Vaccines against Staphylococcus aureus have eluded researchers for >3 decades while the burden of staphylococcal diseases has increased. Early vaccine attempts mainly used rodents to characterize preclinical efficacy, and all subsequently failed in human clinical efficacy trials. More recently, leukocidin AB (LukAB) has gained interest as a vaccine antigen. We developed a minipig deep surgical wound infection model offering 3 independent efficacy readouts: bacterial load at the superficial and at the deep-seated surgical site, and dissemination of bacteria. Due to similarities with humans, minipigs are an attractive option to study novel vaccine candidates. With this model, we characterized the efficacy of a LukAB toxoid as vaccine candidate. Compared to control animals, a 3-log reduction of bacteria at the deep-seated surgical site was observed in LukAB-treated minipigs and dissemination of bacteria was dramatically reduced. Therefore, LukAB toxoids may be a useful addition to S. aureus vaccines and warrant further study.
Keywords: Staphylococcus aureus; leukotoxin AB; minipig; surgical wound infection; vaccine.
© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America.