Send to

Choose Destination
Infect Immun. 2002 Mar;70(3):1566-70.

Naturally attenuated, orally administered Mycobacterium microti as a tuberculosis vaccine is better than subcutaneous Mycobacterium bovis BCG.

Author information

Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.


Mycobacterium microti is phylogenetically closely related to Mycobacterium tuberculosis and is a member of that complex of organisms. It is a curved, acid-fast bacillus that is naturally attenuated with a narrow host range for Microtus species only. In this study, we confirm the unique susceptibility of voles to infection with M. microti and the relative resistance of mice with a significantly lower organism burden after 8 weeks of infection. In addition, histopathologic examination of lungs reveals a lack of cellular, granulomatous aggregates characteristically seen in murine M. tuberculosis infection. In the past, M. microti has been used successfully in humans as a vaccine against tuberculosis but was associated with cutaneous reactions. In an attempt to circumvent this adverse effect, we report the efficacy of aerosol and oral vaccination with M. microti. High-dose orogastric vaccination with M. microti resulted in a statistically significant improvement in protection against aerosol challenge with virulent M. tuberculosis in the murine model compared with subcutaneous M. bovis BCG Pasteur vaccination.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center