Immunogenicity of full-length and multi-epitope mRNA vaccines for M. Tuberculosis as demonstrated by the intensity of T-cell response: a comparative study in mice
Development of the new tuberculosis vaccines that would be effective in adults is an urgent task: worldwide, the annual death toll of this disease exceeds 1.5 million. In the recent decades, the matter has been addressed in numerous studies, but none has yielded an effective vaccine so far. There are many factors to resistance against tuberculosis; this study focuses on the T-cell response, a mechanism that enables elimination of intracellular pathogens, such as M. tuberculosis. We aimed to develop an mRNA vaccine capable of triggering a pronounced T-cell response to the M. tuberculosis antigens. The in silico analysis allowed us to select epitopes of the M. tuberculosis secreted protein ESAT6 (Rv3875) and design a multi-epitope mRNA vaccine thereon. We assessed the intensity of T-cell response in mice immunized with mRNA vaccines that encode a full-length or multi-epitope antigen. The results of this study in mice show that immunization with a multi-epitope mRNA vaccine produces twice as many IFNγ-secreting splenocytes in response to specific stimulation than immunization with an mRNA vaccine encoding the full-length protein. Thus, the developed multi-epitope mRNA vaccine can be an effective M. tuberculosis prevention agent the mode of action of which involves formation of a pronounced T-cell response.
Keywords: mRNA vaccine, multi-epitope vaccine, T-cell response, ELISpot