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  Pharmaceutical Patents  

 

Title:  Haemophilus influenzae type IV pili
United States Patent: 
7,501,131
Issued: 
March 10, 2009

Inventors:
 Bakaletz; Lauren O. (Hilliard, OH), Munson, Jr.; Robert S. (Hilliard, OH)
Assignee: 
Nationwide Children's Hospital, Inc. (Columbus, OH)
Appl. No.: 
11/019,005
Filed:
 December 21, 2004


 

Web Seminars -- Pharm/Biotech/etc.


Abstract

The invention described herein relates to a Haemophilus influenzae (H. influenzae) regulon encoding type IV pili. In particular, the invention relates to type IV pili from nontypeable H. influenzae (NTHi) and from H. influenzae strains a, b, c, e and f. The invention provides isolated H. influenzae pilus polynucleotides and polypeptides encoded by the polynucleotides as well as polynucleotides and polypeptides encoded by the polynucleotides involved in the assembly/disassembly of the structure. The invention also relates to uses of these polynucleotides and/or polypeptides including methods for eliciting an immune response to H. influenzae and methods of treating and preventing H. influenzae related pathological conditions.

Description of the Invention

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to Type IV pilus gene clusters of H. influenzae, in particular non-typeable H. influenzae (NTHi) and H. influenzae strains a, b, c, e and f.

Polynucleotides and Polypeptides of the Invention

The present invention provides H. influenzae polynucleotides and particularly open reading frames from a regulon arranged in two gene clusters plus one other gene. The regulon includes a gene (pilA) that encodes the major subunit of a heretofore uncharacterized H. influenzae type IV pilus. The regulon includes polynucleotides from a gene cluster encoding pilin polypeptides PilA (major pilin subunit), PilD (leader peptidase), PilB and PilC (involved in the assembly/disassembly of the pilin structure); another gene cluster encoding ComA, ComB, ComC, ComD, ComE, and ComF (involved in competence for transformation and pilus expression); and a gene encoding PilF (required for type IV pilus biogenesis) (Watson et al, Gene, 49: 56, 1996). In one embodiment, the pilus regulon is that of NTHi H. influenzae strain 86-028NP.

Polynucleotides encoding the NTHi 86-028NP pilin polypeptides set out in the following SEQ ID NOs are provided by the invention: PilA polypeptide in SEQ ID NO: 2, PilB polypeptide in SEQ ID NO: 4, PilC polypeptide in SEQ ID NO: 6, PilD polypeptide in SEQ ID NO: 8, ComA polypeptide in SEQ ID NO: 10, ComB polypeptide in SEQ ID NO: 12, ComC polypeptide in SEQ ID NO: 14, ComD polypeptide in SEQ ID NO: 16, ComE polypeptide in SEQ ID NO: 18, ComF polypeptide in SEQ ID NO: 20 and PilF polypeptide in SEQ ID NO: 22. Alternative codon usage is thus specifically contemplated by the invention. In one embodiment, the polynucleotides comprise the NTHi 86-028NP gene sequences set out in the following SEQ ID NOs which respectively encode the foregoing polypeptides: pilA in SEQ ID NO: 1, pilB in SEQ ID NO: 3, pilC in SEQ ID NO: 5, pilD in SEQ ID NO: 7, comA in SEQ ID NO: 9, comB in SEQ ID NO: 11, comC in SEQ ID NO: 13, comD in SEQ ID NO: 15, comE in SEQ ID NO: 17, comF in SEQ ID NO: 19; and pilF in SEQ ID NO: 21. Each of the polynucleotide sequences includes a final three nucleotides representing a stop codon.

Also provided are polynucleotides encoding PilA polypeptides from NTHi clinical isolates 1728MEE, 1729MEE, 3224A, 10548MEE, 1060MEE, 1885MEE, 1714MEE, 1236MEE, 1128MEE and 214NP. The amino acid sequences of these PilA polypeptides are set out in SEQ ID NOs: 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42 and 44, respectively. Again, the possibility of alternative codon usage is specifically contemplated in polynucleotides encoding the polypeptides. In one embodiment, the polypeptides are respectively encoded by the nucleotide sequences set out in SEQ ID NOs: 25, 27, 29, 31, 33, 35, 37, 39, 41 and 43.

The invention provides for polynucleotides that hybridize under stringent conditions to (a) the complement of the nucleotide sequences set out in SEQ ID NOs: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 25, 27, 29, 31, 33, 35, 37, 39, 41 or 43; (b) a polynucleotide which is an allelic variant of any polynucleotides recited above; (c) a polynucleotide which encodes a species homolog of any of the proteins recited above; or (d) a polynucleotide that encodes a polypeptide comprising a specific domain or truncation of the polypeptides of the present invention. Type IV pilin polynucleotides from other non-typeable H. influenzae strains and from H. influenzae strains a, b, c, e and f are specifically contemplated. These polynucleotides can be identified and isolated by techniques standard in the art such as hybridization and polymerase chain reaction using part or all of the polynucleotides of SEQ ID NOs: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 25, 27, 29, 31, 33, 35, 37, 39, 41 or 43 as probes or primers, respectively.

The polynucleotides of the invention also include nucleotide sequences that are substantially equivalent to the polynucleotides recited above. Polynucleotides according to the invention can have, e.g., at least 65%, at least 70%, at least 75%, at least 80%, 81%, 82%, 83%, 84%, 85%, 86%, 87%, 88%, or 89%, more typically at least 90%, 91%, 92%, 93%, or 94% and even more typically at least 95%, 96%, 97%, 98% or 99% sequence identity to the NTHi polynucleotides recited above.

Included within the scope of the nucleic acid sequences of the invention are nucleic acid sequence fragments that hybridize under stringent conditions to the NTHi nucleotide sequences of SEQ ID NOs: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 25, 27, 29, 31, 33, 35, 37, 39, 41 or 43, or complements thereof, which fragment is greater than about 5 nucleotides, preferably 7 nucleotides, more preferably greater than 9 nucleotides and most preferably greater than 17 nucleotides. Fragments of, e.g., 15, 17, or 20 nucleotides or more that are selective for (i.e., specifically hybridize to any one of the polynucleotides of the invention) are contemplated. These nucleic acid sequence fragments capable of specifically hybridizing to a NTHi polynucleotide of the invention can be used as probes to detect NTHi polynucleotides of the invention and/or can differentiate NTHi polynucleotides of the invention from other bacterial genes, and are preferably based on unique nucleotide sequences.

The term "stringent" is used herein to refer to conditions that are commonly understood in the art as stringent. Hybridization stringency is principally determined by temperature, ionic strength, and the concentration of denaturing agents such as formamide. Examples of stringent conditions for hybridization and washing are 0.015 M sodium chloride, 0.0015 M sodium citrate at 65-68.degree. C. or 0.015 M sodium chloride, 0.0015M sodium citrate, and 50% formamide at 42.degree. C. See Sambrook et al., Molecular Cloning: A Laboratory Manual, 2.sup.nd Ed., Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y. 1989).

More stringent conditions (such as higher temperature, lower ionic strength, higher formamide, or other denaturing agent) may also be used, however, the rate of hybridization will be affected. In instances wherein hybridization of deoxyoligonucleotides is concerned, additional exemplary stringent hybridization conditions include washing in 6.times.SSC 0.05% sodium pyrophosphate at 37.degree. C. (for 14-base oligos), 48.degree. C. (for 17-base oligos), 55.degree. C. (for 20-base oligos), and 60.degree. C. (for 23-base oligos).

Other agents may be included in the hybridization and washing buffers for the purpose of reducing non-specific and/or background hybridization. Examples are 0.1% bovine serum albumin, 0.1% polyvinyl-pyrrolidone, 0.1% sodium pyrophosphate, 0.1% sodium dodecylsulfate, NaDodSO.sub.4, (SDS), ficoll, Denhardt's solution, sonicated salmon sperm DNA (or other non-complementary DNA), and dextran sulfate, although other suitable agents can also be used. The concentration and types of these additives can be changed without substantially affecting the stringency of the hybridization conditions. Hybridization experiments are usually carried out at pH 6.8-7.4, however, at typical ionic strength conditions, the rate of hybridization is nearly independent of pH. See Anderson et al., Nucleic Acid Hybridisation: A Practical Approach, Ch. 4, IRL Press Limited (Oxford, England). Hybridization conditions can be adjusted by one skilled in the art in order to accommodate these variables and allow DNAs of different sequence relatedness to form hybrids.

As noted above, polynucleotides contemplated by the present invention are not limited to the specific polynucleotides of SEQ ID NOs: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 25, 27, 29, 31, 33, 35, 37, 39, 41 or 43, but also include, for example, allelic and species variations thereof. Allelic and species variations can be routinely determined by comparing the sequence provided in SEQ ID NOs: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 25, 27, 29, 31, 33, 35, 37, 39, 41 or 43, preferably the open reading frames therein, a representative fragment thereof, or a nucleotide sequence at least 90% identical, preferably 95% identical, to the open reading frames within SEQ ID NOs: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 25, 27, 29, 31, 33, 35, 37, 39, 41 or 43 with a sequence from another isolate of the same species or another species. Preferred computer program methods to determine identity and similarity between two sequences include, but are not limited to, the GCG program package, including GAP (Devereux et al., Nuc. Acid. Res., 12: 387, 1984; Genetics Computer Group, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis.), BLASTP, BLASTN, and FASTA (Altschul et al., J. Mol. Biol., 215: 403-410, 1990). The BLASTX program is publicly available from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) and other sources (BLAST Manual, Altschul et al. NCB/NLM/NIH Bethesda, Md. 20894; Altschul et al., supra). The well known Smith-Waterman algorithm may also be used to determine identity.

Polynucleotides of the invention may be isolated from natural sources or may be synthesized by standard chemical techniques, e.g., the phosphotriester method described in Matteucci et al., J. Am Chem Soc., 103: 3185 (1981).

Antisense polynucleotides complementary to the polynucleotides encoding the pilus polypeptides of the invention are also provided.

Polypeptides of the invention include pilin polypeptides PilA, PilD, PilB, PilC, ComA, ComB, ComC, ComD, ComE, ComF and PilF. In one embodiment the polypeptides comprise the NTHi 86-028NP amino acid sequences respectively set out in SEQ ID NO: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20 or 22. Polypeptides of the invention also include PilA polypeptides set out in SEQ ID NOs: 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42 or 44. In additional embodiments, the Type IV pilin polypeptides of the invention are those of other non-typeable H. influenzae strains and from H. influenzae strains a, b, c, e and f.

Polypeptides of the invention specifically include peptide fragments (i.e., peptides) that retain one or more biological or immunogenic properties of a full length polypeptide of the invention. In one embodiment PilA peptide fragments provided by the invention are designated TfpQ2, TFPQ3, TfpQ4 and OLP3 and respectively comprise amino acids 35 through 68 of SEQ ID NO: 2, amino acids 69 through 102 of SEQ ID NO: 2, amino acids 103 through 137 of SEQ ID NO: 2, and amino acids 21 through 35 of SEQ ID NO: 2.

The invention also provides for polypeptides with one or more conservative amino acid substitutions that do not affect the biological and/or immunogenic activity of the polypeptide. Alternatively, the polypeptides of the invention are contemplated to have conservative amino acids substitutions which may or may not alter biological activity. The term "conservative amino acid substitution" refers to a substitution of a native amino acid residue with a nonnative residue, including naturally occurring and nonnaturally occurring amino acids, such that there is little or no effect on the polarity or charge of the amino acid residue at that position. For example, a conservative substitution results from the replacement of a non-polar residue in a polypeptide with any other non-polar residue. Further, any native residue in the polypeptide may also be substituted with alanine, according to the methods of "alanine scanning mutagenesis". Naturally occurring amino acids are characterized based on their side chains as follows: basic: arginine, lysine, histidine; acidic: glutamic acid, aspartic acid; uncharged polar: glutamine, asparagine, serine, threonine, tyrosine; and non-polar: phenylalanine, tryptophan, cysteine, glycine, alanine, valine, proline, methionine, leucine, norleucine, isoleucine General rules for amino acid substitutions are set forth in Table 1 below -- see Original Patent.

The invention also provides variants of the polypeptides of the present invention (e.g., a polypeptide exhibiting at least about 65%, at least about 70%, at least about 75%, at least about 80%, at least about 85%, 86%, 87%, 88%, 89%, at least about 90%, 91%, 92%, 93%, 94%, typically at least about 95%, 96%, 97%, more typically at least about 98%, or most typically at least about 99% amino acid identity to a polypeptide of SEQ ID NO: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20 or 22) that retain biological and/or immunogenic activity.

The invention contemplates that polynucleotides of the invention may be inserted in a vector for amplification or expression. For expression, the polynucleotides are operatively linked to appropriate expression control sequences such as promoter and polyadenylation signal sequences. Further provided are host cells comprising polynucleotides of the invention. Exemplary prokaryotic host cells include bacteria such as E. coli, Bacillus, Streptomyces, Pseudomonas, Salmonella and Serratia. Methods of producing polypeptides of the invention by growing the host cells and isolating polypeptide from the host cells or growth medium are specifically contemplated. One or more polynucleotides from the pilus regulon may be expressed in a host cell. For example, expression of the pilA gene alone and expression of multiple polynucleotides from the pilus regulon in order to affect assembly of the native pili structure are both specifically contemplated. Alternatively, polypeptides of the invention can be prepared by chemical synthesis using standard means. Particularly convenient are solid phase techniques (see, e.g., Erikson et al., The Proteins (1976) v. 2, Academic Press, New York, p. 255). Automated solid phase synthesizers are commercially available. In addition, modifications in the sequence are easily made by substitution, addition or omission of appropriate residues. For example, a cysteine residue may be added at the carboxy terminus to provide a sulfhydryl group for convenient linkage to a carrier protein, or spacer elements, such as an additional glycine residue, may be incorporated into the sequence between the linking amino acid at the C-terminus and the remainder of the peptide.

The term "isolated" refers to a substance removed from, and essentially free of, the other components of the environment in which it naturally exists. For example, a polypeptide is separated from other cellular proteins or a DNA is separated from other DNA flanking it in a genome in which it naturally occurs.

Antibodies

The invention, provides antibodies which bind to antigenic epitopes unique to (i.e., are specific for) H. influenzae pilus polypeptides of the invention. Also provided are antibodies which bind to ant igenic epiropes common among multiple H. influenzae subtypes but unique with respect to any other antigenic epitopes. The antibodies may be polyclonal antibodies, monoclonal antibodies, antibody fragments which retain their ability to bind their unique epitope (e.g., Fv, Fab and F(ab)2 fragments), single chain antibodies and human or humanized antibodies. Antibodies may be generated by techniques standard in the art using pilin polypeptide(s) of the invention or host cells expressing pilin polypeptide(s) of the invention as antigens.

The present invention provides for antibodies specific for the pilin polypeptides of the present invention and fragments thereof, which exhibit the ability to kill both H. influenzae bacteria and to protect humans from infection. The present invention also provides for antibodies specific for the polypeptides of the invention which reduce the virulence, inhibit adherence, inhibit biofilm formation, inhibit twitching motility, inhibit cell division, and/or inhibit penetration into the epithelium of H. influenzae bacteria and/or enhance phagocytosis of the H. influenzae bacteria.

In vitro complement mediated bactericidal assay systems (Musher et al., Infect. Immun. 39: 297-304, 1983; Anderson et al., J. Clin. Invest. 51: 31-38, 1972) may be used to measure the bactericidal activity of anti-pilus antibodies.

It is also possible to confer short-term protection to a host by passive immunotherapy via the administration of pre-formed antibody against an H. influenzae polypeptide of the invention. Thus, antibodies of the invention may be used in passive immunotherapy. Human immunoglobulin is preferred in human medicine because a heterologous immunoglobulin may provoke an immune response to its foreign immunogenic components. Such passive immunization could be used on an emergency basis for immediate protection of unimmunized individuals subject to special risks.

In another embodiment, antibodies of the invention may be used in the production of anti-idiotypic antibody, which in turn can be used as an antigen to stimulate an immune response against pilin epitopes.

Methods for Eliciting an Immune Response and Compositions Therefor

The invention contemplates methods of eliciting in an individual an immune response to one or more H. influenzae type IV pilus polypeptides. In certain embodiments, the methods elicit an immune response to the PilA protein. These methods elicit one or more immune responses, including but not limited to, immune responses which inhibit bacterial replication, immune responses which block H. influenzae adherence to cells, immune responses which prevent H. influenzae twitching and immune responses which prevent biofilm formation. In one embodiment, the methods comprise a step of administering an immunogenic dose of a composition comprising one or more polypeptides of the invention. In another embodiment, the methods comprise administering an immunogenic dose of a composition comprising a cell expressing one or more polypeptides of the invention. In yet another embodiment, the methods comprise administering an immunogenic dose of a composition comprising one or more polynucleotides encoding one or more polypeptides of the invention. The polynucleotide may be a naked polynucleotide not associated with any other nucleic acid or may be in a vector such as a plasmid or viral vector (e.g., adeno-associated virus vector or adenovirus vector). The methods may be used in combination in a single individual. The methods may be used prior or subsequent to H. influenzae infection of an individual.

In one embodiment of methods of the invention, a composition of the invention is administered as a priming dose followed by one or more booster doses. Co-administration of proteins or polypeptides that beneficially enhance the immune response such as cytokines (e.g., IL-2, IL-12, GM-CSF), cytokine-inducing molecules (e.g. Leaf) or costimulatory molecules is also contemplated.

An "immunogenic dose" of a composition of the invention is one that generates, after administration, a detectable humoral (antibody) and/or cellular (T cell) immune response in comparison to the immune response detectable before administration or in comparison to a standard immune response before administration. The invention contemplates that the immune response resulting from the methods may be protective and/or therapeutic. In a preferred embodiment, the antibody and/or T cell immune response protects the individual from H. influenzae infection, particularly infection of the middle ear and/or the nasopharynx or lower airway. In this use, the precise dose depends on the patient's state of health and weight, the mode of administration, the nature of the formulation, etc., but generally ranges from about 1.0 .mu.g to about 5000 .mu.g per 70 kilogram patient, more commonly from about 10 to about 500 .mu.g per 70 kg of body weight.

Humoral immune response may be measured by many well known methods, such as Single Radial Immunodiffussion Assay (SRID), Enzyme Immunoassay (EIA) and Hemagglutination Inhibition Assay (HAI). In particular, SRID utilizes a layer of a gel, such as agarose, containing the immunogen being tested. A well is cut in the gel and the serum being tested is placed in the well. Diffusion of the antibody out into the gel leads to the formation of a precipitation ring whose area is proportional to the concentration of the antibody in the serum being tested. EIA, also known as ELISA (Enzyme Linked Immunoassay), is used to determine total antibodies in the sample. The immunogen is adsorbed to the surface of a microtiter plate. The test serum is exposed to the plate followed by an enzyme linked immunoglobulin, such as IgG. The enzyme activity adherent to the plate is quantified by any convenient means such as spectrophotometry and is proportional to the concentration of antibody directed against the immunogen present in the test sample. HAI utilizes the capability of an immunogen such as viral proteins to agglutinate chicken red blood cells (or the like). The assay detects neutralizing antibodies, i.e., those antibodies able to inhibit hemagglutination. Dilutions of the test serum are incubated with a standard concentration of immunogen, followed by the addition of the red blood cells. The presence of neutralizing antibodies will inhibit the agglutination of the red blood cells by the immunogen. Tests to measure cellular immune response include determination of delayed-type hypersensitivity or measuring the proliferative response of lymphocytes to target immunogen.

The invention correspondingly provides compositions suitable for eliciting an immune response to pilus polypeptides of the invention. As noted above, the compositions comprise one or more pilus polypeptides, cells expressing one or more polypeptides, or one or more polynucleotides encoding one or more pilus polypeptides. The compositions may also comprise other ingredients such as carriers and adjuvants.

In compositions of the invention, a pilus polypeptide may be fused to another protein when produced by recombinant methods. In one embodiment, the other protein may not, by itself, elicit antibodies, but it stabilizes the first protein and forms a fusion protein retaining immunogenic activity. In another embodiment, the fusion protein comprises another protein that is immunogenic, such as Glutathione-S-transferase (GST) or beta-galactosidase, relatively large co-proteins which solubilize the fusion protein and facilitate production and purification thereof. The other protein may act as an adjuvant in the sense of providing a generalized stimulation of the immune system. The other protein may be fused to either the amino or carboxy terminus of the NTHi protein of the invention.

In other compositions of the invention, pilus polypeptides may be otherwise linked to carrier substances. Any method of creating such linkages known in the art may be used. Linkages can be formed with heterobifunctional agents that generate a disulfide link at one functional group end and a peptide link at the other, such as a disulfide amide forming agent, e.g., N-succidimidyl-3-(2-pyridyldithio)proprionate (SPDP) (See, e.g., Jansen et al., Immun. Rev. 62:185, 1982) and bifunctional coupling agents that form a thioether rather than a disulfide linkage such as reactive esters of 6-maleimidocaproic acid, 2-bromoacetic acid, 2-iodoacetic acid, 4-(N-maleimido-methyl)cyclohexane-1-carboxylic acid and the like, and coupling agent which activate carboxyl groups by combining them with succinimide or 1-hydroxy-2-nitro-4-sulfonic acid, for sodium salt such as succinimmidyl 4-(N-maleimido-methyl)cyclohexane-1-carobxylate (SMCC).

The pilus polypeptides may be formulated as neutral or salt forms. Pharmaceutically acceptable salts, include the acid addition salts (formed with the free amino groups of the peptide) and which are formed with inorganic acids such as, e.g., hydrochloric or phosphoric acids, or such organic acids as acetic, oxalic, tartaric, mandelic. Salts formed with the free carboxyl groups may also be derived from inorganic bases such as, e.g., sodium, potassium, ammonium, calcium, or ferric hydroxides, and such organic bases as isopropylamine, trimethylamine, 2-ethylamino ethanol, histidine, and procaine.

Compositions of the invention may further comprise adjuvants. Known adjuvants include, for example, emulsions such as Freund's Adjuvants and other oil emulsions, Bordetella pertussis, MF59, purified saponin from Quillaja saponaria (QS21), aluminum salts such as hydroxide, phosphate and alum, calcium phosphate, (and other metal salts), gels such as aluminum hydroxide salts, mycobacterial products including muramyl dipeptides, solid materials, particles such as liposomes and virosomes. Examples of natural and bacterial products known to be used as adjuvants include monophosphoryl lipid A (MPL), RC-529 (synthetic MPL-like acylated monosaccharide), OM-174 which is a lipid A derivative from E. coli, holotoxins such as cholera toxin (CT) or one of its derivatives, pertussis toxin (PT) and heat-labile toxin (LT) of E. coli or one of its derivatives, and CpG oligonucleotides. Adjuvant activity can be affected by a number of factors, such as carrier effect, depot formation, altered lymphocyte recirculation, stimulation of T-lymphocytes, direct stimulation of B-lymphocytes and stimulation of macrophages.

Compositions of the invention are typically formulated as injectables, either as liquid solutions or suspensions; solid forms suitable for solution in, or suspension in, liquid prior to injection may also be prepared. The preparation may also be emulsified. The active immunogenic ingredient is often mixed with excipients, which are pharmaceutically acceptable and compatible with the active ingredient. Suitable excipients are, e.g., water, saline, dextrose, glycerol, ethanol, or the like and combinations thereof. In addition, if desired, the vaccine may contain minor amounts of auxiliary substances such as wetting or emulsifying agents, pH buffering agents, or adjuvants, which enhance the effectiveness of the vaccine. The vaccines are conventionally administered parenterally, by injection, for example, either subcutaneously or intramuscularly.

Additional formulations which are suitable for other modes of administration include suppositories and, in some cases, oral formulations. For suppositories, traditional binders and carriers may include, for example, polyalkalene glycols or triglycerides; such suppositories may be formed from mixtures containing the active ingredient in the range of 0.5% to 10%, preferably 1-2%. Oral formulations include such normally employed excipients as, for example, pharmaceutical grades of mannitol, lactose, starch, magnesium stearate, sodium saccharine, cellulose, magnesium carbonate and the like. These compositions take the form of solutions, suspensions, tablets, pills, capsules, sustained release formulations or powders and contain 10%-95% of active ingredient, preferably 25-70%.

Compositions may also be administered through transdermal routes utilizing jet injectors, microneedles, electroporation, sonoporation, microencapsulation, polymers or liposomes, transmucosal routes and intranasal routes using nebulizers, aerosols and nasal sprays. Microencapsulation using natural or synthetic polymers such as starch, alginate and chitosan, D-poly L-lactate (PLA), D-poly DL-lactic-coglycolic microspheres, polycaprolactones, polyorthoesters, polyanhydrides and polyphosphazenes polyphosphatazanes are useful for both transdermal and transmucosal administration. Polymeric complexes comprising synthetic poly-omithate, poly-lysine and poly-arginine or amphipathic peptides are useful for transdermal delivery systems. In addition, due to their amphipathic nature, liposomes are contemplated for transdermal, transmucosal and intranasal vaccine delivery systems. Common lipids used for vaccine delivery include N-(1)2,3-(dioleyl-dihydroxypropyl)-N,N,N,-trimethylammonium-methyl sulfate (DOTAP), dioleyloxy-propyl-trimethylammonium chloride DOTMA, dimystyloxypropyl-3-dimethyl-hydroxyethyl ammonium (DMRIE), dimethyldioctadecyl ammonium bromide (DDAB) and 9N(N',N-dimethylaminoethane) carbamoyl) cholesterol (DC-Chol). The combination of helper lipids and liposomes will enhance up-take of the liposomes through the skin. These helper lipids include, dioleoyl phosphatidylethanolamine (DOPE), dilauroylphosphatidylethanolamine (DLPE), dimyristoyl phosphatidylethanolamine (DMPE), dipalmitoylphosphatidylethanolamine (DPPE). In addition, triterpenoid glycosides or saponins derived from the Chilean soap tree bark (Quillaja saponaria) and chitosan (deacetylated chitan) have been contemplated as useful adjuvants for intranasal and transmucosal vaccine delivery.

Formulations may be presented in unit-dose or multi-dose containers, for example, sealed ampules and vials and may be stored in a freeze-dried condition requiring only the addition of the sterile liquid carrier immediately prior to use.

Methods of Inhibiting H. influenzae

Alternatively, the invention includes methods of inhibiting H. influenzae type IV pili function in an individual. The methods comprise administering to the individual, for example, one or more antibodies of the invention; one or more polypeptides of the invention; one or more antisense polynucleotides of the invention; one or more RNAi molecules; and/or one or more small molecules, in an amount that inhibits function of the pili. In vitro assays may be used to demonstrate the ability to inhibit pili function. Embodiments of these methods include, for example, methods using inhibitors of pilus polyepeptide synthesis and/or pilus assembly, inhibitors of adherence mediated via type IV pili, inhibitors that disrupt existing biofilms mediated by type IV pili, and inhibitors of twitching.

Inhibition is contemplated for any pathological condition involving H. influenzae, for example, OM, pneumonia, sinusitis, septicemia, endocarditis, epiglottitis, septic arthritis, meningitis, postpartum and neonatal infections, postpartum and neonatal sepsis, acute and chromic salpingitis, epiglottis, pericardis, cellulitis, osteomyelitis, endocarditis, cholecystitis, intraabdominal infections, urinary tract infection, mastoiditis, aortic graft infection, conjunctitivitis, Brazilian purpuric fever, occult bacteremia and exacerbation of underlying lung diseases such as chronic bronchitis, bronchietasis and cystic fibrosis.

Compositions comprising inhibitors of H. influenzae type IV pili function are provided. The compositions may consist of one of the foregoing active ingredients alone, may comprise combinations of the foregoing active ingredients or may comprise additional active ingredients used to treat bacterial infections. As discussed above, the compositions may comprise one or more additional ingredients such as pharmaceutically effective carriers. Also as discussed above, dosage and frequency of the administration of the compositions are determined by standard techniques and depend, for example, on the weight and age of the individual, the route of administration, and the severity of symptoms. Administration of the pharmaceutical compositions may be by routes standard in the art, for example, parenteral, intravenous, oral, buccal, nasal, pulmonary, rectal, intranasal, or vaginal.

Animal Model

Methods of the invention may be demonstrated in a chinchilla model widely accepted as an experimental model for OM. In particular, a chinchilla model of NTHi-induced OM has been well characterized (Bakaletz et al., J. Infect. Dis., 168: 865-872, 1993; Bakaletz and Holmes, Clin. Diagn. Lab. Immunol., 4: 223-225, 1997; Suzuki and Bakaletz, Infect. Immun., 62: 1710-1718, 1994; Mason et al., Infect. Immun., 71:3454-3462, 2003), and has been used to determine the protective efficacy of several NTHi outer membrane proteins, combinations of outer membrane proteins, chimeric synthetic peptide vaccine components, and adjuvant formulations against OM (Bakaletz et al., Vaccine, 15: 955-961, 1997; Bakaletz et al., Infect. Immun., 67: 2746-2762, 1999; Kennedy et al., Infect. Immun., 68: 2756-2765, 2000; Kyd et al., Infect. Immun., 66:2272-2278, 2003; Novotny and Bakaletz, J. Immunol., 171, 1978-1983, 2003).

In the model, adenovirus predisposes chinchillas to H. influenzae-induced OM media, which allowed for the establishment of relevant cell, tissue and organ culture systems for the biological assessment of NTHi (Bakaletz et al., J. Infect. Dis., 168: 865-72, 1993; Suzuki et al., Infect. Immunity 62: 1710-8, 1994). Adenovirus infection alone has been used to assess the transudation of induced serum antibodies into the tympanum (Bakaletz et al., Clin. Diagnostic Lab Immunol., 4(2): 223-5, 1997) and has been used as a co-pathogen with NTHi, to determine the protective efficacy of several active and passive immunization regimens targeting various NTHi outer membrane proteins, combinations of OMPs, chimeric synthetic peptide vaccine components, and adjuvant formulations as vaccinogens against otitis media (Bakaletz et al., Infect Immunity, 67(6): 2746-62, 1999; Kennedy et al., Infect. Immun., 68(5): 2756-65, 2000; Novotny et al., Infect Immunity 68(4): 2119-28, 2000; Poolman et al., Vaccine 19 (Suppl. 1): S108-15, 2000).

Methods of Detecting H. influenzae Bacteria

Also provided by the invention are methods for detecting bacteria in an individual. In one embodiment, the methods comprise detecting pili polynucleotides of the invention in a biological sample using primers or probes that specifically bind to the polynucleotides. Detection of the polynucleotide may be accomplished by numerous techniques routine in the art involving, for example, hybridization and/or PCR. In another embodiment, the methods comprise detecting pili polypeptides of the invention in a biological sample using antibodies of the invention that specifically bind to the polypeptides. The antibodies may be used in any immunoassay system known in the art including, but not limited to, radioimmunoassays, ELISA assays, sandwich assays, precipitin reactions, gel diffusion precipitin reactions, immunodiffusion assays, agglutination assays, fluorescent immunoassays, protein A immunoassays and immunoelectrophoresis assays. Biological samples to be utilized in the methods include, but are not limited to, blood, serum, ear fluid, spinal fluid, sputum, urine, lymphatic fluid and cerebrospinal fluid.
 

Claim 1 of 16 Claims

1. An isolated polypeptide comprising an amino acid sequence encoded by a nucleotide sequence selected from the group consisting of pilA SEQ ID NO: 1, pilB SEQ ID NO: 3, pilC SEQ ID NO: 5, pilD SEQ ID NO: 7, comA SEQ ID NO: 9, comB SEQ ID NO: 11, comC SEQ ID NO: 13, comD SEQ ID NO: 15, comE SEQ ID NO: 17, comF SEQ ID NO: 19, pilF SEQ ID NO: 21, pilA SEQ ID NO: 33, pilA SEQ ID NO: 35, pilA SEQ ID NO: 37, pilA SEQ ID NO: 39, pilA SEQ ID NO: 41and pilA SEQ ID NO: 43.

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