Indexed on: 04 Jul '06Published on: 04 Jul '06Published in: Tuberculosis
A recombinant form of BCG Tokyo with an Ag85A gene insert was administered once subcutaneously to guinea pigs and its protective efficacy was compared with that of a DNA vaccine encoding Ag85A from Mycobacterium tuberculosis administered twice to guinea pigs by epidermal gene gun bombardment. Vaccination with either the recombinant BCG Tokyo or Ag85A DNA significantly reduced the severity of pulmonary pathology and the number of pulmonary and splenic colony-forming units (cfu) (p<0.001). The recombinant BCG Tokyo was better than Ag85A DNA in terms of protective efficacy against M. tuberculosis. When immunogenic synthetic Ag85A peptide was further used as a booster together with recombinant BCG Tokyo (Ag85A) or Ag85A DNA, lung pathology was improved significantly and the number of pulmonary CFU was reduced significantly. Neither recombinant BCG Tokyo, Ag85A DNA, nor the parental BCG Tokyo protected the guinea pigs from hematogenous spread of tubercle bacilli to the spleen because splenic granulomas without central necrosis were recognized. The spleen tissues from guinea pigs vaccinated with recombinant BCG Tokyo or Ag85A DNA expressed IFN-gamma and IL-2 mRNA at significantly high levels (p<0.001) as evaluated by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. It is concluded that peptide boosting is important for the induction of higher protective efficacy by recombinant BCG Tokyo or a tuberculosis DNA vaccine and both recombinant BCG Tokyo (Ag85A) and Ag85A DNA vaccine induce Th2 cytokine mRNA expression significantly.