Identification of Surrogates and Correlates of Protection in Protective Immunity against Mycobacterium bovis Infection Induced in Neonatal Calves by Vaccination with M. bovis BCG Pasteur and M. bovis BCG Danish

J.C. Hope, M.L. Thom, M. McAulay, E. Mead, H.M. Vordermeier, D. Clifford, R.G. Hewinson, B. Villarreal-Ramos

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Vaccination of neonatal calves with Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) induces a significant degree of protection against infection with virulent M. bovis, the causative agent of bovine tuberculosis (bTB). We compared two strains of BCG, Pasteur and Danish, in order to confirm that the current European human vaccine strain (BCG Danish) induced protective immunity in calves, and we assessed immune responses to determine correlates of protection that could assist future vaccine evaluation in cattle. Both vaccine strains induced antigen (purified protein derivate [PPD])-specific gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) in whole-blood cultures. These responses were not significantly different for BCG Pasteur and BCG Danish and peaked at week 2 to 4 postvaccination. Vaccination with either BCG Danish or BCG Pasteur induced significant protection against bTB, with reductions in both lesion score and bacteriological burden evident in both groups of vaccinated calves compared with nonvaccinated control calves. Measurement of IFN-gamma-expressing T lymphocytes postvaccination and postchallenge revealed both correlates and surrogates of protective efficacy. The frequency of central memory T lymphocytes present at 12 weeks postvaccination (at the time of M. bovis challenge) correlated significantly with protection. Conversely, the number of IFN-gamma-expressing effector T cells present after M. bovis challenge was correlated with disease. These results demonstrate that vaccination of neonatal calves with either BCG Pasteur or BCG Danish induces protective immune responses against TB. In addition, we show that measurement of antigen-specific T lymphocyte populations may provide a reliable means for identifying protective vaccine candidates.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)373-379
Number of pages7
JournalClinical and Vaccine Immunology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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