Chandrasekar, S. S., Y. Phanse, M. Riel, R. E. Hildebrand, M. Hanafy, J. E. Osorio, S. S. Abdelgayed, and A. M. Talaat, "Systemic Neutralizing Antibodies and Local Immune Responses Are Critical for the Control of SARS-CoV-2", Viruses, vol. 14, no. 6, 2022. AbstractWebsite

Antibody measurements are primarily used to evaluate experimental and approved COVID-19 vaccines, which is unilateral considering our immune responses’ complex nature. Previously, we showed that nanoparticle plasmid DNA adjuvant system, QAC, and MVA based vaccines were immunogenic against SARS-CoV-2. Here, we report on the protective efficacy of systemic humoral and mucosal cell-mediated immune responses in transgenic mice models against SARS-CoV-2 following nanoparticle immunization. Parenteral, intramuscular administration of QAC-based plasmid DNA vaccine-encoding SARS-CoV-2 S and N led to the induction of significant serum neutralizing humoral responses, which reduced viral burden in the lungs and prevented viral dissemination to the brain. In contrast, the mucosal, intranasal administration of a heterologous vaccine elicited significant mucosal cell-mediated immune responses in the lungs that limited lung viral replication. The presented results demonstrate that serum neutralizing humoral and local lung T-cell immune responses are critical for the control of SARS-CoV-2 replication.

Chandrasekar, S. S., Y. Phanse, R. E. Hildebrand, M. Hanafy, C. - W. Wu, C. H. Hansen, J. E. Osorio, M. Suresh, and A. M. Talaat, "Localized and Systemic Immune Responses against SARS-CoV-2 Following Mucosal Immunization", Vaccines, vol. 9, no. 2, 2021. AbstractWebsite

The rapid transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in the USA and worldwide necessitates the development of multiple vaccines to combat the COVID-19 global pandemic. Previously, we showed that a particulate adjuvant system, quil-A-loaded chitosan (QAC) nanoparticles, can elicit robust immunity combined with plasmid vaccines when used against avian coronavirus. Here, we report on the immune responses elicited by mucosal homologous plasmid and a heterologous immunization strategy using a plasmid vaccine and a Modified Vaccinia Ankara (MVA) expressing SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) and nucleocapsid (N) antigens. Only the heterologous intranasal immunization strategy elicited neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in serum and bronchoalveolar lavage of mice, suggesting a protective vaccine. The same prime/boost strategy led to the induction of type 1 and type 17 T-cell responses and polyfunctional T-cells expressing multiple type 1 cytokines (e.g., IFN-γ, TNFα, IL-2) in the lungs and spleens of vaccinated mice. In contrast, the plasmid homologous vaccine strategy led to the induction of local mono and polyfunctional T-cells secreting IFN-γ. Outcomes of this study support the potential of QAC-nano vaccines to elicit significant mucosal immune responses against respiratory coronaviruses.

Ali, Z. I., M. Hanafy, C. Hansen, A. M. Saudi, and A. M. Talaat, Genotypic analysis of nontuberculous mycobacteria isolated from raw milk and human cases in Wisconsin, , vol. 104, issue 1, pp. 211 - 220, 2021. AbstractWebsite

ABSTRACTNontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) compose a group of mycobacteria that do not belong to the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex group. They are frequently isolated from environmental samples such as water, soil, and, to a lesser extent, food samples. Isolates of NTM represent a major health threat to humans worldwide, especially those who have asthma or are immunocompromised. Human disease is acquired from environmental exposures and through consumption of NTM-contaminated food. The most common clinical manifestation of NTM disease in human is lung disease, but lymphatic, skin and soft tissue, and disseminated disease are also important. The main objective of the current study was to profile the farm-level contamination of cow milk with NTM by examining milk filters and bulk tank milk samples. Five different NTM species were isolated in one dairy herd in Wisconsin, with confirmed 16S rRNA genotypes including Mycobacterium fortuitum, Mycobacterium avium ssp. hominissuis, Mycobacterium abscessus, Mycobacterium simiae, and Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis (Mycobacterium paratuberculosis). In tank milk samples, M. fortuitum was the predominant species in 48% of the samples, whereas M. chelonae/abscessus and M. fortuitum were the only 2 species obtained from 77 and 23% of the examined filters, respectively. Surprisingly, M. avium ssp. hominissuis, M. paratuberculosis, and M. simiae were isolated from 16.7, 10.4, and 4% of the examined milk samples, respectively, but not from milk filters. Interestingly, NTM isolates from human clinical cases in Wisconsin clustered very closely with those from milk samples. These findings suggest that the problem of NTM contamination is underestimated in dairy herds and could contribute to human infections with NTM. Overall, the study validates the use of bulk tank samples rather than milk filters to assess contamination of milk with NTM. Nontuberculous mycobacteria represent one type of pathogens that extensively contaminate raw milk at the farm level. The significance of our research is in evaluating the existence of NTM at the farm level and identifying a simple approach to examine the potential milk contamination with NTM members using tank milk or milk filters from dairy operations. In addition, we attempted to examine the potential link between NTM isolates found in the farm to those circulating in humans in Wisconsin.

Hafez, N. M., M. F. Saad, M. H. Hanafy, and E. M. A. N. F. ABDEL-LATIF, "Detection of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis in raw buffaloe's milk", International Journal of ChemTech Research, vol. 9, issue 8, pp. 123-128, 2016. detectionofmycobacteriumaviumsubsp.paratuberculosisinrawbuffaloesmilk.pdf