A NANOPARTICLE ASSAY TO DEMONSTRATE ANTIBODY CONTRIBUTIONS TOWARD PROTECTION AGAINST INFLUENZA VIRUS: STREPTOCOCCUS PYOGENES SUPER-INFECTION
Studies of past influenza pandemics have concluded that secondary bacterial infections are responsible for a high percentage of mortality. Apart from causing minor ailments, Streptococcus pyogenes, has been, and still is, a key bacterium studied in this field. Modern antibiotics have been able to reduce the threat posed by S. pyogenes, but with a vaccine currently in human trials the future in S. pyogenes defense is optimistic. Recent research has shown significant increases in survival of influenza virus:S. pyogenes super-infected mice when this bacterial vaccine is administered. Through development of an antibody-mediated nanoparticle uptake assay, we have been able to evaluate the contribution of vaccine-induced antibodies towards S. pyogenes clearance using murine macrophage cells. This newly developed assay has many possible applications for vaccine research. Our assay is novel in that it does not actually use the pathogen of study, but uses nanoparticles conjugated with proteins expressed on the outside of the pathogen. This eliminates any potential threat to using harmful microbes at the lab bench and is applicable to almost any microorganism. If developed into a cell-free system, this procedure could be used effectively in almost every clinic.