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Vaccine. 2005 Apr 15;23(21):2740-50.

Protection of macaques against Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection by a subunit vaccine based on a fusion protein of antigen 85B and ESAT-6.

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Department of Parasitology, Biomedical Primate Research Centre, P.O. Box 3306, 2280 GH Rijswijk, The Netherlands.


Various new tuberculosis (TB) vaccine candidates in combination with new delivery systems, including subunit vaccines, are currently being evaluated by a number of laboratories. One vaccine candidate that has shown promising protective capacity in mice and guinea pigs is a fusion of Ag85B and ESAT-6. In this study, we have investigated the efficacy of this Ag85B-ESAT-6 fusion protein vaccine in a non-human primate model for TB. Vaccination of cynomolgus monkeys with the Ag85B-ESAT-6 fusion protein in two different adjuvant (DDA/MPL, AS02A) resulted in a reduction in bacterial number and/or lung pathology in animals challenged with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Vaccination prevented an increase in C-reactive protein serum levels, general activation of CD4 and CD8 subsets and boosted development of humoral and cellular immune responses to a spectrum of mycobacterial antigens on exposure to M. tuberculosis infection. We show, in two independent experiments, that vaccination of primates with Ag85B-ESAT-6 induces protective immune responses, suggesting that Ag85B-ESAT-6 is a strong candidate for further clinical evaluation. As far as we are aware this is the first report of protection in primates with a subunit vaccine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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