Variation in interferon-gamma responses to Coxiella burnetii antigens with lymphocytes from vaccinated or naturally infected subjects

Clin Exp Immunol. 1993 Dec;94(3):507-15. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2249.1993.tb08226.x.


Previous work in our laboratory has shown that lymphocytes from persons vaccinated with a formalin-inactivated Phase I Q fever vaccine (Q-Vax CSL Ltd) show a mitogenic response to Coxiella burnetii antigens. The mitogenic response is the sum of that from various subsets of CD4+, T helper cells, CD8+ T cells and probably B cells. It does not distinguish between T helper cell responses leading to formation of interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma)--a cytokine responsible for clearing intracellular infection with C. burnetii organisms--and responses of other T cell subsets which may produce disease-enhancing cytokines. The present study analyses (i) the capacity of Q-Vax to induce T cell sensitization which leads to IFN-gamma responses on antigen stimulation, and (ii) the immunomodulatory, (down-regulatory) effects of the Phase I lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of the organism, which interacts with monocyte/macrophages to limit IL-2 production and production of IFN-gamma by sensitized T lymphocytes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology*
  • Bacterial Vaccines / immunology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Coxiella burnetii / immunology*
  • Down-Regulation
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis*
  • Interleukin-2 / immunology
  • Lipopolysaccharides / immunology
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Monocytes / immunology
  • Q Fever / immunology*
  • Q Fever / prevention & control
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Vaccination


  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Bacterial Vaccines
  • Interleukin-2
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Interferon-gamma