This article is part of the supplement: Proceedings of Delivery Systems and Current Strategies to Drug Design

Open Access Proceedings

Evaluation of the humoral immune response and cross reactivity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis of mice immunized with liposomes containing glycolipids of Mycobacterium smegmatis

Reinier Borrero1, María de los A García1, Liem Canet2, Caridad Zayas1, Fátima Reyes1, Jorge L Prieto1, Juan F Infante1, María E Lanio2, Ramlah Kadir3, Yamilé López1, María E Sarmiento1, Mohd Nor Norazmi34 and Armando Acosta1*

Author Affiliations

1 Molecular Biology Department, Finlay Institute, La Lisa. La Habana, Cuba, P.O. Box 16017

2 Center for Protein Study, Faculty of Biology, University of Havana, La Habana, Cuba, ZP 10400

3 School of Health Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 16150 Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia

4 Institute for Research in Molecular Medicine, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 16150 Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia

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BMC Immunology 2013, 14(Suppl 1):S13  doi:10.1186/1471-2172-14-S1-S13

Published: 25 February 2013


Mycobacterium smegmatis (Ms) is a nonpathogenic mycobacteria of rapid growth, which shares many characteristics with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB), the major causative agent of tuberculosis. MTB has several cell wall glycolipids in common with Ms, which play an important role in the pathogenesis of tuberculosis and the induction of a protective immune response against MTB infection in some animal models. In this study, the humoral immune response and cross reactivity against MTB, of liposomes containing a mixture of cell wall glycolipids of Ms and commercial lipids was evaluated, in order to study its possible use as a component of a vaccine candidate against tuberculosis. Liposomes containing total lipids extracted from Ms, distearoyl phosphatidyl choline and cholesterol were prepared by the dehydration-rehydration technique. Balb/c mice were immunized with the liposomes obtained and the antibody response and cross reactivity against MTB were tested by ELISA. Total lipids extract from Ms showed the presence of several polar glycolipids in common with MTB, such as phosphatidylinositol mannosides. Liposomes that contained glycolipids of Ms were capable of inducing a specific IgG antibody response that allowed the recognition of surface antigens of MTB. The results of this study demonstrated the presence of immunogenic glycolipids in Ms, which could be included to enhance the protective effects of subunit vaccine formulations against tuberculosis.