2017-057 – Target Mutagenesis Vaccine Platform for Ehrlichia and Anaplasma Vaccine Candidates

Researchers at Kansas State University have discovered a new targeted mutagenesis vaccine platform that has the potential to create attenuated live canine vaccine candidates for Ehrlichia and Anaplasma species. Obligate intracellular bacteria (hereafter “obligates”) are responsible for causing infections and diseases in animals and humans. The obligates include many pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria of the orders Rickettsiales and Chlamydiales. Disrupting specific gene function and subsequent restoration of its activity in obligates remain extremely challenging due to their absolute requirement for residence inside a host cell to replicate. K-State researchers have created targeted mutations by allelic exchange in two genes and genetically complemented one of the inactivated genes of the rickettsial pathogenEhrlichia chaffeensis. In principle, this approach can be applied to other obligate intracellular bacteria, such as other species of Ehrlichia (E. canis), Anaplasma, Rickettsia, Orientia, and Chlamydia, and will enable structure-function analyses. Bret Ford bretford@ksu.edu 785-532-3924

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