Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 15618214
Infect. Immun. 2005 Jan;73(1):666-70
We compared the growth levels and pathogenicities of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis MT103 clinical strain with those of the DeltapurC mutant strain MYC1551, which is auxotrophic for purine in wild-type and gamma interferon receptor (IFN-gammaR)-deficient mice. The DeltapurC strain MYC1551 grew initially in both wild-type and IFN-gammaR-deficient mice upon aerosol infection, but it grew much less than strain MT103 did. Despite the comparable bacterial burdens of the mice, IFN-gammaR-deficient mice succumbed to infection with DeltapurC strain MYC1551 from necrotic pneumonia within 6 weeks of those infected with MT103. In conclusion, the DeltapurC mutant MYC1551 displays reduced growth but retains pathogenicity. Therefore, the use of mutant strains of M. tuberculosis as live vaccines may not be recommended.