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Last Updated

19 Aug 2008



The anthrax-related research publications and abstracts are listed in ascending order, starting in 1983.  Each listed Bruce E. Ivins as a lead or contributing author. This section continues with publications from 1991 to 1999.

click to return to 1-10 of Ivins' publications.

11. Iacono-Connors LC, Welkos SL, Ivins BE, Dalrymple JM.  Protection against anthrax with recombinant virus-expressed protective antigen in experimental animals. Infect Immun. 59(6):1961-5, 1991.

Abstract: We previously described the cloning and expression of the protective antigen (PA) gene of Bacillus anthracis in both vaccinia virus and a baculovirus. The antigenicity of the PA products was characterized. PA expressed by the
recombinant vaccinia viruses elicited a partial protective immune response against a lethal B. anthracis spore challenge in guinea pigs and mice. The WR strain vaccinia virus recombinant (WR-PA) protected 60% of male mice and 50% of guinea pigs. WR-PA elicited high anti-PA antibody titers in mice but not in guinea pigs. Connaught strain vaccinia virus recombinants failed to protect any immunized animals. PA purified from baculovirus recombinant-infected cultures
plus adjuvant partially protected male CBA/J mice and completely protected female Hartley guinea pigs from challenge. Both the recombinant and nonrecombinant PA preparations combined with adjuvant elicited high anti-PA antibody titers in Hartley guinea pigs and CBA/J mice. These data demonstrate that the recombinant baculovirus- and vaccinia virus-produced PAs were immunogenic in both guinea pigs and mice, that the baculovirus-PA recombinant was a useful source of immunogenic  PA, and that vaccinia virus-PA recombinants may be feasible live anthrax vaccine  candidates worthy of consideration for further development as live vaccines.

12. Ivins BE, Welkos SL, Little SF, Crumrine MH, Nelson GO. Immunization against anthrax with Bacillus anthracis protective antigen combined with adjuvants. Infect Immun. 60(2):662-8, 1992.

Abstract: The protective efficacy of immunization against anthrax with Bacillus anthracis protective antigen (PA) combined with different adjuvants was tested in Hartley guinea pigs and CBA/J and A/J mice. Adjuvant components derived from microbial products that were tested included threonyl-muramyl dipeptide (threonyl-MDP); monophosphoryl lipid A (MPL); trehalose dimycolate (TDM); and the delipidated, deproteinized, cell wall skeleton (CWS) from either Mycobacterium phlei or the BCG strain of Mycobacterium bovis. Non-microbially derived adjuvants tested included aluminum hydroxide and the lipid amine CP-20,961. In guinea pigs, all adjuvants and adjuvant mixtures enhanced antibody titers to PA as well as survival after a parenteral challenge of virulent B. anthracis Ames spores. In contrast, PA alone or combined with either aluminum hydroxide or CP-20,961 failed to protect mice. Vaccines containing PA combined with threonyl-MDP or MPL-TDM-CWS protected a majority of female CBA/J mice. Statistical analysis of survival data in the guinea pigs indicated that PA-MPL-CWS and PA-MPL-TDM-CWS were more efficacious than the currently licensed human anthrax vaccine.

13. Friedlander AM, Welkos SL, Pitt ML, Ezzell JW, Worsham PL, Rose KJ, Ivins BE, Lowe JR, Howe GB, Mikesell P, et al. Postexposure prophylaxis against experimental inhalation anthrax. J Infect Dis.167(5):1239-43, 1993.

Abstract: Inhalation anthrax is a rare disease that is almost invariably fatal. This study determined whether a prolonged course of postexposure antibiotics with or without vaccination would protect monkeys exposed to a lethal aerosol dose of Bacillus anthracis when the antibiotic was discontinued. Beginning 1 day after exposure, groups of 10 animals were given penicillin, ciprofloxacin, doxycycline, doxycycline plus vaccination, vaccination alone, or saline. Antibiotics were
administered for 30 days and then discontinued. Vaccine was given on days 1 and 15. Two animals died of causes other than anthrax and were not included in the statistical analysis. Nine of 10 controls and 8 of 10 animals given only vaccine
died. Each antibiotic regimen completely protected animals while on therapy and provided significant long-term protection upon discontinuance of the drug (penicillin, 7 of 10 survived, P < .02; ciprofloxacin, 8 of 9 survived, P < .002;
doxycycline, 9 of 10 survived, P < .002; doxycycline plus vaccination, 9 of 9 survived, P < .0002). Protection against rechallenge was provided by combining postexposure antibiotic treatment with vaccination.

14. Ivins BE, Fellows PF, Nelson GO. Efficacy of a standard human anthrax vaccine against Bacillus anthracis spore challenge in guinea-pigs.Vaccine 12(10):872-4, 1994.

Abstract: The efficacy of an anthrax vaccine licensed for human use, MDPH-PA, was tested in guinea-pigs intramuscularly challenged with 10, 100 or 1000 LD50 of spores from two virulent strains of Bacillus anthracis, Vollum 1B and Ames. As demonstrated in other investigations, immunization with MDPH-PA provided better protection against challenge with the Vollum 1B strain than with the Ames strain, although vaccine efficacy against the Ames strain was better than previously reported. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay of serum antibody titres to B. anthracis protective antigen showed that there was no significant correlation between survival and antibody titres.

15. Little SF, Ivins BE, Fellows PF, Friedlander AM. Passive protection by polyclonal antibodies against Bacillus anthracis infection in guinea pigs. Infect Immun. 65(12):5171-5, 1997.

Abstract: The protective effects of polyclonal antisera produced by injecting guinea pigs with protective antigen (PA), the chemical anthrax vaccine AVA, or Sterne spore vaccine, as well as those of toxin-neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) produced against PA, lethal factor, and edema factor, were examined in animals infected with Bacillus anthracis spores. Only the anti-PA polyclonal serum significantly protected the guinea pigs from death, with 67% of infected animals surviving. Although none of the MAbs was protective, one PA MAb caused a significant delay in time to death. Our findings demonstrate that antibodies produced against only PA can provide passive protection against anthrax infection in guinea pigs.

16. Ivins BE, Pitt ML, Fellows PF, Farchaus JW, Benner GE, Waag DM, Little SF, Anderson GW Jr, Gibbs PH, Friedlander AM. Comparative efficacy of experimental anthrax vaccine candidates against inhalation anthrax in rhesus macaques. Vaccine 16(11-12):1141-8, 1998.

Abstract: The authors examined the efficacy of Bacillus anthracis protective antigen (PA) combined with adjuvants as vaccines against an aerosol challenge of virulent anthrax spores in rhesus macaques. Adjuvants tested included i) aluminum hydroxide (Alhydrogel), ii) saponin QS-21 and iii) monophosphoryl lipid A (MPL) in squalene/lecithin/Tween 80 emulsion (SLT). Animals were immunized once with either 50 micrograms of recombinant PA plus adjuvant, or with Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed (AVA), the licensed human anthrax vaccine. The serological response to PA was measured by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. Lymphocyte proliferation and serum neutralization of in vitro lethal toxin cytotoxicity were also assayed. In all vaccine groups, anti-PA IgM and IgG titers peaked at 2 weeks and 4-5 weeks postimmunization, respectively. Five weeks postimmunization, animals in all vaccine groups demonstrated PA-specific lymphocyte proliferation and sera that neutralized in vitro cytotoxicity. Six weeks after immunization, the animals were challenged by aerosol with approximately 93 LD50 of virulent anthrax spores. Animals were bled daily for 1 week to monitor bacteremia, and deaths were recorded. Anti-PA ELISA titers in all groups of immunized animals were
substantially increased 2 weeks after challenge. One dose of each vaccine provided significant protection (> 90%) against inhalation anthrax in the rhesus macaques.

17. Singh Y, Ivins BE, Leppla SH. Study of immunization against anthrax with the purified recombinant protective antigen of Bacillus anthracis. Infect Immun. 66(7): 3447-8, 1998.

Abstract: Protective antigen (PA) of anthrax toxin is the major component of human anthrax vaccine. Currently available human vaccines in the United States and Europe consist of alum-precipitated supernatant material from cultures of toxigenic, nonencapsulated strains of Bacillus anthracis. Immunization with these vaccines requires several boosters and occasionally causes local pain and edema. We previously described the biological activity of a nontoxic mutant of PA expressed in Bacillus subtilis. In the present study, we evaluated the efficacy of the purified mutant PA protein alone or in combination with the lethal factor and edema factor components of anthrax toxin to protect against anthrax. Both mutant and native PA preparations elicited high anti-PA titers in Hartley guinea pigs. Mutant PA alone and in combination with lethal factor and edema factor completely protected the guinea pigs from B. anthracis spore challenge. The results suggest that the mutant PA protein may be used to develop an effective recombinant vaccine against anthrax.

18. Zaucha GM, Pitt LM, Estep J, Ivins BE, Friedlander AM. The pathology of experimental anthrax in rabbits exposed by inhalation and subcutaneous inoculation. Arch Pathol Lab Med.122(11):982-92, 1998.

Abstract: OBJECTIVE: Although rhesus monkeys are considered to be an appropriate model for inhalational anthrax in humans, an alternative for vaccine and therapeutic efficacy studies is desirable. This study characterized the pathology of lethal anthrax in rabbits challenged by subcutaneous inoculation and aerosol exposure. MATERIALS AND METHODS: New Zealand white rabbits were exposed by subcutaneous inoculation or aerosol to lethal doses of Bacillus anthracis spores. RESULTS: The pathology of anthrax in rabbits exposed by either route was similar, with principal findings occurring in the spleen, lymph nodes, lungs, gastrointestinal tract, and adrenal glands. The cardinal changes were hemorrhage, edema, and necrosis, with bacilli and limited leukocytic infiltration. Features that depended on the route of exposure included mediastinitis in aerosol-exposed rabbits, a primary dermal lesion after subcutaneous inoculation, and differences in the pattern of lymph node involvement. Lesions observed in rabbits were comparable to those of inhalational anthrax in humans and rhesus monkeys. Noteworthy differences included the lack of leukocytic infiltration in brain and meningeal lesions, the relatively mild mediastinal lesions, and a lower incidence of anthrax-related pneumonia in rabbits compared with humans. These differences may be attributed to the greater susceptibility of rabbits to anthrax. Increased susceptibility is associated with both reduced leukocytic response to the bacilli and a more rapid progression to death, which further limits development of leukocytic infiltrates in response to the basic lesions of hemorrhage and necrosis. Primary pneumonic foci of inhalational anthrax, which may be influenced by preexisting pulmonary lesions in humans, were not observed in our rabbits, which were free of preexisting pulmonary disease. CONCLUSION: Anthrax in rabbits  may provide a useful model for evaluating prophylaxis and therapy against inhalational anthrax in humans.

19. Little SF, Ivins BE. Molecular pathogenesis of Bacillus anthracis infection. Microbes Infect. 1(2):131-9, 1999.

This review summarizes the current knowledge pertaining to the pathogenesis of infection with Bacillus anthracis relative to the two exotoxins and the capsule. Emphasis is given to the structure and activities of the individual components of
the exotoxins, their interaction with cells, and the response of macrophages to lethal toxin. Finally, results from vaccination studies are reviewed.

20. Pitt ML, Little S, Ivins BE, Fellows P, Boles J, Barth J, Hewetson J, Friedlander
AM. In vitro correlate of immunity in an animal model of inhalational anthrax. J Appl Microbiol. 87(2):304, 1999.

Abstract: The incidence of anthrax in humans is extremely low. Human vaccine efficacy studies for inhalational anthrax cannot be conducted. The identification of a correlate of protection that predicts vaccine efficacy is crucial for determining the immune status of immunized humans. This surrogate marker of immunity can only be established by using an appropriate animal model. Numerous studies showed that protective antigen (PA) is the principle protective antigen in naturally- or vaccine-induced immunity. However, attempts to correlate the quantity of anti-PA antibodies with protective immunity in the guinea pig model for anthrax and various vaccine formulations have failed. In these studies, we used the licensed anthrax vaccine adsorbed (AVA) in rabbits. Groups of New Zealand white rabbits, 10 or 20 per group, were immunized intramuscularly (two doses, 4 weeks apart) with varying doses of AVA, ranging from a human dose to 1:256 dilution in sterile phosphate-buffered saline (PBS). Control rabbits received PBS/Alhydrogel according to the same schedule. Each rabbit was bled 2 weeks after the second dose, and antibody levels to PA measured by both the quantitative anti-PA IgG ELISA and the toxin-neutralizing antibody (TNA) assay. Rabbits were aerosol-challenged 10 weeks from day 0 with a lethal dose of Ames spores. All the rabbits that received the undiluted and 1:4 dilution of vaccine survived, whereas those receiving the higher dilutions of vaccine (1:16, 1:64 and 1:256) had deaths in their groups. All the controls died. Rabbit survival was compared with the antibody response. Statistical models were used to test for significance of the peak antibody responses to predict survival. Results showed that both the amount  of anti-PA IgG and TNA titres present in the sera at the time of the peak antibody response were significant (P < 0.0001) predictors of survival. These results demonstrate that the humoral immune response to AVA can predict protection in the rabbit model of inhalational anthrax.

click to continue to 21-30 of Ivins' publications.