Microbial biotechnology 2017 07 17() doi 10.1111/1751-7915.12754
In 2015, there were an estimated 10.4 million new tuberculosis (TB) cases and 1.4 million deaths worldwide. Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG), an attenuated strain of Mycobacterium bovis, is the vaccine available against TB, but it is insufficient for global TB control. This study evaluated the immunogenicity of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigen Rv1626 in mice while assessing the effect of co-delivering either Cpe30 (immunostimulatory peptide), CS.T3378-395 (promiscuous T helper epitope) or flagellin (TLR5 agonist) or a combination of all three immunostimulatory agents. Rv1626 and the respective immunostimulatory proteins/peptides were co-displayed on polyhydroxybutyrate beads assembled inside an engineered endotoxin-free mutant of Escherichia coli. Mice vaccinated with these beads produced immune responses biased towards Th1-/Th17-type responses, but inclusion of Cpe30, CS.T3378-395 and flagellin did not enhance immunogenicity of the Rv1626 protein. This was confirmed in a M. bovis challenge experiment in mice, where Rv1626 beads reduced bacterial cell counts in the lungs by 0.48 log10 compared with the adjuvant alone control group. Co-delivery of immunostimulatory peptides did not further enhance protective immunity.