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Cytolethal distending toxin as virulence factor, protective antigen, and target for vaccine development

Authors Lagergård T, Keith J

Received 30 July 2012

Accepted for publication 23 September 2012

Published 6 December 2012 Volume 2012:2 Pages 51—60

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/VDT.S32401

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 5


Teresa Lagergård,1 Jerry Keith2

1Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Göteborg, Sweden; 2Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA

Abstract: This review explores the cytolethal distending toxin (CDT) as a virulence factor, protective antigen, and a vaccine candidate in diseases caused by the following bacterial pathogens: Haemophilus ducreyi (HdCDT), Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, Campylobacter jejuni, and Helicobacter hepaticus. The review highlights some of the important evidence indicating that CDT is not only a commonly invoked virulence factor involved in pathogenesis of infection caused by these bacteria, but is also a protective antigen, such that specific antibodies will neutralize cell damage caused by the toxin. This justifies the development of toxoids as vaccine candidates. The first immunogenic toxoid was produced by formaldehyde treatment of HdCDT and has been used to study the involvement of antibodies in protection against infection and its use as a future vaccine component. The development of such toxoid vaccines may facilitate the studies of protection and immunoprophylaxis in diseases caused by CDT-producing bacteria.

Keywords: cytolethal distending toxin, virulence factor, protective antigen, Haemophilus ducreyi, Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, Campylobacter jejuni, toxoid vaccine

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