they are ideal agents for development learn more as bioterror weapons (Pappas et al., 2006). Consequently, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) categorizes them as Class B pathogens. Currently, there are no human vaccines available. If this disease is not treated, it is devastating in humans and animals. Brucella abortus strain 2308 is a phenotypically smooth strain possessing a surface-exposed O-side chain of lipopolysaccharide; this is an immunodominant antigen referred to as O-antigen (Schurig et al., 1991). As with most intracellular bacterial infections, protection against Brucella involves both a CD4+ T-helper-1 (Th1) and a CD8+ cytotoxic T-cell-1 (Tc1) response (He et al., 2001). Brucella abortus strain RB51 is a live-attenuated stable rough phenotypic mutant derived from virulent strain 2308. Strain RB51 lacks the O-side chain in its lipopolysaccharide (Schurig et al., 1991). Live vaccine strain RB51 protects animals by inducing a cell-mediated
CD4 Th1 and CD8+ Tc1 interferon-γ response (He et al., 2001). Despite the knowledge that strain RB51 stimulates protective cell-mediated immunity (CMI), there is limited information regarding how B. abortus strains induce innate immune responses, resulting in protective CMI. To develop a human vaccine, additional knowledge is needed on how strain RB51 stimulates the innate response. Dendritic cells (DCs) are the sentinel cells of the innate immune system and their interaction with naïve T-cells following antigen capture determines the specificity and polarization of T-cell-mediated immunity (Banchereau & Steinman, 1998). In addition,
DCs are highly Panobinostat susceptible BCKDHA to Brucella infection, making them a valuable model for assessing Brucella-mediated immune responses (Billard et al., 2005). In our previous study (Surendran et al., 2010), we demonstrated that rough strain RB51 induced significantly higher DC maturation and function compared with smooth virulent strain 2308. This enhanced DC activation and function caused by live vaccine strain RB51 could be the critical point in directing a successful T-cell-mediated adaptive immune response. Because safety concerns of live vaccines limit their use in people, the efficacy of safer heat-killed (HK) or irradiated (IR) vaccines should be considered (Plotkin, 2005). HK B. abortus is an established CD4 Th1-promoting stimulus. It stimulates cytotoxic CD8 T-lymphocytes even in the absence of CD4 T-cell help (Finkelman et al., 1988; Street et al., 1990). By comparison, IR strain RB51 induced CD4 Th1 type responses, and when used at one log higher dose than live strain RB51, it protected against virulent B. abortus challenge in a mouse model (Sanakkayala et al., 2005). With this study, we wanted to determine whether HK and IR strain RB51 stimulated comparable innate responses to live vaccine strain RB51 for exploring their use as a vaccine in humans and animals.