Oral vaccination with microencapsuled strain 19 vaccine confers enhanced protection against Brucella abortus strain 2308 challenge in red deer (Cervus elaphus elaphus). Academic Article uri icon


  • Bison (Bison bison) and elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) in the Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA), USA, are infected with Brucella abortus, the causative agent of bovine brucellosis, and they serve as a wildlife reservoir for the disease. Bovine brucellosis recently has been transmitted from infected elk to cattle in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho and has resulted in their loss of brucellosis-free status. An efficacious Brucella vaccine with a delivery system suitable for wildlife would be a valuable tool in a disease prevention and control program. We evaluated Strain 19 (S19) in a sustained release vehicle consisting of alginate microspheres containing live vaccine. In a challenge study using red deer (Cervus elaphus elaphus) as a model for elk, alginate, a naturally occurring polymer combined with a protein of Fasciola hepatica vitelline protein B was used to microencapsulate S19. Red deer were orally or subcutaneously immunized with 1.5 x 10(10) colony-forming units (CFUs) using microencapsulated S19. Humoral and cellular profiles were analyzed bimonthly throughout the study. The vaccinated red deer and nonvaccinated controls were challenged 1 yr postimmunization conjunctivally with 1 x 10(9) CFUs of B. abortus strain 2308. Red deer vaccinated with oral microencapsulated S19 had a statistically significant lower bacterial tissue load compared with controls. These data indicate for the first time that protection against Brucella-challenge can be achieved by combining a commonly used vaccine with a novel oral delivery system such as alginate-vitelline protein B microencapsulation. This system is a potential improvement for efficacious Brucella-vaccine delivery to wildlife in the GYA.

published proceedings

  • J Wildl Dis

author list (cited authors)

  • Arenas-Gamboa, A. M., Ficht, T. A., Davis, D. S., Elzer, P. H., Kahl-McDonagh, M., Wong-Gonzalez, A., & Rice-Ficht, A. C.

citation count

  • 17

complete list of authors

  • Arenas-Gamboa, Angela M||Ficht, Thomas A||Davis, Donald S||Elzer, Philip H||Kahl-McDonagh, Melissa||Wong-Gonzalez, Alfredo||Rice-Ficht, Allison C

publication date

  • October 2009