Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) is the vaccine against tuberculosis (TB), but has varied efficacy in different geographical locations. Recombinant strategies to genetically modify the organism to enhance the quality of the immune response have aimed at improving BCG efficacy. Here we describe such a strategy using rBCGΔureC∷hly expressing defined latency-associated antigens and test this construct for long-term protection against an isolate of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) Beijing/W lineage. Expression of the antigens Rv2659c, Rv3407 and Rv1733c by rBCGΔureC∷hly improved long-term efficacy in both lung and spleen at day 200 post-infection after intradermal vaccination of mice. Our data support expression of Mtb latency associated antigens by rBCG to improve protection against Mtb.
"Considering the inability of BCG to induce immune responses to latency antigens, TB vaccination strategies started to consider incorporating DosR-regulon encoded antigens as a strategy to complement and improve the current BCG vaccine. This was demonstrated in TB mouse models using rBCG_ureC:hly expressing defined latency-associated antigens and test this construct for long-term protection against an isolate of the Mtb Beijing/W lineage (23). Expression of Rv2659c, Rv3407, and Rv1733c by rBCG_ureC:hly showed long-term protection superior to BCG in both lung and spleen compared to rBCG not expressing latency antigens at day 200 post-infection after intradermal vaccination of mice. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In view of the fact that only a small part of the Mtb expressome has been explored for identification of antigens capable of activating human T-cell responses, which is critically required for the design of better TB vaccination strategies, more emphasis should be placed on innovative ways to discover new Mtb antigens and explore their function at the several stages of infection. Better protective antigens for TB-vaccines are urgently needed, also in view of the disappointing results of the MVA85 vaccine, which failed to induce additional protection in BCG-vaccinated infants (1). Moreover, immune responses to relevant antigens may be useful to identify TB-specific biomarker signatures. Here, we describe the potency of novel tools and strategies to reveal such Mtb antigens. Using proteins specific for different Mtb infection phases, many new antigens of the latency-associated Mtb DosR-regulon as well as resuscitation promoting factor proteins, associated with resuscitating TB, were discovered that were recognized by CD4(+) and CD8(+) T-cells. Furthermore, by employing MHC binding algorithms and bioinformatics combined with high-throughput human T-cell screens and tetramers, HLA-class Ia restricted polyfunctional CD8(+) T-cells were identified in TB patients. Comparable methods, led to the identification of HLA-E-restricted Mtb epitopes recognized by CD8(+) T-cells. A genome-wide unbiased antigen discovery approach was applied to analyze the in vivo Mtb gene expression profiles in the lungs of mice, resulting in the identification of IVE-TB antigens, which are expressed during infection in the lung, the main target organ of Mtb. IVE-TB antigens induce strong T-cell responses in long-term latently Mtb infected individuals, and represent an interesting new group of TB antigens for vaccination. In summary, new tools have helped expand our view on the Mtb antigenome involved in human cellular immunity and provided new candidates for TB vaccination.
Frontiers in Immunology 06/2014; 5:256. DOI:10.3389/fimmu.2014.00256
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection claims approximately 2 million lives per year, and improved efficacy of the BCG vaccine remains a World Health Organization priority. Successful vaccination against M. tuberculosis requires the induction and maintenance of T cells. Targeting molecules that promote T-cell survival may therefore provide an alternative strategy to classic adjuvants. We show that the interaction between T-cell-expressed OX40 and OX40L on antigen-presenting cells is critical for effective immunity to BCG. However, because OX40L is lost rapidly from antigen-presenting cells following BCG vaccination, maintenance of OX40-expressing vaccine-activated T cells may not be optimal. Delivering an OX40L:Ig fusion protein simultaneously with BCG provided superior immunity to intravenous and aerosol M. tuberculosis challenge even 6 months after vaccination, an effect that depends on natural killer 1.1(+) cells. Attenuated vaccines may therefore lack sufficient innate stimulation to maintain vaccine-specific T cells, which can be replaced by reagents binding inducible T-cell costimulators.
The Journal of Infectious Diseases 03/2012; 205(6):975-83. DOI:10.1093/infdis/jir868 · 6.00 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) is responsible for almost 2 million deaths annually. BCG, currently the only TB vaccine, induces variable protection and does not protect against reactivation of latent TB. Thus, efficient vaccines to supplement BCG are required urgently. Since Mtb's proteome differs qualitatively and quantitatively during bacterial replication stages from that expressed during dormancy, improved TB vaccines should drive immune responses to Mtb antigens expressed during multiple stages of infection. Consequently, such "multistage" vaccines should be composed of (immunodominant) antigens expressed during different phases of Mtb infection. As a concept multistage vaccine, we constructed a polyepitope by fusing five HLA-DR3-restricted T-cell epitopes derived from different Mtb proteins either expressed highly by replicating bacteria (Ag85B, hsp65, 19-kDa lipoprotein), or abundantly expressed by dormant bacilli and recognized preferentially by TST(+) individuals (hsp16, Rv1733c). PBMC of HLA-DR3(+) but not HLA-DR3(-) cured TB patients and TST(+) individuals responded well to the multistage-polyepitope in vitro. The in vivo immunogenicity and protective efficacy of the multistage-polyepitope were analyzed using HLA-DR3 transgenic mice lacking endogenous murine class II as a model. Immunization with the multistage-polyepitope adjuvanted generated high IgG levels as well as polyfunctional CD4(+) T-cells producing IFN-γ, TNF and IL-2, specific for these HLA-DR3-restricted epitopes. Importantly, multistage-polyepitope immunization reduced the number of bacilli in the lungs after Mtb challenge when administered as prophylactic vaccine. Given the extensive repertoire of potential Mtb antigens available for immune recognition, the data of our model demonstrate the potential of multistage-polyepitope vaccines to protect against TB.
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