Development of a vaccine against pulmonary tuberculosis may require immunization strategies that induce a high frequency of Agspecific CD4 and CD8 T cells in the lung. The nonhuman primate model is essential for testing such approaches because it has predictive value for how vaccines elicit responses in humans. In this study, we used an aerosol vaccination strategy to administer AERAS-402, a replication-defective recombinant adenovirus (rAd) type 35 expressing Mycobacterium tuberculosis Ags Ag85A, Ag85B, and TB10.4, in bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG)-primed or unprimed rhesus macaques. Immunization with BCG generated low purified protein derivative-specific CD4 T cell responses in blood and bronchoalveolar lavage. In contrast, aerosolized AERAS-402 alone or following BCG induced potent and stable Ag85A/b-specific CD4 and CD8 effector T cells in bronchoalveolar lavage that largely produced IFN-γ, as well as TNF and IL-2. Such responses induced by BCG, AERAS-402, or both failed to confer overall protection following challenge with 275 CFUs M. tuberculosis Erdman, although vaccine-induced responses associated with reduced pathology were observed in some animals. Anamnestic T cell responses to Ag85A/b were not detected in blood of immunized animals after challenge. Overall, our data suggest that a high M. tuberculosis challenge dose may be a critical factor in limiting vaccine efficacy in this model. However, the ability of aerosol rAd immunization to generate potent cellular immunity in the lung suggests that using different or more immunogens, alternative rAd serotypes with enhanced immunogenicity, and a physiological challenge dose may achieve protection against M. tuberculosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy