Rough mutants defective in core and O-polysaccharide synthesis and export induce antibodies reacting in an indirect ELISA with smooth lipopolysaccharide and are less effective than Rev 1 vaccine against Brucella melitensis infection of sheep

M.B. Barrio, I. Jacques, M.S. Zygmunt, M.J. Grilló, P.M. Muñoz, M.J. de Miguel, C.M. Marín, J.M. Blasco, D. González, I. Moriyón, M. Barberán, Jean-Jacques Letesson, J.-P. Gorvel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Classical brucellosis vaccines induce antibodies to the O-polysaccharide section of the lipopolysaccharide that interfere in serodiagnosis. Brucella rough (R) mutants lack the O-polysaccharide but their usefulness as vaccines is controversial. Here, Brucella melitensis R mutants in all main lipopolysaccharide biosynthetic pathways were evaluated in sheep in comparison with the reference B. melitensis Rev 1 vaccine. In a first experiment, these mutants were tested for ability to induce anti-O-polysaccharide antibodies, persistence and spread through target organs, and innocuousness. Using the data obtained and those of genetic studies, three candidates were selected and tested for efficacy as vaccines against a challenge infecting 100% of unvaccinated ewes. Protection by R vaccines was 54% or less whereas Rev 1 afforded 100% protection. One-third of R mutant vaccinated ewes became positive in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay with smooth lipopolysaccharide due to the core epitopes remaining in the mutated lipopolysaccharide. We conclude that R vaccines interfere in lipopolysaccharide immunosorbent assays and are less effective than Rev 1 against B. melitensis infection of sheep.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1741-1749
Number of pages9
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2009


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