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Immunogenicity and Protection Induced by a Mycobacterium tuberculosis sigE Mutant in a BALB/c Mouse Model of Progressive Pulmonary Tuberculosis▿

By Rogelio Hernandez Pando, Leon Diana Aguilar, Issar Smith and Riccardo Manganelli

Abstract

Tuberculosis is still one of the main challenges to human global health, leading to about two million deaths every year. One of the reasons for its success is the lack of efficacy of the widely used vaccine Mycobacterium bovis BCG. In this article, we analyze the potential use of an attenuated mutant of Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv lacking the sigma factor σE as a live vaccine. We have demonstrated that BALB/c mice infected by the intratracheal route with this mutant strain showed significantly higher survival rates and less tissue damage than animals infected with the parental or complemented mutant strain. Although animals infected with the sigE mutant had low bacillary loads, their lungs showed significantly higher production of the protective factors gamma interferon (IFN-γ), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), and β-defensins than those of animals infected with the parental or complemented mutant strain. Moreover, we demonstrate that the sigE mutant, when inoculated subcutaneously, was more attenuated than BCG in immunodeficient nude mice, thus representing a good candidate for a novel attenuated live vaccine strain. Finally, when we used the sigE mutant as a subcutaneous vaccine, it was able to induce a higher level of protection than did BCG with both H37Rv and a highly virulent strain of M. tuberculosis (Beijing code 9501000). Taken together, our findings suggest that the sigE mutant is a very promising strain for the development of a new vaccine against tuberculosis

Topics: Microbial Immunity and Vaccines
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology (ASM)
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:2897378
Provided by: PubMed Central
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