The live Mycobacterium tuberculosis phoP mutant strain is more attenuated than BCG and confers protective immunity against tuberculosis in mice and guinea pigs

Carlos Martin*, Ann Williams, Rogelio Hernandez-Pando, Pere J. Cardona, Eamonn Gormley, Yann Bordat, Carlos Y. Soto, Simon Clark, Graham J. Hatch, Diana Aguilar, Vicente Ausina, Brigitte Gicquel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

189 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Mycobacterium tuberculosis phoP mutant strain SO2 has previously been shown to have reduced multiplication in mouse macrophages and in vivo using the mouse intravenous-infection model. In this study we demonstrate that the M. tuberculosis SO2 is highly attenuated when compared with the parental M. tuberculosis MT103 strain and also more attenuated than BCG in severe combined immunodeficiency disease (SCID) mice. Complementation of the M. tuberculosis SO2 with the wild-type phoP gene restored the virulence of the strain in the SCID mice, confirming that the attenuated phenotype is due to the phoP mutation. In Balb/c mice subcutaneously vaccinated with either M. tuberculosis SO2 or BCG, the proportions of CD4+ and CD8+ populations measured in the spleen were significantly higher in the M. tuberculosis SO2 vaccinated group. In addition, the proportion of antigen-stimulated CD4+/ CD8+ cells expressing IFN-γ was significantly higher in the M. tuberculosis SO2 vaccinated group when compared with the BCG group. Balb/c mice subcutaneously vaccinated with the M. tuberculosis SO2 strain were also protected against intra-venous challenge with M. tuberculosis H37Rv at levels comparable to mice vaccinated with BCG, as measured by reduced bacterial counts in lung and spleens. Guinea pigs subcutaneously vaccinated with the M. tuberculosis SO2 strain were protected against aerosol challenge with M. tuberculosis H37Rv delivered at different doses. A high dose aerosol challenge of M. tuberculosis SO2 vaccinated guinea pigs resulted in superior levels of protection when compared with BCG vaccination, as measured by guinea pig survival and reduction in disease severity in the lung.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3408-3419
Number of pages12
JournalVaccine
Volume24
Issue number17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Stewart Cole for advice, support and reagents, and Alberto Cebollada for the statistical analyses of data and figure preparation. This work was funded by the FP5 (QLK2-CT1999-01093) and FP6 TB-VAC Project (LSHP-CT2003-503367), MEC Spain (BIO2002-04133 and BIO2005-07949) and CONACyT Mexico (grant G36923-M).

Keywords

  • Attenuation
  • BCG
  • Live vaccine
  • Tuberculosis

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