Bacterium-like particles supplemented with inactivated influenza antigen induce cross-protective influenza-specific antibody responses through intranasal administration.Vaccine. 2012 Jul 06; 30(32):4884-91.V
Administration of influenza vaccines through the intranasal (IN) route forms an attractive alternative to conventional intramuscular (IM) injection. It is not only a better accepted form of vaccine administration but it also has the potential to induce, in addition to systemic antibodies, local protective antibodies, i.e. S-IgA. Most commercially available vaccines however are inactivated non-replicating vaccines and have a low immunogenicity when administered intranasally. Local administration of these vaccines would therefore need an adjuvant to boost systemic and local antibody responses. Here we explored the use of a safe adjuvant system, i.e. bacterium-like particles (BLPs) derived from the food-grade bacterium in Lactococcus lactis, in the induction of protective antibody responses after intranasal immunization of mice. Supplementation of H1N1 split vaccine with BLPs significantly increased levels of serum influenza-specific IgG and hemagglutination-inhibiting antibodies: this was dependent on the dose of admixed BLPs and number of immunizations. Admixing BLPs further boosted local influenza-specific S-IgA antibody levels at lung and nasal mucosal sites, but also at distant mucosal sites such as the vaginal mucosal tissue. Mice immunized IN with BLP-adjuvanted vaccine and IM with non-adjuvanted vaccine were protected against weight loss upon homologous infection with H1N1 A/PR/8/34. Full protection against weight loss upon heterologous challenge with H1N1 A/PR/8/34 was seen in mice immunized IN with BLP-adjuvanted H1N1 A/New Caledonia-derived split virus vaccine, but not in those receiving the split virus vaccine IM. Mice immunized IN with BLP-adjuvanted vaccine had significantly lower lung viral titers upon homologous and heterologous challenge when compared to titers detected in mice immunized by IM injection of non-adjuvanted vaccine. Thus, adjuvantation of IN-administered influenza vaccines with BLPs effectively enhances systemic and local antibody responses leading to a superior protection against homologous and heterologous influenza infection compared to conventional IM immunization.