Antigen-specific memory B-cell responses to Vibrio cholerae O1 infection in Bangladesh

Aaron M. Harris, M. Saruar Bhuiyan, Fahima Chowdhury, Ashraful I. Khan, Azim Hossain, Emily A. Kendall, Atiqur Rahman, Regina C. LaRocque, Jens Wrammert, Edward T. Ryan, Firdausi Qadri, Stephen B. Calderwood, Jason B. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Cholera, caused by Vibrio cholerae, is a noninvasive dehydrating enteric disease with a high mortality rate if untreated. Infection with V. cholerae elicits long-term protection against subsequent disease in countries where the disease is endemic. Although the mechanism of this protective immunity is unknown, it has been hypothesized that a protective mucosal response to V. cholerae infection may be mediated by anamnestic responses of memory B cells in the gut-associated lymphoid tissue. To characterize memory B-cell responses to cholera, we enrolled a cohort of 39 hospitalized patients with culture-confirmed cholera and evaluated their immunologic responses at frequent intervals over the subsequent 1 year. Memory B cells to cholera antigens, including lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and the protein antigens cholera toxin B subunit (CTB) and toxin-coregulated pilus major subunit A (TcpA) were enumerated using a method of polyclonal stimulation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells followed by a standard enzyme-linked immunospot procedure. All patients demonstrated CTB, TcpA, and LPS-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG)and IgA memory responses by day 90. In addition, these memory B-cell responses persisted up to 1 year, substantially longer than other traditional immunologic markers of infection with V. cholerae. While the magnitude of the LPS-specific IgG memory B-cell response waned at 1 year, CTB- and TcpA-specific IgG memory B cells remained significantly elevated at 1 year after infection, suggesting that T-cell help may result in a more durable memory B-cell response to V. cholerae protein antigens. Such memory B cells could mediate anamnestic responses on reexposure to V. cholerae.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3850-3856
Number of pages7
JournalInfection and immunity
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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