Immune Response of Calves Vaccinated with Brucella abortus S19 or RB51 and Revaccinated with RB51


Brucella abortus S19 and RB51 strains have been successfully used to control bovine brucellosis worldwide; however, currently, most of our understanding of the protective immune response induced by vaccination comes from studies in mice. The aim of this study was to characterize and compare the immune responses induced in cattle prime-immunized with B. abortus S19 or RB51 and revaccinated with RB51. Female calves, aged 4 to 8 months, were vaccinated with either vaccine S19 (0.6–1.2 x 1011 CFU) or RB51 (1.3 x 1010 CFU) on day 0, and revaccinated with RB51 (1.3 x 1010 CFU) on day 365 of the experiment. Characterization of the immune response was performed using serum and peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Blood samples were collected on days 0, 28, 210, 365, 393 and 575 post-immunization. Results showed that S19 and RB51 vaccination induced an immune response characterized by proliferation of CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells; IFN-ɣ and IL-17A production by CD4+ T-cells; cytotoxic CD8+ T-cells; IL-6 secretion; CD4+ and CD8+ memory cells; antibodies of IgG1 class; and expression of the phenotypes of activation in T-cells. However, the immune response stimulated by S19 compared to RB51 showed higher persistency of IFN-ɣ and CD4+ memory cells, induction of CD21+ memory cells and higher secretion of IL-6. After RB51 revaccination, the immune response was chiefly characterized by increase in IFN-ɣ expression, proliferation of antigen-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells, cytotoxic CD8+ T-cells and decrease of IL-6 production in both groups. Nevertheless, a different polarization of the immune response, CD4+- or CD8+-dominant, was observed after the booster with RB51 for S19 and RB51 prime-vaccinated animals, respectively. Our results indicate that after prime vaccination both vaccine strains induce a strong and complex Th1 immune response, although after RB51 revaccination the differences between immune profiles induced by prime-vaccination become accentuated.