Objectives: Advances in tuberculosis (TB) vaccine development are urgently required to enhance global disease management. We evaluated the potential of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tb)-derived protein antigens Rv0447c, Rv2957 and Rv2958c to boost BCG vaccine efficacy in the presence or absence of glucopyranosyl lipid adjuvant formulated in a stable emulsion (GLA-SE) adjuvant.
Methods: Mice received the BCG vaccine, followed by Rv0447c, Rv2957 and Rv2958c protein boosting with or without GLA-SE adjuvant 3 and 6 weeks later. Immune responses were examined at given time points. 9 weeks post vaccination, mice were aerosol-challenged with M. tb, and sacrificed at 6 and 12 weeks to assess bacterial burden.
Results: Vaccination of mice with BCG and M. tb proteins in the presence of GLA-SE adjuvant triggered strong IFN-γ and IL-2 production by splenocytes; more TNF-α was produced without GLA-SE addition. Antibody responses to all three antigens did not differ, with or without GLA-SE adjuvant. Protein boosting without GLA-SE adjuvant resulted in vaccinated animals having better control of pulmonary M. tb load at 6 and 12 weeks post aerosol infection, while animals receiving the protein boost with GLA-SE adjuvant exhibited more bacteria in the lungs.
Conclusions: Our data provides evidence for developing Rv2958c, Rv2957 and Rv0447c in a heterologous prime-boost vaccination strategy with BCG.
Keywords: Bacille Calmette-Guérin; Mycobacterium tuberculosis; T cells; antibodies; antigens; tuberculosis; vaccines.
Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.