Mingzhu Shao，Ning Cui，Yangyang Tang，Fanruo Chen，Yingying Cui，Guanghui Dang #, Siguo Liu #
NPJ Vaccines.2023 May 20;8(1):72.doi: 10.1038/s41541-023-00675-1.
Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) causes paratuberculosis (PTB), which is a granulomatous enteritis in ruminants that threatens the dairy industry's healthy development and public health safety worldwide. Because the commercial inactivated vaccines are not completely protective and interfere with bovine tuberculosis diagnostics, we tested four fusion proteins, namely 66NC, 66CN, 90NC, and 90CN, which were constructed with MAP3527, Ag85B, and Hsp70 of MAP in different tandem combinations. Notably, 66NC, which encodes a 66 kDa fusion protein that combines in linear order MAP3527N40-232, Ag85B41-330, and MAP3527C231-361, induced a powerful and specific IFN-γ response. Immunization of C57BL/6 mice with the 66NC fusion protein formulated in Montanide ISA 61 VG adjuvant generated robust Th1, Th2, and Th17 type immune responses and strong antibody responses. The 66NC vaccine protected C57BL/6 mice against virulent MAP K-10 infection. This resulted in a reduction of bacterial load and improvement of pathological damage in the liver and intestine, in addition to a reduction of body weight loss; significantly better protection than the reported 74 F vaccine was also induced. Furthermore, vaccine efficacy correlated with the levels of IFN-γ-, TNF-α-, and IL-17A-secreting antigen-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes as well as with serum IFN-γ and TNF-α levels after vaccination. These results demonstrate that recombinant protein 66NC is an efficient candidate for further development into a protective vaccine in terms of inducing specific protection against MAP.