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INTRODUCTION: In vaccine development, dose-response curves are commonly assumed to be saturating. Evidence from tuberculosis (TB) vaccine, H56+IC31 shows this may be incorrect. Mathematical modelling techniques may be useful in efficiently identifying the most immunogenic dose, but model calibration requires longitudinal data across multiple doses and time points. AIMS: We aimed to (i) generate longitudinal response data in mice for a wide range of H56+IC31 doses for use in future mathematical modelling and (ii) test whether a 'saturating' or 'peaked' dose-response curve, better fit the empirical data. METHODS: We measured IFN-γ secretion using an ELISPOT assay in the splenocytes of mice who had received doses of 0, 0.1, 0.5, 1, 5 or 15μg H56+IC31. Mice were vaccinated twice (at day 0 and 15) and responses measured for each dose at 8 time points over a 56-day period following first vaccination. Summary measures Area Under the Curve (AUC), peak and day 56 responses were compared between dose groups. Corrected Akaike Information Criteria was used to test which dose-response curve best fitted empirical data, at different time ranges. RESULTS: (i) All summary measures for dose groups 0.1 and 0.5μg were higher than the control group (p<0.05). The AUC was higher for 0.1 than 15μg dose. (ii) There was strong evidence that the dose-response curve was peaked for all time ranges, and the best dose is likely to be lower than previous empirical experiments have evaluated. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that the highest, safe dose may not always optimal in terms of immunogenicity, as the dose-response curve may not saturate. Detailed longitudinal dose range data for TB vaccine H56+IC31 reveals response dynamics in mice that should now be used to identify optimal doses for humans using clinical data, using new data collection and mathematical modelling.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





6285 - 6291


Adaptive Immunity, Animals, Cytokines, Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic, Enzyme-Linked Immunospot Assay, Female, Leukocytes, Mononuclear, Longitudinal Studies, Mice, Models, Theoretical, Tuberculosis Vaccines