Effective DNA vaccination of cattle with the mycobacterial antigens MPB83 and MPB70 does not compromise the specificity of the comparative intradermal tuberculin skin test

Vaccine. 2000 Dec 8;19(9-10):1246-55. doi: 10.1016/s0264-410x(00)00238-3.


The current tuberculin test and slaughter strategy for the control of bovine tuberculosis in cattle has failed to prevent a sharp rise in cases over recent years, especially in the south-west of England. A recent scientific review has concluded that the development of a cattle vaccine holds the best prospect for tuberculosis control in British herds. In order to continue with test and slaughter-based control strategies, the development of TB vaccines that do not compromise the specificity of the tuberculin skin test are required. This report describes results of cattle vaccination experiments with TB DNA vaccines expressing the mycobacterial antigens MPB70, MPB83, and Ag85A and constitutes the first published vaccination study with DNA vaccines undertaken in a target host species. All calves vaccinated with the MPB83 expressing plasmid demonstrated potent cellular immune responses, characterised by CD4(+) T cells producing interferon-gamma as well as humoral immunity characterised by IgG1 biased specific antibodies. Vaccination with MPB70 was less effective with immune responses only observed in half of the vaccinated animals, while vaccination with Ag85A did not result in vaccine-induced immune responses. Intramuscular vaccination was found to stimulate stronger cellular responses than intradermal immunisation. Significantly, the specificity of tuberculin skin testing was not compromised by DNA vaccination since none of the vaccinated calves showed positive skin test reactivity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / biosynthesis
  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology*
  • Bacterial Proteins / immunology*
  • Bacterial Vaccines / immunology*
  • Cattle
  • Female
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Membrane Proteins*
  • Tuberculin Test*
  • Vaccination
  • Vaccines, DNA / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Bacterial Vaccines
  • MPB83 protein, Mycobacterium
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Vaccines, DNA
  • MPB70 protein, Mycobacterium bovis