Brucella abortus vaccine strain RB51 is an attenuated, stable rough mutant that is being used in many countries to control bovine brucellosis. Our earlier study demonstrated that the protective efficacy of strain RB51 can be significantly enhanced by overexpressing Cu-Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD), a homologous protective antigen. We have also previously demonstrated that strain RB51 can be engineered to express heterologous proteins and mice vaccinated with such recombinant RB51 strains develop a strong Th1 type of immune response to the foreign proteins. The present study is aimed at combining these two characteristics to generate new recombinant RB51 vaccines with enhanced abilities to protect against brucellosis and simultaneously able to protect against infections by Mycobacterium spp. We constructed two recombinant RB51 strains, RB51SOD/85A which overexpresses SOD with simultaneous expression of the 85A, a protective protein of Mycobacterium spp., and RB51ESAT which expresses ESAT-6, another protective protein of M. bovis, as a fusion protein with the signal sequence and few additional amino terminal amino acids of SOD. Mice vaccinated with these recombinant strains developed specific immune responses to the mycobacterial proteins and significantly enhanced protection against Brucella challenge compared to the mice vaccinated with strain RB51 alone.
Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science B.V.