Infection and immunity

A Cronobacter turicensis O1 antigen-specific monoclonal antibody inhibits bacterial motility and entry into epithelial cells.

PMID 25534937


Cronobacter turicensis is an opportunistic foodborne pathogen that can cause a rare but sometimes lethal infection in neonates. Little is known about the virulence mechanisms and intracellular lifestyle of this pathogen. In this study, we developed an IgG monoclonal antibody (MAb; MAb 2G4) that specifically recognizes the O1 antigen of C. turicensis cells. The antilipopolysaccharide antibody bound predominantly monovalently to the O antigen and reduced bacterial growth without causing cell agglutination. Furthermore, binding of the antibody to the O1 antigen of C. turicensis cells caused a significant reduction of the membrane potential which is required to energize flagellar rotation, accompanied by a decreased flagellum-based motility. These results indicate that binding of IgG to the O antigen of C. turicensis causes a direct antimicrobial effect. In addition, this feature of the antibody enabled new insight into the pathogenicity of C. turicensis. In a tissue culture infection model, pretreatment of C. turicensis with MAb 2G4 showed no difference in adhesion to human epithelial cells, whereas invasion of bacteria into Caco-2 cells was significantly inhibited.