The threat of bioterrorist use of Bacillus anthracis has focused urgent attention on the efficacy and mechanisms of protective immunity induced by available vaccines. However, the mechanisms of infection-induced immunity have been less well studied and defined. We used a combination of complement depletion along with immunodeficient mice and adoptive transfer approaches to determine the mechanisms of infection-induced protective immunity to B. anthracis. B- or T-cell-deficient mice lacked the complete anamnestic protection observed in immunocompetent mice. In addition, T-cell-deficient mice generated poor antibody titers but were protected by the adoptive transfer of serum from B. anthracis-challenged mice. Adoptively transferred sera were protective in mice lacking complement, Fc receptors, or both, suggesting that they operate independent of these effectors. Together, these results indicate that antibody-mediated neutralization provides significant protection in B. anthracis infection-induced immunity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases