Immune responses and protection against infection and abortion in cattle experimentally vaccinated with mutant strains of Brucella abortus

N. F. Cheville From the USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Brucellosis Research Unit, National Animal Disease Center Ames, IA 50010.

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M. G. Stevens From the USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Brucellosis Research Unit, National Animal Disease Center Ames, IA 50010.

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A. E. Jensen From the USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Brucellosis Research Unit, National Animal Disease Center Ames, IA 50010.

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F. M. Tatum From the USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Brucellosis Research Unit, National Animal Disease Center Ames, IA 50010.

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S. M. Halling From the USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Brucellosis Research Unit, National Animal Disease Center Ames, IA 50010.

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Summary

Twenty-four 10-month-old Polled Hereford heifers were inoculated sc with live cells of one of the following strains of Brucella abortus: S19Δ31K (n = 4), S19ΔSOD (n = 4), RB51 (n = 4), and strain 19 (n = 6); controls (n = 6) were given saline solution. Heifers given the deletion mutants S19Δ31K and S19ΔSOD, and those given strain 19 developed antibody responses to B abortus and cutaneous reactions to brucellin. Heifers given strain RB51 did not develop antibodies that reacted in the standard tube agglutination test, but sera reacted in tests, using an antibody dot-blot assay containing RB51 antigen. The S19Δ31K and S19ΔSOD strains of B abortus isolated from lymph node tissue after vaccination did not differ genetically from the master stock strain. All heifers were bred naturally at 16 to 17 months of age, and were challenge-exposed intraconjunctivally with virulent B abortus strain 2308 during the fifth month of pregnancy. All vaccinated heifers were protected (ie, none aborted and none had B abortus isolated from their tissues after parturition). Calves born from vaccinated dams were free of B abortus. Antibody responses in heifers after challenge exposure were an indicator of immunity. All 5 control heifers (nonvaccinated) developed serum antibodies after challenge exposure; 3 aborted, and 1 delivered a small, weak calf at 8.5 months of gestation. Thus, live mutant strains of B abortus can induce protective immunity when given at 10 months of age, and strain RB51 is a strong candidate for further testing.

Summary

Twenty-four 10-month-old Polled Hereford heifers were inoculated sc with live cells of one of the following strains of Brucella abortus: S19Δ31K (n = 4), S19ΔSOD (n = 4), RB51 (n = 4), and strain 19 (n = 6); controls (n = 6) were given saline solution. Heifers given the deletion mutants S19Δ31K and S19ΔSOD, and those given strain 19 developed antibody responses to B abortus and cutaneous reactions to brucellin. Heifers given strain RB51 did not develop antibodies that reacted in the standard tube agglutination test, but sera reacted in tests, using an antibody dot-blot assay containing RB51 antigen. The S19Δ31K and S19ΔSOD strains of B abortus isolated from lymph node tissue after vaccination did not differ genetically from the master stock strain. All heifers were bred naturally at 16 to 17 months of age, and were challenge-exposed intraconjunctivally with virulent B abortus strain 2308 during the fifth month of pregnancy. All vaccinated heifers were protected (ie, none aborted and none had B abortus isolated from their tissues after parturition). Calves born from vaccinated dams were free of B abortus. Antibody responses in heifers after challenge exposure were an indicator of immunity. All 5 control heifers (nonvaccinated) developed serum antibodies after challenge exposure; 3 aborted, and 1 delivered a small, weak calf at 8.5 months of gestation. Thus, live mutant strains of B abortus can induce protective immunity when given at 10 months of age, and strain RB51 is a strong candidate for further testing.

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