Protection induced by simultaneous subcutaneous and endobronchial vaccination with BCG/BCG and BCG/adenovirus expressing antigen 85A against Mycobacterium bovis in cattle

The incidence of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in the GB has been increasing since the 1980s. Immunisation, alongside current control measures, has been proposed as a sustainable measure to control bTB. Immunisation with Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) has been shown to protect against bTB. Furthermore, much experimental data indicates that pulmonary local immunity is important for protection against respiratory infections including Mycobacterium tuberculosis and that pulmonary immunisation is highly effective. Here, we evaluated protection against M. bovis, the main causative agent of bTB, conferred by BCG delivered subcutaneously, endobronchially or by the new strategy of simultaneous immunisation by both routes. We also tested simultaneous subcutaneous immunisation with BCG and endobronchial delivery of a recombinant type 5 adenovirus expressing mycobacterial antigen 85A. There was significantly reduced visible pathology in animals receiving the simultaneous BCG/BCG or BCG/Ad85 treatment compared to naïve controls. Furthermore, there were significantly fewer advanced microscopic granulomata in animals receiving BCG/Ad85A compared to naive controls. Thus, combining local and systemic immunisation limits the development of pathology, which in turn could decrease bTB transmission.

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