Assessment of an oral Mycobacterium bovis BCG vaccine and an inactivated M. bovis preparation for wild boar in terms of adverse reactions, vaccine strain survival, and uptake by nontarget species.
ABSTRACT: Wildlife vaccination is increasingly being considered as an option for tuberculosis control. We combined data from laboratory trials and an ongoing field trial to assess the risk of an oral Mycobacterium bovis BCG vaccine and a prototype heat-inactivated Mycobacterium bovis preparation for Eurasian wild boar (Sus scrofa). We studied adverse reactions, BCG survival, BCG excretion, and bait uptake by nontarget species. No adverse reactions were observed after administration of BCG (n = 27) or inactivated M. bovis (n = 21). BCG was not found at necropsy (175 to 300 days postvaccination [n = 27]). No BCG excretion was detected in fecal samples (n = 162) or in urine or nasal, oral, or fecal swab samples at 258 days postvaccination (n = 29). In the field, we found no evidence of loss of BCG viability in baits collected after 36 h (temperature range, 11°C to 41°C). Camera trapping showed that wild boar (39%) and birds (56%) were the most frequent visitors to bait stations (selective feeders). Wild boar activity patterns were nocturnal, while diurnal activities were recorded for all bird species. We found large proportions of chewed capsules (29%) (likely ingestion of the vaccine) and lost baits (39%) (presumably consumed), and the proportion of chewed capsules showed a positive correlation with the presence of wild boar. Both results suggest proper bait consumption (68%). These results indicate that BCG vaccination in wild boar is safe and that, while bait consumption by other species is possible, this can be minimized by using selective cages and strict timing of bait deployment.
Project description:Tuberculosis (TB) caused by Mycobacterium bovis and closely related members of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex continues to affect humans and animals worldwide and its control requires vaccination of wildlife reservoir species such as Eurasian wild boar (Sus scrofa). Vaccination efforts for TB control in wildlife have been based primarily on oral live BCG formulations. However, this is the first report of the use of oral inactivated vaccines for controlling TB in wildlife. In this study, four groups of 5 wild boar each were vaccinated with inactivated M. bovis by the oral and intramuscular routes, vaccinated with oral BCG or left unvaccinated as controls. All groups were later challenged with a field strain of M. bovis. The results of the IFN-gamma response, serum antibody levels, M. bovis culture, TB lesion scores, and the expression of C3 and MUT genes were compared between these four groups. The results suggested that vaccination with heat-inactivated M. bovis or BCG protect wild boar from TB. These results also encouraged testing combinations of BCG and inactivated M. bovis to vaccinate wild boar against TB. Vaccine formulations using heat-inactivated M. bovis for TB control in wildlife would have the advantage of being environmentally safe and more stable under field conditions when compared to live BCG vaccines. The antibody response and MUT expression levels can help differentiating between vaccinated and infected wild boar and as correlates of protective response in vaccinated animals. These results suggest that vaccine studies in free-living wild boar are now possible to reveal the full potential of protecting against TB using oral M. bovis inactivated and BCG vaccines.
Project description:Background: Wildlife poses a significant burden for the complete eradication of bovine tuberculosis (bTB). In particular, wild boar (Sus scrofa) is one of the most important reservoirs of Mycobacterium bovis, the causal agent of bTB. Wild boar can display from mild TB lesions, usually found in head lymph nodes, to generalized TB lesions distributed in different anatomical regions; but rarely clinical signs, which complicates the diagnosis of Mycobacterium bovis infection and bTB control. Among the possibilities for this variability in lesion distribution is the influence of the host-beneficial commensal-primed immune barrier. In this respect, beneficial microbes may delay bTB dissemination as a consequence of an antagonistic competition for nutrients and phagocytes. In order to explore this possibility, we have tested whether typical commensals such as lactobacilli have the capacity to reduce the survival rate of the surrogate M. bovis strain Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG); and to modulate its phagocyte intake. Results: Three Lactobacillus species, L. casei, L. plantarum, and L. salivarius, isolated from wild boar feces displayed a pH-dependent inhibitory activity against BCG and influenced its intake by porcine blood phagocytes in a species-dependent manner. All lactobacilli showed a very significant bactericidal effect against BCG at low pH, but only isolates of L. plantarum and L. casei displayed such antimycobacterial activity at neutral pH. The genomes of these isolates revealed the presence of two-peptide bacteriocins whose precursor genes up-regulate in the presence of BCG cells. Furthermore, L. plantarum reduced significantly the BCG phagocytic intake, whereas L. casei had the opposite effect. L. salivarius had no significant influence on the phagocytic response to BCG. Conclusions: Our in vitro results show that lactobacilli isolated from wild boar antagonize BCG as a consequence of their antimycobacterial activity and a competitive phagocytic response. These findings suggest that commensal bacteria could play a beneficial role in influencing the outcome of bTB dissemination. Further work with lactobacilli as a potential competitive pressure to control bTB will need to take into account the complex nature of the commensal microbiome, the specific immunity of the wild boar and the in vivo infection context with pathogenic strains of M. bovis.
Project description:Oral-delivery Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine in a lipid matrix has been shown to confer protection against M. bovis infection and reduce the severity of tuberculosis (TB) when fed to brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula), the major wildlife vector of bovine TB in New Zealand. Here we demonstrate the feasibility of aerial delivery of this live vaccine in bait form to an M. bovis-infected wild possum population, and subsequently assess vaccine uptake and field efficacy. Pre-trial studies indicated a resident possum population at very low density (<0.6 possums/ha) at the field site, with a 5.1% prevalence of macroscopic TB lesions. Pilot studies indicated that flavoured lipid matrix baits in weather-proof sachets could be successfully sown aerially via helicopter and were palatable to, and likely to be consumed by, a majority of wild possums under free-choice conditions. Subsequently, sachet-held lipid baits containing live BCG vaccine were sown at 3 baits/ha over a 1360 ha area, equating to >5 baits available per possum. Blood sampling conducted two months later provided some evidence of vaccine uptake. A necropsy survey conducted one year later identified a lower prevalence of culture-confirmed M. bovis infection and/or gross TB lesions among adult possums in vaccinated areas (1.1% prevalence; 95% CI, 0-3.3%, n = 92) than in unvaccinated areas (5.6%; 0.7-10.5%, n = 89); P = 0.098. Although not statistically different, the 81% efficacy in protecting possums against natural infection calculated from these data is within the range of previous estimates of vaccine efficacy in trials where BCG vaccine was delivered manually. We conclude that, with further straightforward refinement to improve free-choice uptake, aerial delivery of oral BCG vaccine is likely to be effective in controlling TB in wild possums. We briefly discuss contexts in which this could potentially become an important complementary tool in achieving national eradication of TB from New Zealand wildlife.
Project description:In Europe, badgers (Meles meles) are recognized as major tuberculosis (TB) reservoir hosts with the potential to transmit infection to associated cattle herds. Recent studies in Spain have demonstrated that vaccination with a heat-inactivated Mycobacterium bovis vaccine (HIMB) successfully protects captive wild boar and red deer against progressive disease. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of two oral vaccines against TB in a badger model: the live-attenuated M. bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin BCG vaccine (Danish strain) and a HIMB vaccine. Twenty-four badgers were separated in three treatment groups: oral vaccinated with live BCG (108 CFU, n = 5), oral vaccinated with HIMB (107 CFU, n = 7), and unvaccinated controls (n = 12). All badgers were experimentally infected with M. bovis (103 CFU) by the endobronchial route targeting the right middle lung lobe. Throughout the study, clinical, immunological, pathological, and bacteriological parameters of infection were measured. Both vaccines conferred protection against experimental TB in badger, as measured by a reduction of the severity and lesion volumes. Based on these data, HIMB vaccination appears to be a promising TB oral vaccine candidate for badgers in endemic countries.
Project description:Bovine tuberculosis (TB) in Great Britain adversely affects animal health and welfare and is a cause of considerable economic loss. The situation is exacerbated by European badgers (Meles meles) acting as a wildlife source of recurrent Mycobacterium bovis infection to cattle. Vaccination of badgers against TB is a possible means to reduce and control bovine TB. The delivery of vaccine in oral bait holds the best prospect for vaccinating badgers over a wide geographical area. There are practical limitations over the volume and concentration of Bacillus of Calmette and Guérin (BCG) that can be prepared for inclusion in bait. The production of BCG in a bioreactor may overcome these issues. We evaluated the efficacy of oral, bioreactor-grown BCG against experimental TB in badgers. We demonstrated repeatable protection through the direct administration of at least 2.0 × 108 colony forming units of BCG to the oral cavity, whereas vaccination via voluntary consumption of bait containing the same preparation of BCG did not result in demonstrable protection at the group-level, although a minority of badgers consuming bait showed immunological responses and protection after challenge equivalent to badgers receiving oral vaccine by direct administration. The need to deliver oral BCG in the context of a palatable and environmentally robust bait appears to introduce such variation in BCG delivery to sites of immune induction in the badger as to render experimental studies variable and inconsistent.
Project description:Despite the widespread use of Mycobacterium bovis BCG, the only licensed vaccine against tuberculosis (TB), TB remains a global epidemic. To assess whether more direct targeting of the lung mucosa by respiratory immunization would enhance the potency and longevity of BCG-induced anti-TB protective immunity, the long-term impact of intranasal (i.n.) BCG vaccination was compared to conventional subcutaneous (s.c.) immunization by using a mouse model of pulmonary tuberculosis. Although significantly improved protection in the lung was seen at early time points (2 and 4 months postvaccination) in i.n. BCG-immunized mice, no differences in pulmonary protection were seen 8 and 10 months postvaccination. In contrast, in all of the study periods, i.n. BCG vaccination induced significantly elevated protective splenic responses relative to s.c. immunization. At five of nine time points, we observed a splenic protective response exceeding 1.9 log10 protection relative to the s.c. route. Furthermore, higher frequencies of CD4 T cells expressing gamma interferon (IFN-?) and IFN-?/tumor necrosis factor alpha, as well as CD8 T cells expressing IFN-?, were detected in the spleens of i.n. vaccinated mice. Using PCR arrays, significantly elevated levels of IFN-?, interleukin-9 (IL-9), IL-11, and IL-21 expression were also seen in the spleen at 8 months after respiratory BCG immunization. Overall, while i.n. BCG vaccination provided short-term enhancement of protection in the lung relative to s.c. immunization, potent and extremely persistent splenic protective responses were seen for at least 10 months following respiratory immunization.
Project description:The deployment of baits containing vaccines or toxins has been used successfully in the management of wildlife populations, including for disease control. Optimisation of deployment strategies seeks to maximise uptake by the targeted population whilst ensuring cost-effectiveness. Tuberculosis (TB) caused by infection with Mycobacterium bovis affects a broad range of mammalian hosts across the globe, including cattle, wildlife and humans. The control of TB in cattle in the UK and Republic of Ireland is hampered by persistent infection in European badgers (Meles meles). The present study aimed to determine the best strategy for maximising uptake of an oral vaccine by wild badgers, using a surrogate novel bait deployed at 40 badger social groups. Baits contained a blood-borne biomarker (Iophenoxic Acid, IPA) in order to measure consumption in badgers subsequently cage trapped at targeted setts. Evidence for the consumption of bait was found in 83% (199/240) of captured badgers. The probability that badgers had consumed at least one bait (IPA >10 ?g ml-1) was significantly higher following deployment in spring than in summer. Lower uptake amongst social groups where more badgers were captured, suggested competition for baits. The probability of bait consumption was significantly higher at groups where main and outlier setts were provided with baits than at those where outliers were present but not baited. Badgers captured 10-14 days post bait feeding had significantly higher levels of bait uptake compared to those caught 24-28 days later. Uptake rates did not vary significantly in relation to badger age and whether bait was placed above ground or down setts. This study suggests that high levels of bait uptake can be achieved in wild badger populations and identifies factors influencing the potential success of different deployment strategies. The implications for the development of an oral badger vaccine are discussed.
Project description:To further unravel the mechanisms responsible for attenuation of the tuberculosis vaccine Mycobacterium bovis BCG, comparative genomics was used to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that differed between sequenced strains of Mycobacterium bovis and M. bovis BCG. SNPs were assayed in M. bovis isolates from France and the United Kingdom and from different BCG vaccines in order to identify those that arose during the attenuation process which gave rise to BCG. Informative data sets were obtained for 658 SNPs from 21 virulent M. bovis strains and 13 BCG strains; these SNPs showed phylogenetic clustering that was consistent with the geographical origin of the strains and previous schemes for BCG genealogies. The data revealed a closer relationship between BCG Tice and BCG Pasteur than was previously appreciated, while we were able to position BCG Beijing within a grouping of BCG Denmark-derived strains. Only 186 SNPs were identified between virulent M. bovis strains and all BCG strains, with 115 nonsynonymous SNPs affecting important functions such as global regulators, transcriptional factors, and central metabolism, which might impact on virulence. We therefore refine previous genealogies of BCG vaccines and define a minimal set of SNPs between virulent M. bovis strains and the attenuated BCG strain that will underpin future functional analyses.
Project description:Whether the intranasal (i.n.) route of Mycobacterium bovis BCG vaccination provides better protection against pulmonary tuberculosis than subcutaneous (s.c.) vaccination remains an incompletely solved issue. In the present study, we compared both immune responses and protection elicited by single BCG vaccinations via the i.n. or s.c. route in BALB/c mice. While both i.n. and s.c. vaccination triggered comparable levels of primary immune activation in the spleen and draining lymph nodes, i.n. vaccination led to a greater antigen-specific gamma interferon recall response in splenocytes than s.c. vaccination upon secondary respiratory mycobacterial challenge, accompanied by an increased frequency of antigen-specific lymphocytes. There was also a quicker cellular response in the lungs of i.n. vaccinated mice upon mycobacterial challenge. Mice vaccinated i.n. were found to be much better protected, particularly in the lung, than s.c. vaccinated counterparts against pulmonary tuberculosis at both 3 and 6 months postvaccination. These results suggest that the i.n. route of vaccination improves the protective effect of the current BCG vaccine.
Project description:In mycobacteria, CycA a D-serine, L- and D-alanine, and glycine transporter also functions in the uptake of D-cycloserine, an important second-line anti-tubercular drug. A single nucleotide polymorphism identified in the cycA gene of BCG was hypothesized to contribute to the increased resistance of Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) to D-cycloserine compared to wild-type Mycobacterium tuberculosis or Mycobacterium bovis. Working along these lines, a merodiploid strain of BCG expressing Mycobacterium tuberculosis CycA was generated and found to exhibit increased susceptibility to D-cycloserine albeit not to the same extent as wild-type Mycobacterium tuberculosis or Mycobacterium bovis. In addition, recombinant Mycobacterium smegmatis strains expressing either Mycobacterium tuberculosis or Mycobacterium bovis CycA but not BCG CycA were rendered more susceptible to D-cycloserine. These findings support the notion that CycA-mediated uptake in BCG is impaired as a result of a single nucleotide polymorphism; however, the partial contribution of this impairment to D-cycloserine resistance suggests the involvement of additional genetic lesions in this phenotype.