A new vaccine against human tuberculosis is successfully tested in goats for the first time

The new vaccine has been developed by researchers of Canada (McMaster University) and is currently in clinical trials phase I. The study, carried out by CReSA researchers, opens a new way for the study of new treatments.

A vaccine against human tuberculosis tested in goats

CReSA researchers have carried out the first study of tuberculosis vaccination using domestic goats as an experimental model. The vaccine, called AdAg85A, has been designed by researchers of the McMaster University (Canada) to prevent human tuberculosis and is currently in phase I clinical trials.

The BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guérin) vaccine, a Mycobacterium bovis attenuated strain, is the unique vaccine commercialized worldwide since almost 100 years ago. However, its efficacy is limited, and numerous research groups of different countries are working on the development of a universal vaccine to replace or boost the BCG.

CReSA studies have demonstrated that goats inoculated with the new AdAg85A vaccine (which expresses a protective protein of Mycobacterium tuberculosis) after being vaccinated with BCG presented a higher protection against tuberculosis than goats vaccinated with BCG alone. Specifically, the new vaccine is a booster of the immune response system against tuberculous infection. The extent of lesions was reduced, as were both bacterial load and replication, additionally it controlled the intra and extra-lung dissemination of the infection.

Repercussions on animal health

Besides the important implications of this study on public health, these results demonstrate that vaccination can be an efficient option to control tuberculosis in goats, an endemic disease in several countries (including Spain) that causes economic losses in the livestock sector. Moreover, it poses an infection risk for humans in contact with animals (farmers, veterinarians, etc.) or consumers of unpasteurized dairy products. Currently, vaccination with BCG is not performed in Europe because it is not an efficient vaccine and can also interfere with diagnosis. Therefore, new vaccines or vaccination strategies are needed.

Study based on international collaboration

The experiment was designed by Bernat Pérez del Val (CReSA researcher) and Mariano Domingo (CReSA researcher and professor of the Departament d’Anatomia i Sanitat Animals of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, UAB), and was carried out in the level 3 Biocontaintment Unit of the CReSA. The study conception and results discussion were done in collaboration with international prestigious researchers of the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (UK) and McMaster University (Canada). Computed Tomography to determine the degree of pathology was done at the Centro Médico Teknon (Barcelona).

This study has been recently published as: Goats Primed with Mycobacterium bovis BCG and Boosted with a Recombinant Adenovirus Expressing Ag85A Show Enhanced Protection against Tuberculosis. B. Pérez de Val, B. Villarreal-Ramos, M. Nofrarías, S. López-Soria, M. Martin, N. Romera, M. Singh, F.X. Abad, Z. Xing, H. M. Vordermeier y M. Domingo. Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2012;19(9):1339-47.

To contact the principal investigator of this study:

Bernat Pérez del Val (bernat.perez@cresa.uab.cat)
Telephone no.: +34 93 581 45 26
Edifici CReSA. Campus UAB.
08193 Bellaterra (Cerdanyola del Vallès, Barcelona) Spain

¡Recommend this page!: