Protection of BALB/c mice against homologous and heterologous species of Brucella by rough strain vaccines derived from Brucella melitensis and Brucella suis biovar 4

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Objective - To evaluate stable rough mutants derived from Brucella melitensis 16M and B suis 2579 (biovar 4) as vaccines against homologous and heterologous Brucella spp in the BALB/c mouse model. Design, animals, and procedure - Rough mutants VTRM1 and VTRS1 were obtained from B melitensis 16M and B suis 2579, respectively, by allelic exchange of the rfbU gene encoding mannosyltransferase with a Tn5-disrupted rfbU gene. Mice were vaccinated with VTRM1 or VTRS1 and challenge exposed 8 weeks later. Results - VTRM1 and VTRS1 replicated extensively in the spleen during the first 3 weeks of infection, then decreased rapidly. Antibodies specific for the O polysaccharide were not detected in sera of mice inoculated with either rough strain. Vaccination with VTRM1 or VTRS1 induced protection against virulent strains of B abortus (2308), B melitensis (16M), B suis biovar 1 (750), and B suis biovar 4 (2579). VTRM1 also protected against B ovis (PA) and against 4 field isolates of B abortus from bison or elk. VTRS1 conferred protection against 4 field isolates of B suis biovar 4 from reindeer. Vaccines prepared from live VRTM1 or VTRS1 provided significantly greater protection than that afforded by vaccines of killed cells in QS-21 adjuvant. Vaccination with VTRM1 containing VTRS1 gave minimal protection against the antigenically unrelated Listeria monocytogenes, thus demonstrating the immunologic specificity of protection against Brucella spp. Conclusions and clinical relevance - Results encourage evaluation, in primary host species, of VTRM1 and VTRS1, along with RB51, as alternative vaccines to strain 19, Rev. 1, or other smooth phase vaccines.

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American Journal of Veterinary Research

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