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Differential Immune Responses and Protective Effects in Avirulent Mycobacterial Strains Vaccinated BALB/c Mice

Liu, Laicheng, Fu, Ruiling, Yuan, Xuefeng, Shi, Chunwei, Wang, Shuling, Lu, Xianyu, Ma, Zhao, Zhang, Xiaoming, Qin, Weiyan, Fan, Xionglin
Current microbiology 2015 v.71 no.1 pp. 129-135
Mycobacterium smegmatis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, adults, antigens, immune response, immunization, interferon-gamma, interleukin-10, mice, protective effect, screening, splenocytes, transforming growth factor beta, tuberculosis, vaccine development, vaccines, virulence
Screening live mycobacterial vaccine candidates is the important strategy to develop new vaccines against adult tuberculosis (TB). In this study, the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of several avirulent mycobacterial strains including Mycobacterium smegmatis, M. vaccae, M. terrae, M. phlei, M. trivial, and M. tuberculosis H37Ra were compared with M. bovis BCG in BALB/c mice. Our results demonstrated that differential immune responses were induced in different mycobacterial species vaccinated mice. As BCG-vaccinated mice did, M. terrae immunization resulted in Th1-type responses in the lung, as well as splenocytes secreting IFN-γ against a highly conserved mycobacterial antigen Ag85A. M. smegmatis also induced the same splenocytes secreting IFN-γ as BCG and M. terrae did. In addition, M. terrae and M. smegmatis-immunized mice predominantly increased expression of IL-10 and TGF-β in the lung. Most importantly, mice vaccinated with H37Ra and M. vaccae could provide the same protection in the lung against virulent M. tuberculosis challenge as BCG. The result may have important implications in developing adult TB vaccine.