Vaccination of Calves with the Mycobacterium bovis BCG Strain Induces Protection against Bovine Tuberculosis in Dairy Herds under a Natural Transmission Setting

Pedro Ábalos, Nicolás Valdivieso, Bernat Pérez de Val, Martin Vordermeier, María Belén Benavides, Raúl Alegría-Morán, Karina Saadi, Mathias Wistuba, Camila Ortega, Nicole Sánchez, Patricio Retamal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (SciVal)
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Abstract

Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is a zoonotic disease caused mainly by Mycobacterium bovis, which is associated with major economic losses for milk and meat producers. The objective of this trial was to assess the efficacy of the BCG Russia strain in a cohort study performed under field conditions, with the vaccination of calves in seven dairy farms from a high prevalence area in central Chile. The trial was performed with 501 animals, subcutaneously vaccinated with 2–8 × 105 colony-forming units of BCG, whilst 441 matched control animals received a saline placebo. Peripheral blood was collected at 6, 12 and 18 months post-vaccination, and infection status was determined using the IFNγ release assay in conjunction with the DIVA (Detecting Infected amongst Vaccinated Animals) antigens ESAT-6, CFP-10 and Rv3615c. The BCG vaccine showed a low but significant level of protection of 22.4% (95% CI 4.0 to 36.4) at the end of the trial. However, diverse levels of protection and a variable duration of immunity were observed between trial herds. This diverse outcome could be influenced by the general health condition of calves and their exposition to non-tuberculous mycobacteria. These results suggest that BCG vaccination of dairy calves in a natural transmission setting confers variable protection to animals against bTB in a high prevalence area.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1083
Number of pages11
JournalAnimals
Volume12
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Apr 2022

Keywords

  • BCG
  • calves
  • field trial
  • protection
  • tuberculosis

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