PLoS One. 2011 ;6(5):e19863. Epub 2011 May 20. PMID: 21625486
Intranasal immunization with recombinant HA and mast cell activator C48/80 elicits protective immunity against 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza in mice.
BACKGROUND: Pandemic influenza represents a major threat to global health. Vaccination is the most economic and effective strategy to control influenza pandemic. Conventional vaccine approach, despite being effective, has a number of major deficiencies including limited range of protection, total dependence on embryonated eggs for production, and time consuming for vaccine production. There is an urgent need to develop novel vaccine strategies to overcome these deficiencies.METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The major objective of this work was to develop a novel vaccine strategy combining recombinant haemagglutinin (HA) protein and a master cell (MC) activator C48/80 for intranasal immunization. We demonstrated in BALB/c mice that MC activator C48/80 had strong adjuvant activity when co-administered with recombinant HA protein intranasally. Vaccination with C48/80 significantly increased the serum IgG and mucosal surface IgA antibody responses against HA protein. Such increases correlated with stronger and durable neutralizing antibody activities, offering protection to vaccinated animals from disease progression after challenge with lethal dose of A/California/04/2009 live virus. Furthermore, protected animals demonstrated significant reduction in lung virus titers, minimal structural alteration in lung tissues as well as higher and balanced production of Th1 and Th2 cytokines in the stimulated splenocytes when compared to those without C48/80.CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The present study demonstrates that the novel vaccine approach of combining recombinant HA and mucosal adjuvant C48/80 is safe and effective in eliciting protective immunity in mice. Future studies on the mechanism of action of C48/80 and potential combination with other vaccine strategies such as prime and boost approach may help to induce even more potent and broad immune responses against viruses from various clades.