Document Type


Date of Original Version



Cell & Molecular Biology


Q-fever is a flu-like illness caused by Coxiella burnetii (Cb), a highly infectious intracellular bacterium. There is an unmet need for a safe and effective vaccine for Q-fever. Correlates of immune protection to Cb infection are limited. We proposed that analysis by longitudinal high dimensional immune (HDI) profiling using mass cytometry combined with other measures of vaccination and protection could be used to identify novel correlates of effective vaccination and control of Cb infection. Using a vaccine-challenge model in HLA-DR transgenic mice, we demonstrated significant alterations in circulating T-cell and innate immune populations that distinguished vaccinated from naïve mice within 10 days, and persisted until at least 35 days post-vaccination. Following challenge, vaccinated mice exhibited reduced bacterial burden and splenomegaly, along with distinct effector T-cell and monocyte profiles. Correlation of HDI data to serological and pathological measurements was performed. Our data indicate a Th1-biased response to Cb, consistent with previous reports, and identify Ly6C, CD73, and T-bet expression in T-cell, NK-cell, and monocytic populations as distinguishing features between vaccinated and naïve mice. This study refines the understanding of the integrated immune response to Cb vaccine and challenge, which can inform the assessment of candidate vaccines for Cb.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.