The candidate vaccine strain Brucella ovis ∆abcBA is protective against Brucella melitensis infection in mice
Brucellosis is a major zoonotic disease, and Brucella melitensis is the species most often associated with human infection. Vaccination is the most efficient tool for controlling animal brucellosis, with a consequent decrease of incidence of human infections. Commercially available live attenuated vaccines provide some degree of protection, but retain residual pathogenicity to human and animals. In this study, Brucella ovis ∆abcBA (Bo∆abcBA), a live attenuated candidate vaccine strain, was tested in two formulations (encapsulated with alginate and alginate plus vitelline protein B [VpB]) to immunize mice against experimental challenge with B. melitensis strain 16M. One week after infection, livers and spleens of immunized mice had reduced numbers of the challenge strain B. melitensis 16M when compared with those of nonimmunized mice, with a reduction of approximately 1-log of B. melitensis 16M count in the spleens from immunized mice. Moreover, splenocytes stimulated with B. melitensis antigens in vitro secreted IFN-γ when mice had been immunized with Bo∆abcBA encapsulated with alginate plus VpB, but not with alginate alone. Body and liver weights were similar among groups, although spleens from mice immunized with Bo∆abcBA encapsulated with alginate were larger than those immunized with Bo∆abcBA encapsulated with alginate plus VpB or nonimmunized mice. This study demonstrated that two vaccine formulations containing Bo∆abcBA protected mice against experimental challenge with B. melitensis.