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J Immunol. 2004 Jun 15;172(12):7618-28.

Differential immune responses and protective efficacy induced by components of a tuberculosis polyprotein vaccine, Mtb72F, delivered as naked DNA or recombinant protein.

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  • 1Corixa Corp., Seattle, WA 98104, USA.


Key Ags of Mycobacterium tuberculosis initially identified in the context of host responses in healthy purified protein derivative-positive donors and infected C57BL/6 mice were prioritized for the development of a subunit vaccine against tuberculosis. Our lead construct, Mtb72F, codes for a 72-kDa polyprotein genetically linked in tandem in the linear order Mtb32(C)-Mtb39-Mtb32(N). Immunization of C57BL/6 mice with Mtb72F DNA resulted in the generation of IFN-gamma responses directed against the first two components of the polyprotein and a strong CD8(+) T cell response directed exclusively against Mtb32(C). In contrast, immunization of mice with Mtb72F protein formulated in the adjuvant AS02A resulted in the elicitation of a moderate IFN-gamma response and a weak CD8(+) T cell response to Mtb32c. However, immunization with a formulation of Mtb72F protein in AS01B adjuvant generated a comprehensive and robust immune response, resulting in the elicitation of strong IFN-gamma and Ab responses encompassing all three components of the polyprotein vaccine and a strong CD8(+) response directed against the same Mtb32(C) epitope identified by DNA immunization. All three forms of Mtb72F immunization resulted in the protection of C57BL/6 mice against aerosol challenge with a virulent strain of M. tuberculosis. Most importantly, immunization of guinea pigs with Mtb72F, delivered either as DNA or as a rAg-based vaccine, resulted in prolonged survival (>1 year) after aerosol challenge with virulent M. tuberculosis comparable to bacillus Calmette-Guérin immunization. Mtb72F in AS02A formulation is currently in phase I clinical trial, making it the first recombinant tuberculosis vaccine to be tested in humans.

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