains >10× coverage of the genome. The library was probed by plaque lift using an initial screen of approximately 20,000 plaque forming units on a 9 cm diameter Petri dish. The plating cells used, their treatment, the plating procedure and buffers were exactly as described in the manufacturers handbook (Stratagene). Plating cells, Escherichia coli XL1-Blue MRF′, were infected with phage and plated in 3 ml top LB agar containing 10 mM MgSO4 onto LB plates containing 10 mM MgSO4. The plates were then incubated at 42° C. for 4 hr. An 8.5 cm diameter nitrocellulose filter disc (previously soaked in 10 mM IPTG and air-dried) was placed on each plate and its location marked. The plates were then incubated for a further 3.5 hr at 37° C. The filters were removed and washed in TBST buffer before blocking overnight at 4° C. in TBST containing 6% w/v dried skimmed milk and 3% v/v pig serum (Sigma). The serum was used to block any Protein A clones on the filter. The filters are then treated with patient serum (1/5000 dilution) in blocking solution for 90 min at room temperature. Antisera have been obtained from patients convalescing from major S. aureus infections. The filters are then washed for 3×10 min in TBST. Secondary antibody used was goat anti-human whole IgG alkaline phosphatase linked (Sigma) at 1/30,000 dilution in blocking solution at room temperature for 30 min. The filters were then washed as above and developed using a standard colorimetric procedure.
[0100] Cross-reactive plaques were located on the agar plates and cored into 0.2 ml phage buffer with 0.02 ml chloroform. The titre of each core stock was determined and the phage plated at approximately 200 plaques per plate. A plaque lift and screen was performed as above to give single, pure cross-reactive clones.
[0101] The pure clones were then spotted (1 μl) onto plates to give a confluent plaque of 0.5 cm diameter. 30 individual clones can be spotted on each plate. A plaque lift is performed and the filter probed with an appropriate sera. In this way clones can be tested for their cross-reactivity with other patient sera, non-infected donor sera and anti-Protein A sera.
[0102] Individual clones were then excised to give a phagemid in E. coli XLOLR using the manufacturers protocol (Stratagene). A plasmid miniprep of each was carried out and the size of the genomic insert determined by restriction mapping. The identity of the cloned insert was determined by DNA sequencing using primers against vector sequence, which allows sequencing across the insert. By comparison of the derived sequence against the public domain databases the nature of the cloned gene(s) can be determined.

Hybridisation Solutions/Conditions

[0103] Typically, hybridisation conditions uses 4-6×SSPE (20×SSPE contains 175.3 g NaCl, 88.2 g NaH2PO4H2O and 7.4 g EDTA dissolved to 1 liter and the pH adjusted to 7.4); 5-10× Denhardts solution (50× Denhardts solution contains 5 g Ficoll (type 400, Pharmacia), 5 g polyvinylpyrrolidone abd 5 g bovine serum albumen; 100 μg-1.0 mg/ml sonicated salmon/herring DNA; 0.1-1.0% sodium dodecyl sulphate; optionally 40-60% deionised formamide. Hybridisation temperature will vary depending on the GC content of the nucleic acid target sequence but will typically be between 42°-65° C.
[0104] Staphylococcus aureus clones identified in human sera screen
[0105] 
[00002] [TABLE-US-00002]
  TABLE 1
 
  Patient       Locus
  Sera   Clone   Encoded proteins   number
 
 
  A   1   γ hemolysin B and C subunit   1
  A   3   Atl   2
  A   4   γ hemolysin B and C subunit   1
  A   5   γ hemolysin B and C subunit   1
  A   7   Novel putative protease (ORF1 novel   7
      antigen like)
  A   8   Novel nuclease (YisK)   5
  A   9   Novel autolysin   6
  A   10   γ hemolysin B and C subunit   1
  A   11   Atl   2
  A   14   γ hemolysin B and C subunit   1
  A   15   γ hemolysin B and C subunit   1
  A   S1    Novel putative protease (ORF1 novel   7
      antigen like)
  A   S5    Novel surface protein   12
  A   S17   γ hemolysin B and C subunit   1
  A   S18   Novel putative protease (ORF1 novel   7
      antigen like)
  A   S19   Novel autolysin   6
  A   S20   Novel surface protein/toxin   13
  A   S21   γ hemolysin B and C subunit   1
  A   S25   γ hemolysin B and C subunit   1
  A   S29   Fibrinogen binding protein)   3
  A   S44   Novel surface protein   12
  A   S45   Atl   2
  A   S55   Atl   2
  A   S64   Atl   2
  A   S66   Atl   2
  B   2   Novel exotoxin (exotoxin 2 like)   8
  C   1   Coagulase   4
  C   2   Coagulase   4
  C   3   Coagulase   4
  C   4   Coagulase   4
  C   5   Coagulase   4
  C   6   Coagulase   4
  C   7   Coagulase   4
  C   8   Coagulase   4
  C   9   Coagulase   4
  C   10   Coagulase   4
  C   11   Coagulase   4
  C   13   Coagulase   4
  C   14   Coagulase   4
  C   15   Coagulase   4
  C   19   Coagulase   4
  C   20   Coagulase   4
  C   25   Coagulase   4
  E   6   Novel surface proteins   9/10
  E   7   Novel surface proteins   9/10
  E   11   γ hemolysin B and C subunit   1
  F   1   Novel exotoxin (exotoxin 2 like)   8
  F   2   Novel exotoxin (exotoxin 2 like)   8
  F   3   Novel exotoxin (exotoxin 2 like)   8
  F   4   Novel exotoxin (exotoxin 2 like)   8
  F   5   Novel hemolysin (YjfD)   11
 
(57)

Claims

1. A composition for stimulating an immune response comprising a carrier or adjuvant and at least one isolated polypeptide comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO: 14.
2. The composition of claim 1, further comprising an isolated polypeptide comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO: 28.
3. The composition of claim 2, wherein said polypeptide comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO. 28 is a recombinant polypeptide.
4. The composition of claim 3, wherein said recombinant polypeptide is encoded by an isolated nucleic acid molecule characterized in that said nucleic acid molecule is part of an isolated vector adapted to facilitate recombinant expression of said polypeptide encoded by said nucleic acid molecule.
5. The composition of claim 4, wherein said vector is an expression vector adapted for prokaryotic gene expression.
6. The composition of claim 4, wherein said vector is an expression vector adapted for eukaryotic gene expression.
*****

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