Antigenic relationships between Mycobacterium vaccae, M. nonchromogenicum, and M. leprae were examined in mice and guinea pigs injected with M. vaccae or M. nonchromogenicum suspensions. The growth of both organisms in outbred ICR and four inbred mouse strains was followed up to 30 days. M. nonchromogenicum persisted in the livers and spleens of the inbred mice substantially better than did the M. vaccae population in the same mouse strains. A translucent colony variant of M. vaccae isolated from the opossum survived in vivo better than the opaque colony isolated from opossums and cattle. Persistence of M. vaccae and M. nonchromogenicum was not markedly increased in T-cell-depleted (nude) mice. Normal mice infected with increasing numbers of M. vaccae did not develop delayed-type hypersensitivity to the homologous M. vaccae cytoplasmic protein antigen. When heat-killed M. vaccae were incorporated into Freund adjuvant, both mice and guinea pigs developed delayed hypersensitivity to cytoplasmic antigens prepared from M. vaccae, M. nonchromogenicum and M. leprae, but not to purified protein derivative. Both M. nonchromogenicum and M. vaccae vaccines cross-sensitized guinea pigs to the M. leprae cytoplasmic antigens.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases