Streptococcus pneumoniae (Spn) serotype 3 (Spn3) is considered one of the most virulent serotypes with resistance to conventional vaccine and treatment regimens. Pn3Pase is a glycoside hydrolase that we have previously shown to be highly effective in degrading the capsular polysaccharide of type 3 Spn, sensitizing it to host immune clearance. To begin assessing the value and safety of this enzyme for future clinical studies, we investigated the effects of high doses of Pn3Pase on host cells and immune system.
We assessed the enzyme’s catalytic activity following administration in mice, and performed septic infection models to determine if prior administration of the enzyme inhibited repeat treatments of Spn3-challenged mice. We assessed immune populations in mouse tissues following administration of the enzyme, and tested Pn3Pase toxicity on other mammalian cell types in vitro.
Repeated administration of the enzyme in vivo does not prevent efficacy of the enzyme in promoting bacterial clearance following bacterial challenge, with insignificant antibody response generated against the enzyme. Immune homeostasis is maintained following high-dose treatment with Pn3Pase, and no cytotoxic effects were observed against mammalian cells.
These data indicate that Pn3Pase has potential as a therapy against Spn3. Further development as a drug product could overcome a great hurdle of pneumococcal infections.