Submitted to: Clinical and Vaccine Immunology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/26/2008
Publication Date: 3/1/2009
Citation: Nol, P., Lyashchenko, K.P., Greenwald, R., Esfandiari, J., Waters, W.R., Palmer, M.V., Nonnecke, B.J., Keefe, T.J., Thacker, T.C., Rhyan, J.C., Aldwell, F.E., Salman, M.D. 2009. Humoral Immune Responses of White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) to Mycobacterium bovis BCG Vaccination and Experimental Challenge with M. bovis. Clinical and Vaccine Immunology. 16(3):323-329.
Interpretive Summary: White-tailed deer are wildlife reservoirs of bovine tuberculosis within the United States. The presence of this reservoir host seriously threatens ongoing efforts to eradicate this disease from cattle. Captive deer, in addition to wild deer, may also become infected with this agent. Thus, it is of interest to develop tests to detect tuberculosis infected white-tailed deer. In the present study, it was determined that deer experimentally infected with tuberculosis produce antibodies to the bacterium and that these antibodies are detectable by simple laboratory methods. Serological assays may prove practical for use in detecting tuberculosis infection in captive white-tailed deer. These findings will be useful for the development of improved methods of bovine tuberculosis control, thus, benefiting the cattle industry.
Technical Abstract: Monitoring serum antibody production kinetics to multiple mycobacterial antigens can be useful as a diagnostic tool for the detection of Mycobacterium bovis infection as well as for the characterization of disease progression and efficacy of intervention strategies in several species. Humoral immune responses to multiple M. bovis antigens by white-tailed deer vaccinated with BCG orally via a lipid-formulated bait (n=5), orally in liquid form (n=5), and subcutaneously (n=6) were evaluated over time after vaccination and after experimental challenge with virulent M. bovis and compared to those of unvaccinated deer (n=6). Antibody responses were evaluated using rapid test (RT), multiantigen print immunoassay (MAPIA), lipoarabinomannan ELISA (LAM-ELISA), and immunoblot to whole-cell sonicate and MPB83. The MAPIA and RT detected minimal to no antibody responses over baseline to multiple M. bovis antigens in vaccinated white-tailed deer after challenge. This was in contrast to the presence of more readily detectable antibody responses in non-vaccinated deer with more advanced disease. The LAM-ELISA results indicated an overall decrease in detectable antibody produced against lipoarabinomannan-enriched mycobacterial antigen in vaccinated animals as compared to non-vaccinated animals after challenge. Immunoblot data were inconsistent, but did suggest the occurrence of unique antibody responses by certain vaccine groups to Ag85 and HSP70. These findings support further investigation into the potential use of antibody-based assays, such as MAPIA, RT, and LAM-ELISA as ante-mortem tools to assess disease progression in white-tailed deer in both experimental and field vaccine trials.