Engineered Recombinant Escherichia coli Probiotic Strains Integrated with F4 and F18 Fimbriae Cluster Genes in the Chromosome and Their Assessment of Immunogenic Efficacy in Vivo.ACS Synth Biol 2020AS
F4 (K88) and F18 fimbriaed enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) are the predominant causes of porcine postweaning diarrhea (PWD), and vaccines are considered the most effective preventive approach against PWD. Since heterologous DNA integrated into bacterial chromosomes could be effectively expressed with stable inheritance, we chose probiotic EcNc (E. coli Nissle 1917 prototype cured of cryptic plasmids) as a delivery vector to express the heterologous F4 or both F4 and F18 fimbriae and sequentially assessed their immune efficacy of anti-F4 and F18 fimbriae in both murine and piglet models. Employing the CRISPR-cas9 technology, yjcS, pcadA, lacZ, yieN/trkD, maeB, and nth/tppB sites in the chromosome of an EcNc strain were targeted as integration sites to integrate F4 or F18 fimbriae cluster genes under the Ptet promotor to construct two recombinant integration probiotic strains (RIPSs), i.e., nth integration strain (EcNcΔnth/tppB::PtetF4) and multiple integration strain (EcNc::PtetF18x4::PtetF4x2). Expression of F4, both F4 and F18 fimbriae on the surfaces of two RIPSs, was verified with combined methods of agglutination assay, Western blot, and immunofluorescence microscopy. The recombinant strains have improved adherence to porcine intestinal epithelial cell lines. Mice and piglets immunized with the nth integration strain and multiple integration strain through gavage developed anti-F4 and both anti-F4 and anti-F18 IgG immune responses. Moreover, the serum antibodies from the immunized mice and piglets significantly inhibited the adherence of F4+ or both F4+ and F18+ ETEC wild-type strains to porcine intestinal cell lines in vitro, indicating the potential of RIPSs as promising probiotic strains plus vaccine candidates against F4+/F18+ ETEC infection.