In spite of vaccine and treatment strategies, Mycobacterium tuberculosis kills more than 3 people per minute. The emergence of drug-resistant strains makes treating the disease complicated and expensive for government health departments, and unpleasant and laborious for patients. The current vaccine, parenterally administered BCG, is only 50% effective. Oral vaccination has the advantage of targeting the mucosal immune system, which acts at the direct site of initial exposure to the infecting airborne pathogen. In addition, oral vaccines are cheaper and safer to administer than parenteral vaccines. This dissertation provides a conceptual framework for the prevention of the disease by means of oral vaccination and outlines methods that were developed for the production of concentrated purified somatic and extracellular antigens. Immune responses to somatic antigens were also examined in conjunction with established and novel adjuvants. The role of Propionibacterium jensenii 702 as a suitable mucosal adjuvant was supported by the results obtained.
University of Newcastle Research Higher Degree Thesis