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Vaccine. 2011 Nov 28;29(51):9451-8. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2011.10.032. Epub 2011 Oct 21.

Construction and evaluation of a multistage Mycobacterium tuberculosis subunit vaccine candidate Mtb10.4-HspX.

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Lanzhou Center for Tuberculosis Research & Institute of Pathogenic Biology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Lanzhou University, China.


To search for more effective vaccines to enhance the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of Mycobacterium bovis Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) and to control or even eradicate Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis) in all stages of infection including the persister bacteria, antigens of Mtb10.4 (Rv0288) expressed in replicating bacilli and HspX (also called Acr, Hsp16.3, Rv2031c) highly expressed in dormant bacilli were fused together to construct a multistage fusion protein Mtb10.4-HspX (MH for short) without affinity tag with potential advantage for clinical use. The human T-cell responses to MH were evaluated for its immunogenicity. Furthermore, MH was emulsified in an adjuvant composed of N,N'-dimethyl-N,N'-dioctadecylammonium bromide (DDA) and mycobacterial cord factor trehalose-6,6-dimycolate (TDM) to construct subunit vaccine, whose immunogenicity and potency to boost BCG primed immunity against M. tuberculosis infection were evaluated in mice. The results showed that the fusion protein MH without affinity tag was stably produced in Escherichia coli and was successfully purified by chromatography. MH was strongly recognized by human T cells from TB patients and persons latently infected with M. tuberculosis. In conclusion, MH in adjuvant DDA-TDM generated strong antigen-specific humoral and cell-mediated immunity, and had the capability to enhance BCG-primed immunity and the protective efficacy against M. tuberculosis in mice. These findings suggest that MH in DDA-TDM have the potential to be a good multistage tuberculosis vaccine candidate.

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