Vaccination with the recombinant Brucella outer membrane protein 31 or a derived 27-amino-acid synthetic peptide elicits a CD4+ T helper 1 response that protects against Brucella melitensis infection.Infect Immun. 2005 Dec; 73(12):8079-88.II
The immunogenicity and protective efficacy of the recombinant 31-kDa outer membrane protein from Brucella melitensis (rOmp31), administered with incomplete Freund's adjuvant, were evaluated in mice. Immunization of BALB/c mice with rOmp31 conferred protection against B. ovis and B. melitensis infection. rOmp31 induced a vigorous immunoglobulin G (IgG) response, with higher IgG1 than IgG2 titers. In addition, spleen cells from rOmp31-immunized mice produced interleukin 2 (IL-2) and gamma interferon, but not IL-10 or IL-4, after in vitro stimulation with rOmp31, suggesting the induction of a T helper 1 (Th1) response. Splenocytes from rOmp31-vaccinated animals also induced a specific cytotoxic-T-lymphocyte activity, which led to the in vitro lysis of Brucella-infected macrophages. In vitro T-cell subset depletion indicated that rOmp31 immunization elicited specific CD4+ T cells that secrete IL-2 and gamma interferon, while CD8+ T cells induced cytotoxic-T-lymphocyte activity. In vivo depletion of T-cell subsets showed that the rOmp31-elicited protection against B. melitensis infection is mediated by CD4+ T cells while the contribution of CD8+ T cells may be limited. We then evaluated the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of a known exposed region from Omp31 on the Brucella membrane, a peptide that contains amino acids 48 to 74 of Omp31. Immunization with the synthetic peptide in adjuvant did not elicit a specific humoral response but elicited a Th1 response mediated by CD4+ T cells. The peptide in adjuvant induced levels of protection similar to those induced by rOmp31 against B. melitensis but less protection than was induced by rOmp31 against B. ovis. Our results indicate that rOmp31 could be a useful candidate for the development of subunit vaccines against B. melitensis and B. ovis.