Ontology-Based Meta-Analysis of Animal and Human Adverse Events Associated With Licensed Brucellosis Vaccines

Front Pharmacol. 2018 May 15;9:503. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2018.00503. eCollection 2018.


Brucella abortus strain 19 (S19), Brucella melitensis Rev 1 (Rev1), and B. abortus strain RB51 (RB51) are the three licensed animal brucellosis vaccines, and they have been most commonly and successfully used in prevent brucellosis in animals. However, many adverse events (AEs) have been associated with these three vaccines after their administering to animals or being accidentally exposed to humans. In this study, 27 peer-reviewed publications containing animal and human AE reports associated with these three brucellosis vaccines were manually annotated from the PubMed database. Our meta-analysis identified 20 animal AEs and 46 human AEs associated with the three vaccines. Based on the Ontology of Adverse Events (OAE) hierarchical classification, these animal AEs were enriched in the immune and reproductive systems that might eventually result in the occurrence of abortion or infertility. The human AEs were concentrated in the behavioral and neurological conditions, and these AEs showed flu-like symptoms that are consistent with human brucellosis. Furthermore, an analysis of variance (ANOVA) statistics analysis with linear model fits was used to determine the major variables that might affect the occurrence of abortion AE in animals. The ANOVA results indicated that three variables (P-value < 0.05) are significantly associated with the occurrence of abortion AE: animal species, vaccination dose, and vaccination route. The other two variables (i.e., vaccine type and animal age at vaccination) did not significantly (P-value > 0.05) associated with the occurrence of abortion AE. Overall, this study represents the first ontology-based meta-analysis of adverse events associated with animal vaccines. The results of such a study led to the better understanding of brucellosis vaccine AEs, facilitating rational design of more secure and effective vaccines.

Keywords: ANOVA statistics analysis; Brucella; Ontology of Adverse Events; abortion AE; adverse event; brucellosis vaccine.