Immunogenicity of a new lot of Francisella tularensis live vaccine strain in human volunteers

FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 1996 Mar;13(3):205-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-695X.1996.tb00238.x.


A new lot of Francisella tularensis live vaccine strain (LVS) was tested for immunogenicity in 19 human volunteers. Scarification vaccination induced specific cell-mediated and humoral immune responses. We noted a significant rise in antibodies against irradiation-killed LVS, formalin-killed virulent strain SCHU4, and an ether extracted antigen preparation (EEx) beginning 14 days after vaccination. A main target of the humoral immune response was lipopolysaccharide. Eighty percent of vaccinated volunteers developed a positive IgG response to EEx by day 14 and 100% of vaccinees responded positively by day 21. Background IgA titers were lower than corresponding IgG or IgM titers. No early IgM rise was noted with any antigen. By day 14 after vaccination, in vitro lymphocyte responses to LVS, the rough variant of LVS, and EEx were significantly increased compared to controls. Seventy percent of volunteers had a positive in vitro lymphocyte response to EEx within 14 days of vaccination. We predict that EEx will be a useful antigen for diagnosing tularemia and for evaluating the immunogenicity of vaccines against tularemia. We are testing this antigen using sera from human cases of tularemia and control sera.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Bacterial / biosynthesis*
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood
  • Bacterial Vaccines / immunology*
  • Francisella tularensis / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular / immunology
  • Lipopolysaccharides / immunology
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • Tularemia / diagnosis


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Bacterial Vaccines
  • Lipopolysaccharides