Brucellosis is a zoonotic disease that causes animal and human diseases. Vaccination is a major measure for prevention of brucellosis, but it is currently not possible to distinguish vaccinated animals from those that have been naturally infected. Therefore, in this study, we constructed the Brucella (B.) abortus 2380 wbkA mutant (2308ΔwbkA) and evaluated its virulence. The survival of 2308ΔwbkA was attenuated in murine macrophage (RAW 264.7) and BALB/c mice, and it induced high protective immunity in mice. The wbkA mutant elicited an anti-Brucella-specific immunoglobulin G response and induced the secretion of gamma interferon. Antibodies to 2308ΔwbkA could be detected in sera from mice, implying the potential for use of this protein as a diagnostic antigen. The WbkA antigen would allow serological differentiation between infected and vaccinated animals. These results suggest that 2308ΔwbkA is a potential attenuated vaccine against 16M. This vaccine will be further evaluated in sheep.
Keywords: 2308ΔwbkA; Brucella; vaccine.