Assessment of BCG and inactivated Mycobacterium bovis vaccines in an experimental tuberculosis infection model in sheep

Ana Balseiro, Raúl Altuzarra, Enric Vidal, Xavier Moll, Yvonne Espada, Iker A. Sevilla, Mariano Domingo, Joseba M. Garrido, Ramón A. Juste, Miguel Prieto, Bernat Pérez De Val

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19 Citations (Scopus)


© 2017 Balseiro et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Background/Aims: Animal tuberculosis (TB) is a complex animal health problem that causes disruption to trade and significant economic losses. TB involves a multi-host system where sheep, traditionally considered a rare host of this infection, have been recently included. The aims of this study were to develop an experimental TB infection model in sheep with a Mycobacterium caprae field strain isolated from a tuberculous diseased ewe, and to use this to evaluate the safety and efficacy of two vaccines against TB in sheep, the live-attenuated M. bovis BCG vaccine (Danish strain) and a heat-inactivated M. bovis (HIMB) vaccine. Methods: Eighteen 2 month-old lambs were experimentally challenged with M. caprae by the endotracheal route (1.5 × 103 CFU). They were separated per treatment group into parenterally vaccinated with a live BCG Danish strain vaccine (n = 6), orally vaccinated with a suspension of HIMB (n = 6) and unvaccinated controls (n = 6). Clinical, immunological, pathological and bacteriological parameters of infection were measured. Results: All lambs were successfully infected and developed gross TB lesions in the respiratory system. The BCG vaccine conferred considerable protection against experimental TB in lambs, as measured by a reduction of the gross lesion volumes and bacterial load. However, HIMB vaccinated animals did not show protection. Conclusions: This study proposes a reliable new experimental model for a better understanding of tuberculosis in sheep. BCG vaccination offers an effective prospect for controlling the disease. Moreover alternative doses and/or routes of administration should be considered to evaluate the efficacy of the HIMB vaccine candidate.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0180546
Pages (from-to)-
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017


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