Supplementary Material for: Naturally Occurring IgG Antibodies Provide Innate Protection against Vibrio cholerae Bacteremia by Recognition of the Outer Membrane Protein U
Cholera epidemics are caused by Vibrio cholerae serogroups O1 and O139, whereas strains collectively known as non-O1/non-O139 V. cholerae are found in cases of extraintestinal infections and bacteremia. The mechanisms and factors influencing the occurrence of bacteremia and survival of V. cholerae in normal human serum have remained unclear. We found that naturally occurring IgG recognizing V. cholerae outer membrane protein U (OmpU) mediates a serum-killing effect in a complement C1q-dependent manner. Moreover, outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) containing OmpU caused enhanced survival of highly serum-sensitive classical V. cholerae in a dose-dependent manner. OMVs from wild-type and ompU mutant V. cholerae thereby provided a novel means to verify by extracellular transcomplementation the involvement of OmpU. Our data conclusively indicate that loss, or reduced expression, of OmpU imparts resistance to V. cholerae towards serum killing. We propose that the difference in OmpU protein levels is a plausible reason for differences in serum resistance and the ability to cause bacteremia observed among V. cholerae biotypes. Our findings provide a new perspective on how naturally occurring antibodies, perhaps induced by members of the microbiome, may play a role in the recognition of pathogens and the provocation of innate immune defense against bacteremia.