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(1/350) Comparative affects of plasmid-encoded interleukin 12 and interleukin 18 on the protective efficacy of DNA vaccination against Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Protective immunity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection requires the induction and maintenance of mycobacteria-specific, IFN-gamma-secreting CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes. The development of Th1-like T cells is promoted by the early secretion and synergistic action of interleukin (IL)-12 and IL-18. This study compares the effects of plasmid-encoded IL-12 and IL-18 on the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of a DNA vaccine expressing the M. tuberculosis-secreted protein antigen 85B (DNA-85B). Co-immunization with either IL-12- or IL-18-expressing plasmids augmented the IFN-gamma-secreting T-cell response, and the maximum effect was observed with plasmids encoding both cytokines. Further the IL-12, but not the IL-18-expressing plasmid, significantly increased the protective efficacy of DNA-85B against pulmonary M. tuberculosis infection. Therefore co-administration of plasmid-encoded cytokines provides a potential method for optimizing the protective efficacy of DNA vaccination against tuberculosis.  (+info)

(2/350) Immunogenicity of Mycobacterium tuberculosis RD1 region gene products in infected cattle.

Current immuno-diagnostic tests for the detection of Mycobacterium bovis infection in cattle rely on the use of tuberculin PPD as antigens. However, the use of a cattle vaccine is effectively prohibited because BCG, the only potentially available cattle TB vaccine, compromises the current tuberculin test. The main objective of this study was to identify specific antigens, which could increase the test sensitivity to levels achieved with tuberculin. Our approach utilized the availability of the genome sequences of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and BCG by applying principles of comparative genomics to the identification of species-specific antigens. Eight open-reading frames (Rv3871 to Rv3878) encoding for putative antigens in the RD1 region of the M. tuberculosis genome, which is deleted in all strains of BCG, were selected and screened in the form of pools of synthetic peptides for immunological reactivity (antigen induced proliferation and IFN-gamma secretion) with peripheral blood mononuclear cells from cattle experimentally infected with M. bovis. Our results confirm the immunodominant role of two RD1 region products, CFP-10 (Rv3874) and ESAT-6 (Rv3875). In addition, we were able to identify 3 more antigens (Rv3871, Rv3872 and Rv3873), which induced immunological reactivity in PBMC from more than 50%M. bovis of infected cattle.  (+info)

(3/350) Production of avirulent mutants of Mycobacterium bovis with vaccine properties by the use of illegitimate recombination and screening of stationary-phase cultures.

A better tuberculosis vaccine is urgently required to control the continuing epidemic. Molecular techniques are now available to produce a better live vaccine than BCG by producing avirulent strains of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex with known gene deletions. In this study, 1000 illegitimate recombinants of Mycobacterium bovis were produced by illegitimate recombination with fragments of mycobacterial DNA containing a kanamycin resistance gene. Eight recombinant strains were selected on the basis of their inability to grow when stationary-phase cultures were inoculated into minimal medium. Five of these recombinants were found to be avirulent when inoculated into guinea pigs. Two of the avirulent recombinants produced vaccine efficacy comparable to BCG against an aerosol challenge in guinea pigs with M. bovis. One of these recombinants had an inactivated glnA2 gene encoding a putative glutamine synthetase. Transcriptional analysis showed that inactivation of glnA2 did not affect expression of the downstream glnE gene. The other recombinant had a block of 12 genes deleted, including the sigma factor gene sigG. Two avirulent recombinants with an inactivated pckA gene, encoding phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase which catalyses the first step of gluconeogenesis, induced poor protection against tuberculosis. It is clear that live avirulent strains of the M. tuberculosis complex vary widely in their ability as vaccines to protect against tuberculosis. Improved models may be required to more clearly determine the difference in protective effect between BCG and potential new tuberculosis vaccines.  (+info)

(4/350) Identification of novel Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigens with potential as diagnostic reagents or subunit vaccine candidates by comparative genomics.

An independent review for the British government has concluded that the development of a cattle vaccine against Mycobacterium bovis holds the best long-term prospects for tuberculosis control in British herds. The development of complementary diagnostic tests to differentiate between vaccinated and infected animals is necessary to allow the continuation of test-and-slaughter-based control policies alongside vaccination. Vaccination with M. bovis bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG), the only available vaccine, results in tuberculin purified protein derivative sensitivity and has shown varying vaccine efficacies in cattle. Thus, identification of more-specific reagents to distinguish between vaccination and infection, as well as the identification of subunit vaccine candidates for improved tuberculosis vaccines, is a research priority. In the present study, we applied comparative genomics to identify M. bovis-Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigens whose genes had been deleted in BCG Pasteur. In total, 13 open reading frames (ORFs) from the RD1, RD2, and RD14 regions of the M. tuberculosis genome were selected. Pools of overlapping peptides spanning these ORFs were tested in M. bovis-infected (n = 22), BCG-vaccinated (n = 6), and unvaccinated (n = 10) control cattle. All were recognized in infected cattle, with responder frequencies varying between 16 and 86%. In particular, eight highly immunogenic antigens were identified whose potentials as diagnostic reagents or as subunit vaccines warrant further study (Rv1983, Rv1986, Rv3872, Rv3873, Rv3878, Rv3879c, Rv1979c, and Rv1769).  (+info)

(5/350) Mapping of murine Th1 helper T-Cell epitopes of mycolyl transferases Ag85A, Ag85B, and Ag85C from Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

BALB/c (H-2(d)) and C57BL/6 (H-2(b)) mice were infected intravenously with Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv or vaccinated intramuscularly with plasmid DNA encoding each of the three mycolyl transferases Ag85A, Ag85B, and Ag85C from M. tuberculosis. Th1-type spleen cell cytokine secretion of interleukin-2 (IL-2) and gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) was analyzed in response to purified Ag85 components and synthetic overlapping peptides covering the three mature sequences. Tuberculosis-infected C57BL/6 mice reacted strongly to some peptides from Ag85A and Ag85B but not from Ag85C, whereas tuberculosis-infected BALB/c mice reacted only to peptides from Ag85A. In contrast, spleen cells from both mouse strains produced elevated levels of IL-2 and IFN-gamma following vaccination with Ag85A, Ag85B, and Ag85C DNA in response to peptides of the three Ag85 proteins, and the epitope repertoire was broader than in infected mice. Despite pronounced sequence homology, a number of immunodominant regions contained component specific epitopes. Thus, BALB/c mice vaccinated with all three Ag85 genes reacted against the same amino acid region, 101 to 120, that was also immunodominant for Ag85A in M. bovis BCG-vaccinated and tuberculosis-infected H-2(d) haplotype mice, but responses were completely component specific. In C57BL/6 mice, a cross-reactive T-cell response was detected against two carboxy-terminal peptides spanning amino acids 241 to 260 and 261 to 280 of Ag85A and Ag85B. These regions were not recognized at all in C57BL/6 mice vaccinated with Ag85C DNA. Our results underline the need for comparative analysis of all three Ag85 components in future vaccination studies.  (+info)

(6/350) Enhanced immunogenicity to Mycobacterium tuberculosis by vaccination with an alphavirus plasmid replicon expressing antigen 85A.

The immunogenicity of a plasmid DNA vaccine incorporating Sindbis virus RNA replicase functions (pSINCP) and expressing antigen 85A (Ag85A) from Mycobacterium tuberculosis was compared with a conventional plasmid DNA vector encoding Ag85A. pSINCP-85A was highly immunogenic in mice and gave enhanced long-term protection against M. tuberculosis compared with the conventional vector.  (+info)

(7/350) Cutting edge: Mycobacterium tuberculosis blocks Ca2+ signaling and phagosome maturation in human macrophages via specific inhibition of sphingosine kinase.

One-third of the world's population is infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), and three million people die of tuberculosis each year. Following its ingestion by macrophages (MPs), Mtb inhibits the maturation of its phagosome, preventing progression to a bactericidal phagolysosome. Phagocytosis of Mtb is uncoupled from the elevation in MP cytosolic Ca(2+) that normally accompanies microbial ingestion, resulting in inhibition of phagosome-lysosome fusion and increased intracellular viability. This study demonstrates that the mechanism responsible for this failure of Ca(2+)-dependent phagosome maturation involves mycobacterial inhibition of MP sphingosine kinase. Thus, inhibition of sphingosine kinase directly contributes to survival of Mtb within human MPs and represents a novel molecular mechanism of pathogenesis.  (+info)

(8/350) The Apa protein of Mycobacterium tuberculosis stimulates gamma interferon-secreting CD4+ and CD8+ T cells from purified protein derivative-positive individuals and affords protection in a guinea pig model.

The search to identify Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigens capable of conferring protective immunity against tuberculosis has received a boost owing to the resurgence of tuberculosis over the past two decades. It has long been recognized that lymphoid cells are required for protection against M. tuberculosis. While traditionally the CD4(+) populations of T cells were believed to predominantly serve this protective function, a pivotal role for CD8(+) T cells in this task has been increasingly appreciated. We show that the 50- to 55-kDa Apa protein, specified by the Rv1860 gene of M. tuberculosis, can elicit both lymphoproliferative response and gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) production from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of purified protein derivative (PPD)-positive individuals, with significant differences recorded in the levels of responsiveness between PPD-positive healthy controls and pulmonary tuberculosis patients. Flow cytometric analysis of whole blood stimulated with the recombinant Apa protein revealed a sizeable proportion of CD8(+) T cells in addition to CD4(+) T cells contributing to IFN-gamma secretion. PBMC responding to the Apa protein produced no interleukin-4, revealing a Th1 phenotype. A DNA vaccine and a poxvirus recombinant expressing the Apa protein were constructed and tested for their ability to protect immunized guinea pigs against a challenge dose of virulent M. tuberculosis. Although the DNA vaccine afforded little protection, the poxvirus recombinant boost after DNA vaccine priming conferred a significant level of protective immunity, bringing about a considerable reduction in mycobacterial counts from the challenge bacilli in spleens of immunized guinea pigs, a result comparable to that achieved by BCG vaccination.  (+info)