Immunogenicity of a fusion protein containing immunodominant epitopes of Ag85C, MPT51, and HspX from Mycobacterium tuberculosis in mice and active TB infection.
ABSTRACT: Tuberculosis (TB) remains a major global health problem. The only vaccine against tuberculosis, attenuated Mycobacterium bovis Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG), has demonstrated relatively low efficacy and does not provide satisfactory protection against the disease in adults. More effective vaccines and better therapies are urgently needed to reduce the global spread of TB. This study evaluated the immunogenicity of a recombinant M. tuberculosis Ag85C-MPT51-HspX fusion protein (CMX) in mice and individuals with active tuberculosis. BALB/c mice were immunized with the CMX protein liposome-encapsulated with CpG DNA or with CpGDNA liposome-encapsulated, liposome or saline as negative controls. The immunization produced high levels of anti-CMX -specific IgG1 and IgG2a antibodies and induced an increase in the relative and absolute numbers of specific TCD4 IFN-?(+) and TNF-?(+) cells in the spleen. Sera from a cohort of individuals with active tuberculosis contained higher levels of IgG and IgM that recognized CMX when compared to healthy individuals. In conclusion, this protein was shown to be immunogenic both in mice and humans.
Project description:Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) that is a major public health problem. The vaccine used for TB prevention is Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), which provides variable efficacy in protecting against pulmonary TB among adults. Consequently, several groups have pursued the development of a new vaccine with a superior protective capacity to that of BCG. Here we constructed a new recombinant BCG (rBCG) vaccine expressing a fusion protein (CMX) composed of immune dominant epitopes from Ag85C, MPT51, and HspX and evaluated its immunogenicity and protection in a murine model of infection. The stability of the vaccine in vivo was maintained for up to 20 days post-vaccination. rBCG-CMX was efficiently phagocytized by peritoneal macrophages and induced nitric oxide (NO) production. Following mouse immunization, this vaccine induced a specific immune response in cells from lungs and spleen to the fusion protein and to each of the component recombinant proteins by themselves. Vaccinated mice presented higher amounts of Th1, Th17, and polyfunctional specific T cells. rBCG-CMX vaccination reduced the extension of lung lesions caused by challenge with Mtb as well as the lung bacterial load. In addition, when this vaccine was used in a prime-boost strategy together with rCMX, the lung bacterial load was lower than the result observed by BCG vaccination. This study describes the creation of a new promising vaccine for TB that we hope will be used in further studies to address its safety before proceeding to clinical trials.
Project description:The development of a new vaccine as a substitute for Bacillus Calmette-Guerin or to improve its efficacy is one of the many World Health Organization goals to control tuberculosis. Mycobacterial vectors have been used successfully in the development of vaccines against tuberculosis. To enhance the potential utility of Mycobacterium smegmatis as a vaccine, it was transformed with a recombinant plasmid containing the partial sequences of the genes Ag85c, MPT51, and HspX (CMX) from M. tuberculosis. The newly generated recombinant strain mc(2)-CMX was tested in a murine model of infection. The recombinant vaccine induced specific IgG1 or IgG2a responses to CMX. CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells from the lungs and spleen responded ex vivo to CMX, producing IFN-?, IL17, TNF-?, and IL2. The vaccine thus induced a significant immune response in mice. Mice vaccinated with mc(2)-CMX and challenged with M. tuberculosis showed better protection than mice immunized with wild-type M. smegmatis or BCG. To increase the safety and immunogenicity of the CMX antigens, we used a recombinant strain of M. smegmatis, IKE (immune killing evasion), to express CMX. The recombinant vaccine IKE-CMX induced a better protective response than mc(2)-CMX. The data presented here suggest that the expression of CMX antigens improves the immune response and the protection induced in mice when M. smegmatis is used as vaccine against tuberculosis.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Tuberculous meningitis (TBM) is the most common form of neurotuberculosis and the fifth most common form of extrapulmonary TB. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment are the cornerstones of effective disease management. The accurate diagnosis of TBM poses a challenge due to an extensive differential diagnosis, low bacterial load and paucity of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) especially in children. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We describe the utility of ELISA and qPCR for the detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tb) proteins (GlcB, HspX, MPT51, Ag85B and PstS1) and DNA for the rapid diagnosis of TBM. CSF filtrates (n = 532) derived from children were classified as 'Definite' TBM (M. tb culture positive, n = 29), 'Probable and Possible' TBM (n = 165) and 'Not-TBM' including other cases of meningitis or neurological disorders (n = 338). ROC curves were generated from ELISA and qPCR data of 'Definite' TBM and Non-Tuberculous infectious meningitis (NTIM) samples and cut-off values were derived to provide ? 95% specificity. devR qPCR, GlcB, HspX and PstS1 ELISAs showed 100% (88;100) sensitivity and 96-97% specificity in 'Definite' TBM samples. The application of these cut-offs to 'Probable and Possible' TBM groups yielded excellent sensitivity (98%, 94;99) and specificity (98%, 96;99) for qPCR and for GlcB, HspX and MPT51 antigen ELISAs (sensitivity 92-95% and specificity 93-96%). A test combination of qPCR with GlcB and HspX ELISAs accurately detected all TBM samples at a specificity of ~90%. Logistic regression analysis indicated that these tests significantly added value to the currently used algorithms for TBM diagnosis. CONCLUSIONS: The detection of M. tb GlcB/HspX antigens/devR DNA in CSF is likely to improve the utility of existing algorithms for TBM diagnosis and also hasten the speed of diagnosis.
Project description:Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a pathogen causing tuberculosis (TB) a spectrum of disease including acute and asymptomatic latent stages. Identifying and treating latently-infected patients constitutes one of the most important impediments to TB control efforts. Those individuals can remain undiagnosed for decades serving as potential reservoirs for disease reactivation. Tests for the accurate diagnosis of latent infection currently are unavailable. HspX protein (?-crystallin), encoded by Rv2031c gene, is produced in vitro by M. tuberculosis during stationary growth phase and hypoxic or acidic culture conditions. In this study, using standard, and Luminex xMAP® bead capture ELISA, respectively, we report on detection of anti-HspX IgG and IgM antibodies and HspX protein in sera from acute and latent TB patients. For the antibody screen, levels of IgG and IgM antibodies were similar between non-infected and active TB patients; however, individuals classified into the group with latent TB showed higher values of anti-HspX IgM (p = 0.003) compared to active TB patients. Using the bead capture antigen detection assay, HspX protein was detected in sera from 56.5% of putative latent cases (p< 0.050) compared to the background median with an average of 9,900 pg/ml and a range of 1,000 to 36,000 pg/ml. Thus, presence of anti-HspX IgM antibodies and HspX protein in sera may be markers of latent TB.
Project description:New approaches consisting of 'multistage' vaccines against (TB) are emerging that combine early antigenic proteins with latency-associated antigens. In this study, HspX was tested for its potential to elicit both short- and long-term protective immune responses. HspX is a logical component in vaccine strategies targeting protective immune responses against primary infection, as well as against reactivation of latent infection, because as previously shown, it is produced during latency, and as our studies show, it elicits protection within 30 days of infection. Recent studies have shown that the current TB vaccine, bacilli Calmette-Guerin (BCG), does not induce strong interferon-γ T-cell responses to latency-associated antigens like HspX, which may be in part why BCG fails to protect against reactivation disease. We therefore tested HspX protein alone as a prophylactic vaccine and as a boost to BCG vaccination, and found that HspX purified from M. tuberculosis cell lysates protected mice against aerosol challenge and improved the protective efficacy of BCG when used as a booster vaccine. Native HspX was highly immunogenic and protective, in a dose-dependent manner, in both short- and long-term infection models. Based on these promising findings, HspX was produced as a recombinant protein in E. coli, as this would enable facile purification; however, recombinant HspX (rHspX) alone consistently failed to protect against aerosol challenge. Incubation of rHspX with mycobacterial cell lysate and re-purification following incubation restored the capacity of the protein to confer protection. These data suggest the possibility that the native form may chaperone an immunogenic and protective antigen that is mycobacteria-specific.
Project description:Variable individual response against the antigens of Mycobacterium tuberculosis necessitates detection of multiple antibodies for enhancing reliability of serodiagnosis of tuberculosis. Fusion molecules consisting of two or more antigens showing high sensitivity would be helpful in achieving this objective. Antigens of M. tuberculosis HSPX and PE35 were expressed in a soluble form whereas tnPstS1 and FbpC1 were expressed as inclusion bodies at 37°C. Heat shock protein HSPX when attached to the N-termini of the antigens PE35, tnPstS1 and FbpC1, all the fusion molecules were expressed at high levels in E. coli in a soluble form. ELISA analysis of the plasma samples of TB patients against HSPX-tnPstS1 showed 57.7% sensitivity which is nearly the same as the expected combined value obtained after deducting the number of plasma samples (32) containing the antibodies against both the individual antigens. Likewise, the 54.4% sensitivity of HSPX-PE35 was nearly the same as that expected from the combined values of the contributing antigens. Structural analysis of all the fusion molecules by CD spectroscopy showed that ?-helical and ?-sheet contents were found close to those obtained through molecular modeling. Molecular modeling studies of HSPX-tnPstS1 and HSPX-PE35 support the analytical results as most of the epitopes of the contributing antigens were found to be available for binding to the corresponding antibodies. Using these fusion molecules in combination with other antigenic molecules should reduce the number of antigenic proteins required for a more reliable and economical serodiagnosis of tuberculosis. Also, HSPX seems to have potential application in soluble expression of heterologous proteins in E. coli.
Project description:Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) currently infects billions of people; many of whom are latently infection and at risk for reactivation. Mycobacterium bovis Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) while approved as a vaccine, is unable to prevent reactivation of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI). Subunit vaccines boosting BCG or given alone are being tested for efficacy in LTBI models. Alpha-crystallin (Acr, HspX), is a latency associated protein and subunit vaccine candidate. In this report, three HspX formulas (native and two recombinant variants) were used as vaccines in the guinea pig model of tuberculosis; none were protective during challenge with WT Mtb. However, recombinant HspX was protective in animals challenged with a strain of Mtb lacking hspX (X4-19), indicating protection was driven by molecules co-purifying with HspX or an adjuvant effect of recombinant HspX in this system. Mtb X4-19 was significantly less virulent than WT Mtb. Quantitative PCR and whole genome sequencing identified several genes (Rv2030c-Rv2032, Rv1062, Rv1771, Rv1907, and Rv3479) with altered expression that may contribute to loss of virulence. Physiological differences required for the establishment of Mtb infection in different hosts may affect the potential of subunit vaccines to elicit protection, supporting the need for rigorous biochemical and modeling analyses when developing tuberculosis vaccines.
Project description:Better triage tests for screening tuberculosis (TB) disease are needed for people living with HIV (PLHIV). We performed the first evaluation of a previously-validated 8-antigen serological panel to screen PLHIV for pulmonary TB in Kampala, Uganda. We selected a random 1:1 sample with and without TB (defined by sputum culture) from a cohort of PLHIV initiating antiretroviral therapy. We used a multiplex microbead immunoassay and an ensemble machine learning classifier to determine the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) for Ag85A, Ag85B, Ag85C, Rv0934-P38, Rv3881, Rv3841-BfrB, Rv3873, and Rv2878c. We then assessed the performance with the addition of four TB-specific antigens ESAT-6, CFP-10, Rv1980-MPT64, and Rv2031-HSPX, and every antigen combination. Of 262 participants (median CD4 cell-count 152 cells/?L [IQR 65-279]), 138 (53%) had culture-confirmed TB. The 8-antigen panel had an AUC of 0.53 (95% CI 0.40-0.66), and the additional 4 antigens did not improve performance (AUC 0.51, 95% CI 0.39-0.64). When sensitivity was restricted to ?90% for the 8- and 12-antigen panel, specificity was 2.2% (95% CI 0-17.7%) and 8.1% (95% CI 0-23.9%), respectively. A three-antigen combination (Rv0934-P38, Ag85A, and Rv2031-HSPX) outperformed both panels, with an AUC of 0.60 (95% CI 0.48-0.73), 90% sensitivity (95% CI 78.2-96.7%) and 29.7% specificity (95% CI 15.9-47%). The multi-antigen panels did not achieve the target accuracy for a TB triage test among PLHIV. We identified a new combination that improved performance for TB screening in an HIV-positive sample compared to an existing serological panel in Uganda, and suggests an approach to identify novel antigen combinations specifically for screening TB in PLHIV.
Project description:Misfolding of translated proteins occurs in all domains of life. In most cells, misfolded proteins coalesce in discrete aggregates at distinct cellular locations. In many bacteria, including mycobacteria, protein aggregates are located at the cellular pole. Yet the mechanism by which aggregates are sorted to the mycobacterial pole is not known. Here, we show that in Mycobacterium smegmatis, the small heat shock protein HspX plays a critical role in the polar localization of aggregates of a model fluorescent misfolded protein, GLR103. HspX itself has a polar localization, which is dependent on its N-terminal domain. In a strain deleted for hspX, GLR103 is less liable to aggregation and no longer localizes to the pole, and redirecting HspX to the septum radically disrupts the normal polar localization of GLR103 aggregates. To further investigate the role of HspX in native protein aggregation, we performed semi-quantitative mass-spectrometry of mycobacterial protein aggregates in wild-type, hspX-deleted and hspX-overexpressing strains. We identified a subset of proteins that appeared to be HspX-dependent for aggregate formation. Furthermore, we demonstrate that for validated native protein aggregates, sorting to the cellular pole following proteotoxic stress required HspX. In summary, we have identified the cellular function of HspX in Mycobacterium smegmatis as both a pro-aggregase and polar sortase.
Project description:The components of the fibronectin-binding antigen 85 complex (85A, 85B, and 85C) and the related protein MPB/MPT51 are major secreted proteins in Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium bovis BCG. The fbpA, fbpC, and mpt51 genes encoding 85A, 85C, and MPT51, respectively, were isolated from Mycobacterium avium and sequenced in this study. The structures of these genes, and that of the fbpB gene encoding the 85B protein, were conserved in these three species. The secreted amounts of 85A, 85B, 85C, and MPB/MPT51 were compared for M. tuberculosis, BCG, and M. avium. These four proteins were found in large amounts in the culture filtrates from M. tuberculosis and BCG. In contrast, in the culture filtrate from M. avium, 85B and MPT51 were abundant whereas 85A and 85C were hardly found, in spite of the presence of the encoding genes. The difference in the secretion amounts might be regulated at the transcription level. These facts might reflect host immunopathogenesis, the protective immunities against infections, and the drug susceptibilities of these organisms.