The lack of validated immunological correlates of protection makes tuberculosis vaccine development difficult and expensive. Using intradermal bacille Calmette-Guréin (BCG) as a surrogate for aerosol Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) in a controlled human infection model could facilitate vaccine development, but such a model requires preclinical validation. Non-human primates (NHPs) may provide the best model in which to do this. Cynomolgus and rhesus macaques were infected with BCG by intradermal injection. BCG was quantified from a skin biopsy of the infection site and from draining axillary lymph nodes, by culture on solid agar and quantitative polymerase chain reaction. BCG was detected up to 28 days post-infection, with higher amounts of BCG detected in lymph nodes after high dose compared to standard dose infection. Quantifying BCG from lymph nodes of cynomolgus macaques 14 days post-high dose infection showed a significant reduction in the amount of BCG detected in the BCG-vaccinated compared to BCG-naïve animals. Demonstrating a detectable vaccine effect in the lymph nodes of cynomolgus macaques, which is similar in magnitude to that seen in an aerosol M.tb infection model, provides support for proof-of-concept of an intradermal BCG infection model and evidence to support the further evaluation of a human BCG infection model.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust and the Department of Health , UK. The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Department of Health. HMcS is a Wellcome Senior Clinical Research Fellow and a Jenner Institute Investigator.
© 2017 The Authors
- BCG infection
- Non-human primate