Antibody response to a sterile filtered PPD tuberculin in M. bovis infected and M. bovis sensitized cattle
Vaccine development and our understanding of the pathology of bovine tuberculosis in cattle would be greatly facilitated by definition of the immunological correlates of protection and/or pathology. In this study we analyzed humoral immune responses in Mycobacterium bovis BCG-vaccinated and control cattle (in particular, the relationship between the intradermal comparative tuberculin skin test and serum immunoglobulin G [IgG] responses) against a range of mycobacterial antigens (MPB59, MPB64, MPB70, MPB83, ESAT-6, CFP-10, Acr1, and PstS-1) by multiantigen print immunoassay and conventional enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Following M. bovis infection, the comparative tuberculin skin test strongly boosted IgG, IgG1, and IgG2 antibody responses, particularly against MPB83 and MPB70, in unvaccinated cattle but failed to boost these responses, or did so only weakly, in BCG-vaccinated calves. In addition, the skin test-induced increases in MPB83-specific IgG responses correlated positively with bacterial loads and ESAT-6-induced in vitro gamma interferon responses. In conclusion, both the negative correlation of skin test-enhanced MPB83-specific antibody responses with BCG-induced protection and their positive correlation with bacterial loads can serve as useful markers for vaccine efficacy after challenge.