Background: The translation of preclinically promising novel tuberculosis vaccines to ultimate human applications has been challenged by the lack of animal models with an immune system equivalent to the human immune system in its genetic diversity and level of susceptibility to tuberculosis.
Methods: We have developed a humanized mice (Hu-mice) tuberculosis model system to investigate the clinical relevance of a novel virus-vectored (VV) tuberculosis vaccine administered via respiratory mucosal or parenteral route.
Results: We find that VV vaccine activates T cells in Hu-mice as it does in human vaccinees. The respiratory mucosal route for delivery of VV vaccine in Hu-mice, but not the parenteral route, significantly reduces the humanlike lung tuberculosis outcomes in a human T-cell-dependent manner.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that the Hu-mouse can be used to predict the protective efficacy of novel tuberculosis vaccines/strategies before they proceed to large, expensive human trials. This new vaccine testing system will facilitate the global pace of clinical tuberculosis vaccine development.
Keywords: Tuberculosis; humanized mice; respiratory mucosal immunization; viral-vectored vaccines.
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