Peritoneal Administration of a Subunit Vaccine Encapsulated in a Nanodelivery System Not Only Augments Systemic Responses against SARS-CoV-2 but Also Stimulates Responses in the Respiratory Tract.Viruses. 2021 11 02; 13(11)V
The COVID-19 pandemic has currently created an unprecedented threat to human society and global health. A rapid mass vaccination to create herd immunity against SARS-CoV-2 is a crucial measure to ease the spread of this disease. Here, we investigated the immunogenicity of a SARS-CoV-2 subunit vaccine candidate, a SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein encapsulated in N,N,N-trimethyl chitosan particles or S-TMC NPs. Upon intraperitoneal immunization, S-TMC NP-immunized mice elicited a stronger systemic antibody response, with neutralizing capacity against SARS-CoV-2, than mice receiving the soluble form of S-glycoprotein. S-TMC NPs were able to stimulate the circulating IgG and IgA as found in SARS-CoV-2-infected patients. In addition, spike-specific T cell responses were drastically activated in S-TMC NP-immunized mice. Surprisingly, administration of S-TMC NPs via the intraperitoneal route also stimulated SARS-CoV-2-specific immune responses in the respiratory tract, which were demonstrated by the presence of high levels of SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG and IgA in the lung homogenates and bronchoalveolar lavages of the immunized mice. We found that peritoneal immunization with spike nanospheres stimulates both systemic and respiratory mucosal immunity.