Date: 24 Sep 2012

Identification of T Cell Epitopes of Mycobacterium tuberculosis with Biolistic DNA Vaccination

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Tuberculosis (TB) has been listed as one of the most prevalent and serious infectious diseases worldwide. The etiological pathogen of TB is Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), a facultative intracellular bacterium. Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) is the only approved vaccine against TB to date. BCG has been widely used, but the efficacy is questionable, especially in adult pulmonary TB. Therefore, more effective, safe and reliable TB vaccines have been urgently needed. T cell-mediated cellular immune response is a key immune response for effective protective immunity against TB. DNA vaccines using Mtb antigens have been studied as promising future TB vaccines. Most TB DNA vaccine studies so far reported used intramuscular or intradermal injection with needles, as these methods tend to induce a type 1 helper T lymphocyte (Th1)-type immune response that is critical for the protective immunity. We have been using DNA vaccines with gene gun bombardment for T cell epitope identification of various Mtb antigens. We show here our strategy to identify precise Mtb T cell epitopes using DNA vaccines with gene gun bombardment.