Enhanced effect of BCG vaccine against pulmonaryMycobacterium tuberculosisinfection in mice with lung Th17 response to mycobacterial heparin-binding hemagglutinin adhesin antigen

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Although the BCG vaccine can prevent tuberculosis (TB) in infants, its ability to prevent adult pulmonary TB is reportedly limited. Therefore, development of a novel effective vaccine against pulmonary TB has become an international research priority. We have previously reported that intranasal vaccination of mice with a mycobacterial heparin-binding hemagglutinin adhesin (HBHA) plus mucosal adjuvant cholera toxin (CT) enhances production of IFN-γ and anti-HBHA antibody and suppresses extrapulmonary bacterial dissemination after intranasal infection with BCG. In the present study, the effects of intranasal HBHA + CT vaccine on murine pulmonaryMycobacterium tuberculosis(Mtb) infection were examined. Intranasal HBHA + CT vaccination alone failed to reduce the bacterial burden in the infected lung. However, a combination vaccine consisting of s.c. BCG priming and an intranasal HBHA + CT booster significantly enhanced protective immunity against pulmonary Mtb infection on day 14 compared with BCG vaccine alone. Further, it was found that intranasal HBHA + CT vaccine enhanced not only IFN-γ but also IL-17A production by HBHA-specific T cells in the lung after pulmonary Mtb infection. Therefore, this combination vaccine may be a good candidate for a new vaccine strategy against pulmonary TB.

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