Humoral and cell-mediated immunity in mice to a 17-kilodalton lipoprotein of Francisella tularensis expressed by Salmonella typhimurium

Sjöstedt, A.; Sandström, G.; Tärnvik, A.

Infection and Immunity 60(7): 2855-2862


ISSN/ISBN: 0019-9567
PMID: 1612751
Accession: 040317853

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A 17-kDa lipoprotein, TUL4, of the facultative intracellular bacterium Francisella tularensis is one of several membrane proteins that induce an in vitro response in T cells from F. tularensis-primed humans. A DNA fragment of the live vaccine strain F. tularensis LVS encoding TUL4 was cloned into Salmonella typhimurium chi 4072, an attenuated delta cya delta crp mutant. Expression of the protein by the recombinant S. typhimurium chi 4072 (pTUL4-15) was maintained after passage in BALB/cJ mice. When mice were immunized with S. typhimurium chi 4072(pTUL4-15), some animals showed an antibody response and a T-cell response to TUL4. When the immunized mice were challenged with the live vaccine strain F. tularensis LVS, bacterial counts in the liver and spleen were lower than in animals immunized with S. typhimurium chi 4072. Immunization with F. tularensis LVS caused a much stronger protection against the challenge than did immunization with S. typhimurium chi 4072(pTUL4-15). The present study demonstrated that the 17-kDa lipoprotein TUL4 of F. tularensis is involved in a protective immunity to tularemia. Possibly, several T-cell-reactive proteins of the organism have to contribute for optimal protection to be achieved.