In vivo Distribution and Clearance of Purified Capsular Polysaccharide from Burkholderia pseudomallei in a Mouse Model
College of Science
Molecular Microbiology and Immunology
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Burkholderia pseudomallei is the causative agent of melioidosis, a severe infection prominent in northern Australia and Southeast Asia. The “gold standard” for melioidosis diagnosis is bacterial isolation, which takes several days to complete. The resulting delay in diagnosis leads to delayed treatments, which could result in death. In an attempt to develop better methods for early diagnosis of melioidosis, B. pseudomallei capsular polysaccharide (CPS) was identified as an important diagnostic biomarker. A rapid lateral flow immunoassay utilizing CPS-specific monoclonal antibody was developed and tested in endemic regions worldwide. However, the in vivo fate and clearance of CPS has never been thoroughly investigated. Here, we injected mice with purified CPS intravenously and determined CPS concentrations in serum, urine, and major organs at various intervals. The results indicate that CPS is predominantly eliminated through urine and no CPS accumulation occurs in the major organs. Immunoblot analysis demonstrated that intact CPS was excreted through urine. To understand how a large molecule like CPS was eliminated without degradation, a 3-dimenational structure of CPS was modeled. The predicted CPS structure has a rod-like shape with a small diameter that could allow it to flow through the glomerulus of the kidney. CPS clearance was determined using exponential decay models and the corrected Akaike Information Criterion. The results show that CPS has a relatively short serum half-life of 2.9 to 4.4 hours. Therefore, the presence of CPS in the serum and/or urine suggests active melioidosis infection and provides a marker to monitor treatment of melioidosis.