A New Recombinant BCG Vaccine Induces Specific Th17 and Th1 Effector Cells with Higher Protective Efficacy against Tuberculosis.

PloS one

PubMedID: 25398087

Costa AC, Costa-Júnior Ade O, Oliveira FM, Nogueira SV, Rosa JD, Resende DP, Kipnis A, Junqueira-Kipnis AP. A New Recombinant BCG Vaccine Induces Specific Th17 and Th1 Effector Cells with Higher Protective Efficacy against Tuberculosis. PLoS ONE. 2014;9(11):e112848.
Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) that is a major public health problem. The vaccine used for TB prevention is Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), which provides variable efficacy in protecting against pulmonary TB among adults. Consequently, several groups have pursued the development of a new vaccine with a superior protective capacity to that of BCG. Here we constructed a new recombinant BCG (rBCG) vaccine expressing a fusion protein (CMX) composed of immune dominant epitopes from Ag85C, MPT51, and HspX and evaluated its immunogenicity and protection in a murine model of infection. The stability of the vaccine in vivo was maintained for up to 20 days post-vaccination. rBCG-CMX was efficiently phagocytized by peritoneal macrophages and induced nitric oxide (NO) production. Following mouse immunization, this vaccine induced a specific immune response in cells from lungs and spleen to the fusion protein and to each of the component recombinant proteins by themselves. Vaccinated mice presented higher amounts of Th1, Th17, and polyfunctional specific T cells. rBCG-CMX vaccination reduced the extension of lung lesions caused by challenge with Mtb as well as the lung bacterial load. In addition, when this vaccine was used in a prime-boost strategy together with rCMX, the lung bacterial load was lower than the result observed by BCG vaccination. This study describes the creation of a new promising vaccine for TB that we hope will be used in further studies to address its safety before proceeding to clinical trials.