Protective antigen (PA), one of the components of the anthrax toxin, is the major component of human anthrax vaccine (Biothrax). Human anthrax vaccines approved in the United States and Europe consist of an alum-adsorbed or precipitated (respectively) supernatant material derived from cultures of toxigenic, non-encapsulated strains of Bacillus anthracis. Approved vaccination schedules in humans with either of these vaccines requires several booster shots and occasionally causes adverse injection site reactions. Mutant derivatives of the protective antigen that will not form the anthrax toxins have been described. We have cloned and expressed both mutant (PA SNKE167-ΔFF-315-E308D) and native PA molecules recombinantly and purified them. In this study, both the mutant and native PA molecules, formulated with alum (Alhydrogel), elicited high titers of anthrax toxin neutralizing anti-PA antibodies in New Zealand White rabbits. Both mutant and native PA vaccine preparations protected rabbits from lethal, aerosolized, B. anthracis spore challenge subsequent to two immunizations at doses of less than 1 μg.
Reed, M. D., Wilder, J. A., Mega, W. M., Hutt, J. A., Kuehl, P. J., Valderas, M. W., … Squires, C. H. (2015). Immunization with a recombinant, pseudomonas fluorescens-expressed, mutant form of bacillus anthracis-derived protective antigen protects rabbits from anthrax infection. PLoS ONE, 10(7). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0130952