Although respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the leading cause of serious respiratory tract disease in children, to date no RSV vaccine is available. To produce an effective subunit vaccine, a truncated secreted version of the F protein (ΔF) was expressed in mammalian cells, purified and shown to form trimers. The ΔF protein was then formulated with a CpG oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) and an innate defense regulator (IDR) peptide in polyphosphazene microparticles (ΔF-MP). Mice immunized either intramuscularly (IM) or intranasally (IN) with ΔF-MP developed significantly higher levels of virus-neutralizing antibodies in the sera and lungs, as well as higher numbers of IFN-γ secreting cells than mice immunized with the ΔF protein alone. In contrast, the IM delivered ΔF induced high production of IL-5 while the IN delivered ΔF did not elicit a measurable immune response. After RSV challenge, essentially no virus and no evidence of immunopathology were detected in mice immunized with ΔF-MP regardless of the route of delivery. While the mice immunized IM with ΔF alone also showed reduced virus replication, they developed enhanced levels of pulmonary IgE, IL-4, IL-5, IL-13 and eotaxin, as well as eosinophilia after challenge. The level of protection induced by the ΔF-MP formulation was equivalent after IM and IN delivery. The efficacy and safety of the ΔF-MP formulation was confirmed in cotton rats, which also developed enhanced immune responses and were fully protected from RSV challenge after vaccination with ΔF-MP. In conclusion, formulation of recombinant ΔF with CpG ODN and IDR peptide in polyphosphazene microparticles should be considered for further evaluation as a safe and effective vaccine against RSV.
- Polyphosphazene microparticles
- RSV fusion protein
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases