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T cell Receptor Vβ9 in Method for Rapidly Quantifying Active Staphylococcal Enterotoxin Type-A without Live Animals

Western Regional Research Center, Foodborne Toxin Detection & Prevention Research Unit, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Albany, CA 94710, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Toxins 2019, 11(7), 399;
Received: 10 April 2019 / Revised: 5 July 2019 / Accepted: 7 July 2019 / Published: 10 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Toxins)
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Staphylococcal food poisoning is a result of ingestion of Staphylococcal enterotoxins (SEs) produced by Staphylococcus aureus. Staphylococcal enterotoxin type A (SEA) is the predominant toxin produced by S. aureus strains isolated from food-poisoning outbreak cases. For public safety, assays to detect and quantify SEA ideally respond only to the active form of the toxin and this usually means employing disfavored live animal testing which suffers also from poor reproducibility and sensitivity. We developed a cell-based assay for SEA quantification in which biologically-active SEA is presented by Raji B-cells to CCRF-CEM T-cells resulting in internalization of Vβ9 within 2 hours with dose dependency over a 6-log range of SEA concentrations. This bioassay can discern biologically active SEA from heat-inactivated SEA and is specific to SEA with no cross reactivity to the homologically-similar SED or SEE. In this study, we terminated any ongoing biochemical reactions in accessory cells while retaining the morphology of the antigenic sites by using paraformaldehyde fixation and challenged the current model for mechanism of action of the SEA superantigen. We demonstrated for the first time that although fixed, dead accessory cells, having no metabolic functions to process the SEA superantigen into short peptide fragments for display on their cell surface, can instead present intact SEA to induce T-cell activation which leads to cytokine production. However, the level of cytokine secretion induced by intact SEA was statistically significantly lower than with viable accessory cells, which have the ability to internalize and process the SEA superantigen. View Full-Text
Keywords: Staphylococcal enterotoxin type A; Superantigen: Raji B-cell; CCRF-CEM T-cell Staphylococcal enterotoxin type A; Superantigen: Raji B-cell; CCRF-CEM T-cell

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Rasooly, R.; Do, P.; He, X.; Hernlem, B. T cell Receptor Vβ9 in Method for Rapidly Quantifying Active Staphylococcal Enterotoxin Type-A without Live Animals. Toxins 2019, 11, 399.

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