Proteomic Analysis of Human Immune Responses to Live-Attenuated Tularemia Vaccine.
() is an intracellular pathogen that causes a potentially debilitating febrile illness known as tularemia. can be spread by aerosol transmission and cause fatal pneumonic tularemia. If untreated, mortality rates can be as high as 30%. To study the host responses to a live-attenuated tularemia vaccine, peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) samples were assayed from 10 subjects collected pre- and post-vaccination, using both the 2D-DIGE/MALDI-MS/MS and LC-MS/MS approaches. Protein expression related to antigen processing and presentation, inflammation (PPARγ nuclear receptor), phagocytosis, and gram-negative bacterial infection was enriched at Day 7 and/or Day 14. Protein candidates that could be used to predict human immune responses were identified by evaluating the correlation between proteome changes and humoral and cellular immune responses. Consistent with the proteomics data, parallel transcriptomics data showed that MHC class I and class II-related signals important for protein processing and antigen presentation were up-regulated, further confirming the proteomic results. These findings provide new biological insights that can be built upon in future clinical studies, using live attenuated strains as immunogens, including their potential use as surrogates of protection.