Identification of novel Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigens with potential as diagnostic reagents or subunit vaccine candidates by comparative genomics

P. J. Cockle, S. V. Gordon, A. Lalvani, B. M. Buddle, R. G. Hewinson, H. M. Vordermeier*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

An independent review for the British government has concluded that the development of a cattle vaccine against Mycobacterium bovis holds the best long-term prospects for tuberculosis control in British herds. The development of complementary diagnostic tests to differentiate between vaccinated and infected animals is necessary to allow the continuation of test-and-slaughter-based control policies alongside vaccination. Vaccination with M. bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), the only available vaccine, results in tuberculin purified protein derivative sensitivity and has shown varying vaccine efficacies in cattle. Thus, identification of more-specific reagents to distinguish between vaccination and infection, as well as the identification of subunit vaccine candidates for improved tuberculosis vaccines, is a research priority. In the present study, we applied comparative genomics to identify M. bovis-Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigens whose genes had been deleted in BCG Pasteur. In total, 13 open reading frames (ORFs) from the RD1, RD2, and RD14 regions of the M. tuberculosis genome were selected. Pools of overlapping peptides spanning these ORFs were tested in M. bovis-infected (n = 22), BCG-vaccinated (n = 6), and unvaccinated (n = 10) control cattle. All were recognized in infected cattle, with responder frequencies varying between 16 and 86%. In particular, eight highly immunogenic antigens were identified whose potentials as diagnostic reagents or as subunit vaccines warrant further study (Rv1983, Rv1986, Rv3872, Rv3873, Rv3878, Rv3879c, Rv1979c, and Rv1769).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6996-7003
Number of pages8
JournalInfection and Immunity
Volume70
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2002

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