Evaluation in mice of Brucella ovis attenuated mutants for use as live vaccines against B. ovis infection.Vet Res. 2014 Jun 04; 45:61.VR
Brucella ovis causes ram contagious epididymitis, a disease for which a specific vaccine is lacking. Attenuated Brucella melitensis Rev 1, used as vaccine against ovine and caprine brucellosis caused by B. melitensis, is also considered the best vaccine available for the prophylaxis of B. ovis infection, but its use for this purpose has serious drawbacks. In this work, two previously characterized B. ovis attenuated mutants (Δomp25d and Δomp22) were evaluated in mice, in comparison with B. melitensis Rev 1, as vaccines against B. ovis. Similarities, but also significant differences, were found regarding the immune response induced by the three vaccines. Mice vaccinated with the B. ovis mutants developed anti-B. ovis antibodies in serum of the IgG1, IgG2a and IgG2b subclasses and their levels were higher than those observed in Rev 1-vaccinated mice. After an antigen stimulus with B. ovis cells, splenocytes obtained from all vaccinated mice secreted similar levels of TNF-α and IL12(p40) and remarkably high amounts of IFN-γ, a crucial cytokine in protective immunity against other Brucella species. By contrast, IL-1α -an enhancer of T cell responses to antigen- was present at higher levels in mice vaccinated with the B. ovis mutants, while IL-10, an anti-inflammatory cytokine, was significantly more abundant in Rev 1-vaccinated mice. Additionally, the B. ovis mutants showed appropriate persistence, limited splenomegaly and protective efficacy against B. ovis similar to that observed with B. melitensis Rev 1. These characteristics encourage their evaluation in the natural host as homologous vaccines for the specific prophylaxis of B. ovis infection.