Publications by authors named "Bali Pulendran"

166 Publications

mRNA vaccination compared to infection elicits an IgG-predominant response with greater SARS-CoV-2 specificity and similar decrease in variant spike recognition.

medRxiv 2021 Apr 7. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

During the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, new vaccine strategies including lipid nanoparticle delivery of antigen encoding RNA have been deployed globally. The BioNTech/Pfizer mRNA vaccine BNT162b2 encoding SARS-CoV-2 spike protein shows 95% efficacy in preventing disease, but it is unclear how the antibody responses to vaccination differ from those generated by infection. Here we compare the magnitude and breadth of antibodies targeting SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, and endemic coronaviruses, in vaccinees and infected patients. We find that vaccination differs from infection in the dominance of IgG over IgM and IgA responses, with IgG reaching levels similar to those of severely ill COVID-19 patients and shows decreased breadth of the antibody response targeting endemic coronaviruses. Viral variants of concern from B.1.1.7 to P.1 to B.1.351 form a remarkably consistent hierarchy of progressively decreasing antibody recognition by both vaccinees and infected patients exposed to Wuhan-Hu-1 antigens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2021.04.05.21254952DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8043478PMC
April 2021

Emerging concepts in the science of vaccine adjuvants.

Nat Rev Drug Discov 2021 Apr 6. Epub 2021 Apr 6.

GSK Vaccines, Rockville, MD, USA.

Adjuvants are vaccine components that enhance the magnitude, breadth and durability of the immune response. Following its introduction in the 1920s, alum remained the only adjuvant licensed for human use for the next 70 years. Since the 1990s, a further five adjuvants have been included in licensed vaccines, but the molecular mechanisms by which these adjuvants work remain only partially understood. However, a revolution in our understanding of the activation of the innate immune system through pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) is improving the mechanistic understanding of adjuvants, and recent conceptual advances highlight the notion that tissue damage, different forms of cell death, and metabolic and nutrient sensors can all modulate the innate immune system to activate adaptive immunity. Furthermore, recent advances in the use of systems biology to probe the molecular networks driving immune response to vaccines ('systems vaccinology') are revealing mechanistic insights and providing a new paradigm for the vaccine discovery and development process. Here, we review the 'known knowns' and 'known unknowns' of adjuvants, discuss these emerging concepts and highlight how our expanding knowledge about innate immunity and systems vaccinology are revitalizing the science and development of novel adjuvants for use in vaccines against COVID-19 and future pandemics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41573-021-00163-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8023785PMC
April 2021

Hydrogel-based slow release of a receptor-binding domain subunit vaccine elicits neutralizing antibody responses against SARS-CoV-2.

bioRxiv 2021 Apr 1. Epub 2021 Apr 1.

The development of an effective vaccine that can be rapidly manufactured and distributed worldwide is necessary to mitigate the devastating health and economic impacts of pandemics like COVID-19. The receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, which mediates host cell entry of the virus, is an appealing antigen for subunit vaccines because it is easy to manufacture and highly stable. Moreover, RBD is a target for neutralizing antibodies and robust cytotoxic T lymphocyte responses. Unfortunately, RBD is poorly immunogenic. While most subunit vaccines are commonly formulated with adjuvants to enhance their immunogenicity, most common adjuvant combinations have not been sufficient to improve RBD immunogenicity and none have afforded neutralizing responses in a single-dose RBD vaccine. Here we show that sustained delivery of an RBD subunit vaccine in an injectable hydrogel depot formulation increases total anti-RBD IgG titers compared to bolus administration of the same vaccines. Notably, a SARS-CoV-2 spike-pseudotyped lentivirus neutralization assay revealed neutralizing antibodies in all mice after a single hydrogel vaccine administration comprising clinically-approved adjuvants Alum and CpG. Together, these results suggest that extending the exposure to RBD subunit vaccines significantly enhances the immunogenicity of RBD and induces neutralizing humoral immunity following a single immunization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2021.03.31.437792DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8020976PMC
April 2021

Elicitation of broadly protective sarbecovirus immunity by receptor-binding domain nanoparticle vaccines.

bioRxiv 2021 Mar 16. Epub 2021 Mar 16.

Understanding the ability of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine-elicited antibodies to neutralize and protect against emerging variants of concern and other sarbecoviruses is key for guiding vaccine development decisions and public health policies. We show that a clinical stage multivalent SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain nanoparticle vaccine (SARS-CoV-2 RBD-NP) protects mice from SARS-CoV-2-induced disease after a single shot, indicating that the vaccine could allow dose-sparing. SARS-CoV-2 RBD-NP elicits high antibody titers in two non-human primate (NHP) models against multiple distinct RBD antigenic sites known to be recognized by neutralizing antibodies. We benchmarked NHP serum neutralizing activity elicited by RBD-NP against a lead prefusion-stabilized SARS-CoV-2 spike immunogen using a panel of single-residue spike mutants detected in clinical isolates as well as the B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 variants of concern. Polyclonal antibodies elicited by both vaccines are resilient to most RBD mutations tested, but the E484K substitution has similar negative consequences for neutralization, and exhibit modest but comparable neutralization breadth against distantly related sarbecoviruses. We demonstrate that mosaic and cocktail sarbecovirus RBD-NPs elicit broad sarbecovirus neutralizing activity, including against the SARS-CoV-2 B.1.351 variant, and protect mice against severe SARS-CoV challenge even in the absence of the SARS-CoV RBD in the vaccine. This study provides proof of principle that sarbecovirus RBD-NPs induce heterotypic protection and enables advancement of broadly protective sarbecovirus vaccines to the clinic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2021.03.15.435528DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7986998PMC
March 2021

A system-view of Bordetella pertussis booster vaccine responses in adults primed with whole-cell versus acellular vaccine in infancy.

JCI Insight 2021 Apr 8;6(7). Epub 2021 Apr 8.

Division of Vaccine Discovery, La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, La Jolla, California, USA.

The increased incidence of whooping cough worldwide suggests that current vaccination against Bordetella pertussis infection has limitations in quality and duration of protection. The resurgence of infection has been linked to the introduction of acellular vaccines (aP), which have an improved safety profile compared with the previously used whole-cell (wP) vaccines. To determine immunological differences between aP and wP priming in infancy, we performed a systems approach of the immune response to booster vaccination. Transcriptomic, proteomic, cytometric, and serologic profiling revealed multiple shared immune responses with different kinetics across cohorts, including an increase of blood monocyte frequencies and strong antigen-specific IgG responses. Additionally, we found a prominent subset of aP-primed individuals (30%) with a strong differential signature, including higher levels of expression for CCL3, NFKBIA, and ICAM1. Contrary to the wP individuals, this subset displayed increased PT-specific IgE responses after boost and higher antigen-specific IgG4 and IgG3 antibodies against FHA and FIM2/3 at baseline and after boost. Overall, the results show that, while broad immune response patterns to Tdap boost overlap between aP- and wP-primed individuals, a subset of aP-primed individuals present a divergent response. These findings provide candidate targets to study the causes and correlates of waning immunity after aP vaccination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/jci.insight.141023DOI Listing
April 2021

Adjuvanting a subunit SARS-CoV-2 nanoparticle vaccine to induce protective immunity in non-human primates.

bioRxiv 2021 Feb 11. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

The development of a portfolio of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines to vaccinate the global population remains an urgent public health imperative. Here, we demonstrate the capacity of a subunit vaccine under clinical development, comprising the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein receptor-binding domain displayed on a two-component protein nanoparticle (RBD-NP), to stimulate robust and durable neutralizing antibody (nAb) responses and protection against SARS-CoV-2 in non-human primates. We evaluated five different adjuvants combined with RBD-NP including Essai O/W 1849101, a squalene-in-water emulsion; AS03, an alpha-tocopherol-containing squalene-based oil-in-water emulsion used in pandemic influenza vaccines; AS37, a TLR-7 agonist adsorbed to Alum; CpG 1018-Alum (CpG-Alum), a TLR-9 agonist formulated in Alum; or Alum, the most widely used adjuvant. All five adjuvants induced substantial nAb and CD4 T cell responses after two consecutive immunizations. Durable nAb responses were evaluated for RBD-NP/AS03 immunization and the live-virus nAb response was durably maintained up to 154 days post-vaccination. AS03, CpG-Alum, AS37 and Alum groups conferred significant protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection in the pharynges, nares and in the bronchoalveolar lavage. The nAb titers were highly correlated with protection against infection. Furthermore, RBD-NP when used in conjunction with AS03 was as potent as the prefusion stabilized Spike immunogen, HexaPro. Taken together, these data highlight the efficacy of the RBD-NP formulated with clinically relevant adjuvants in promoting robust immunity against SARS-CoV-2 in non-human primates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2021.02.10.430696DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7885918PMC
February 2021

The C3/465 glycan hole cluster in BG505 HIV-1 envelope is the major neutralizing target involved in preventing mucosal SHIV infection.

PLoS Pathog 2021 Feb 8;17(2):e1009257. Epub 2021 Feb 8.

Emory Vaccine Center, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America.

Stabilized HIV-1 envelope (Env) trimers elicit tier 2 autologous neutralizing antibody (nAb) responses in immunized animals. We previously demonstrated that BG505 SOSIP.664.T332N gp140 (BG505 SOSIP) immunization of rhesus macaques (RM) provided robust protection against autologous intra-vaginal simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) challenge that was predicted by high serum nAb titers. Here, we show that nAb in these protected RM targeted a glycan hole proximal to residue 465 in gp120 in all cases. nAb also targeted another glycan hole at residues 241/289 and an epitope in V1 at varying frequencies. Non-neutralizing antibodies directed at N611-shielded epitopes in gp41 were also present but were more prevalent in RM with low nAb titers. Longitudinal analysis demonstrated that nAb broadened in some RM during sequential immunization but remained focused in others, the latter being associated with increases in nAb titer. Thirty-eight monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) isolated from a protected RM with an exceptionally high serum neutralization titer bound to the trimer in ELISA, and four of the mAbs potently neutralized the BG505 Env pseudovirus (PV) and SHIV. The four neutralizing mAbs were clonally related and targeted the 465 glycan hole to varying degrees, mimicking the serum. The data demonstrate that the C3/465 glycan hole cluster was the dominant neutralization target in high titer protected RM, despite other co-circulating neutralizing and non-neutralizing specificities. The isolation of a neutralizing mAb family argues that clonotype expansion occurred during BG505 SOSIP immunization, leading to high titer, protective nAb and setting a desirable benchmark for HIV vaccines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1009257DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7895394PMC
February 2021

Auto-antibodies to type I IFNs can underlie adverse reactions to yellow fever live attenuated vaccine.

J Exp Med 2021 04;218(4)

Laboratory of Human Genetics of Infectious Diseases, Necker Branch, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U1163, Necker Hospital for Sick Children, Paris, France.

Yellow fever virus (YFV) live attenuated vaccine can, in rare cases, cause life-threatening disease, typically in patients with no previous history of severe viral illness. Autosomal recessive (AR) complete IFNAR1 deficiency was reported in one 12-yr-old patient. Here, we studied seven other previously healthy patients aged 13 to 80 yr with unexplained life-threatening YFV vaccine-associated disease. One 13-yr-old patient had AR complete IFNAR2 deficiency. Three other patients vaccinated at the ages of 47, 57, and 64 yr had high titers of circulating auto-Abs against at least 14 of the 17 individual type I IFNs. These antibodies were recently shown to underlie at least 10% of cases of life-threatening COVID-19 pneumonia. The auto-Abs were neutralizing in vitro, blocking the protective effect of IFN-α2 against YFV vaccine strains. AR IFNAR1 or IFNAR2 deficiency and neutralizing auto-Abs against type I IFNs thus accounted for more than half the cases of life-threatening YFV vaccine-associated disease studied here. Previously healthy subjects could be tested for both predispositions before anti-YFV vaccination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1084/jem.20202486DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7871457PMC
April 2021

The immunology of SARS-CoV-2 infections and vaccines.

Semin Immunol 2020 08 17;50:101422. Epub 2020 Nov 17.

Institute for Immunology, Transplantation and Infectious Diseases, Department of Pathology, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, 94305, United States. Electronic address:

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, emerged in late 2019, and was declared a global pandemic on March 11th 2020. With over 50 million cases and 1.2 million deaths around the world, to date, this pandemic represents the gravest global health crisis of our times. Thus, the race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine is an urgent global imperative. At the time of writing, there are over 165 vaccine candidates being developed, with 33 in various stages of clinical testing. In this review, we discuss emerging insights about the human immune response to SARS-CoV-2, and their implications for vaccine design. We then review emerging knowledge of the immunogenicity of the numerous vaccine candidates that are currently being tested in the clinic and discuss the range of immune defense mechanisms that can be harnessed to develop novel vaccines that confer durable protection against SARS-CoV-2. Finally, we conclude with a discussion of the potential role of a systems vaccinology approach in accelerating the clinical testing of vaccines, to meet the urgent needs posed by the pandemic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.smim.2020.101422DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7670910PMC
August 2020

Injectable Hydrogels for Sustained Codelivery of Subunit Vaccines Enhance Humoral Immunity.

ACS Cent Sci 2020 Oct 16;6(10):1800-1812. Epub 2020 Sep 16.

Department of Bioengineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, United States.

Vaccines aim to elicit a robust, yet targeted, immune response. Failure of a vaccine to elicit such a response arises in part from inappropriate temporal control over antigen and adjuvant presentation to the immune system. In this work, we sought to exploit the immune system's natural response to extended pathogen exposure during infection by designing an easily administered slow-delivery vaccine platform. We utilized an injectable and self-healing polymer-nanoparticle (PNP) hydrogel platform to prolong the codelivery of vaccine components to the immune system. We demonstrated that these hydrogels exhibit unique delivery characteristics, whereby physicochemically distinct compounds (such as antigen and adjuvant) could be codelivered over the course of weeks. When administered in mice, hydrogel-based sustained vaccine exposure enhanced the magnitude, duration, and quality of the humoral immune response compared to standard PBS bolus administration of the same model vaccine. We report that the creation of a local inflammatory niche within the hydrogel, coupled with sustained exposure of vaccine cargo, enhanced the magnitude and duration of germinal center responses in the lymph nodes. This strengthened germinal center response promoted greater antibody affinity maturation, resulting in a more than 1000-fold increase in antigen-specific antibody affinity in comparison to bolus immunization. In summary, this work introduces a simple and effective vaccine delivery platform that increases the potency and durability of subunit vaccines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acscentsci.0c00732DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7596866PMC
October 2020

The science and medicine of human immunology.

Science 2020 09;369(6511)

Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.

Although the development of effective vaccines has saved countless lives from infectious diseases, the basic workings of the human immune system are complex and have required the development of animal models, such as inbred mice, to define mechanisms of immunity. More recently, new strategies and technologies have been developed to directly explore the human immune system with unprecedented precision. We discuss how these approaches are advancing our mechanistic understanding of human immunology and are facilitating the development of vaccines and therapeutics for infection, autoimmune diseases, and cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aay4014DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7872131PMC
September 2020

The Impact of the Microbiome on Immunity to Vaccination in Humans.

Cell Host Microbe 2020 08;28(2):169-179

Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA; Department of Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA; Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA; Chemistry, Engineering and Medicine for Human Health (ChEM-H), Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA. Electronic address:

Vaccines are the most effective means available for preventing infectious diseases. However, vaccine-induced immune responses are highly variable between individuals and between populations in different regions of the world. Understanding the basis of this variation is, thus, of fundamental importance to human health. Although the factors that are associated with intra- and inter-population variation in vaccine responses are manifold, emerging evidence points to a key role for the gut microbiome in controlling immune responses to vaccination. Much of this evidence comes from studies in mice, and causal evidence for the impact of the microbiome on human immunity is sparse. However, recent studies on vaccination in subjects treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics have provided causal evidence and mechanistic insights into how the microbiota controls immune responses in humans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chom.2020.06.014DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7422826PMC
August 2020

Systems biological assessment of immunity to mild versus severe COVID-19 infection in humans.

Science 2020 09 11;369(6508):1210-1220. Epub 2020 Aug 11.

Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) represents a global crisis, yet major knowledge gaps remain about human immunity to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We analyzed immune responses in 76 COVID-19 patients and 69 healthy individuals from Hong Kong and Atlanta, Georgia, United States. In the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of COVID-19 patients, we observed reduced expression of human leukocyte antigen class DR (HLA-DR) and proinflammatory cytokines by myeloid cells as well as impaired mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling and interferon-α (IFN-α) production by plasmacytoid dendritic cells. By contrast, we detected enhanced plasma levels of inflammatory mediators-including EN-RAGE, TNFSF14, and oncostatin M-which correlated with disease severity and increased bacterial products in plasma. Single-cell transcriptomics revealed a lack of type I IFNs, reduced HLA-DR in the myeloid cells of patients with severe COVID-19, and transient expression of IFN-stimulated genes. This was consistent with bulk PBMC transcriptomics and transient, low IFN-α levels in plasma during infection. These results reveal mechanisms and potential therapeutic targets for COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.abc6261DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7665312PMC
September 2020

Adjuvanted H5N1 influenza vaccine enhances both cross-reactive memory B cell and strain-specific naive B cell responses in humans.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2020 07 13;117(30):17957-17964. Epub 2020 Jul 13.

Emory Vaccine Center, School of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322;

There is a need for improved influenza vaccines. In this study we compared the antibody responses in humans after vaccination with an AS03-adjuvanted versus nonadjuvanted H5N1 avian influenza virus inactivated vaccine. Healthy young adults received two doses of either formulation 3 wk apart. We found that AS03 significantly enhanced H5 hemagglutinin (HA)-specific plasmablast and antibody responses compared to the nonadjuvanted vaccine. Plasmablast response after the first immunization was exclusively directed to the conserved HA stem region and came from memory B cells. Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) derived from these plasmablasts had high levels of somatic hypermutation (SHM) and recognized the HA stem region of multiple influenza virus subtypes. Second immunization induced a plasmablast response to the highly variable HA head region. mAbs derived from these plasmablasts exhibited minimal SHM (naive B cell origin) and largely recognized the HA head region of the immunizing H5N1 strain. Interestingly, the antibody response to H5 HA stem region was much lower after the second immunization, and this suppression was most likely due to blocking of these epitopes by stem-specific antibodies induced by the first immunization. Taken together, these findings show that an adjuvanted influenza vaccine can substantially increase antibody responses in humans by effectively recruiting preexisting memory B cells as well as naive B cells into the response. In addition, we show that high levels of preexisting antibody can have a negative effect on boosting. These findings have implications toward the development of a universal influenza vaccine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1906613117DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7395544PMC
July 2020

3M-052, a synthetic TLR-7/8 agonist, induces durable HIV-1 envelope-specific plasma cells and humoral immunity in nonhuman primates.

Sci Immunol 2020 06;5(48)

Emory Vaccine Center and Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, 954, Gatewood Road, Atlanta, GA, USA.

A fundamental challenge in vaccinology is learning how to induce durable antibody responses. Live viral vaccines induce antibody responses that last a lifetime, but those induced with subunit vaccines wane rapidly. Studies in mice and humans have established that long-lived plasma cells (LLPCs) in the bone marrow (BM) are critical mediators of durable antibody responses. Here, we present data that adjuvanting an HIV-1 clade C 1086.C-derived gp140 immunogen (Env) with a novel synthetic Toll-like receptor (TLR)-7/8 agonist named 3M-052 formulated in poly(lactic--glycolic)acid or PLGA nanoparticles (NPs) or with alum, either alone or in combination with a TLR-4 agonist GLA, induces notably high and persistent (up to ~1 year) frequencies of Env-specific LLPCs in the BM and serum antibody responses in rhesus macaques. Up to 36 and 18% of Env-specific cells among total IgG-secreting BM-resident plasma cells were detected at peak and termination, respectively. In contrast, adjuvanting Env with alum or GLA in NP induced significantly lower (~<100-fold) LLPC and antibody responses. Immune responses induced by 3M-052 were also significantly higher than those induced by a combination of TLR-7/8 (R848) and TLR-4 (MPL) agonists. Adjuvanting Env with 3M-052 also induced robust activation of blood monocytes, strong plasmablast responses in blood, germinal center B cells, T follicular helper (T) cells, and persistent Env-specific plasma cells in draining lymph nodes. Overall, these results demonstrate efficacy of 3M-052 in promoting high magnitude and durability of antibody responses via robust stimulation of innate immunity and BM-resident LLPCs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciimmunol.abb1025DOI Listing
June 2020

Squalene emulsion-based vaccine adjuvants stimulate CD8 T cell, but not antibody responses, through a RIPK3-dependent pathway.

Elife 2020 06 9;9. Epub 2020 Jun 9.

Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, United States.

The squalene-based oil-in-water emulsion (SE) vaccine adjuvant MF59 has been administered to more than 100 million people in more than 30 countries, in both seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccines. Despite its wide use and efficacy, its mechanisms of action remain unclear. In this study we demonstrate that immunization of mice with MF59 or its mimetic AddaVax (AV) plus soluble antigen results in robust antigen-specific antibody and CD8 T cell responses in lymph nodes and non-lymphoid tissues. Immunization triggered rapid RIPK3-kinase dependent necroptosis in the lymph node which peaked at 6 hr, followed by a sequential wave of apoptosis. Immunization with alum plus antigen did not induce RIPK3-dependent signaling. RIPK3-dependent signaling induced by MF59 or AV was essential for cross-presentation of antigen to CD8 T cells by Batf3-dependent CD8 DCs. Consistent with this, RIPK3 deficient or Batf3 deficient mice were impaired in their ability to mount adjuvant-enhanced CD8 T cell responses. However, CD8 T cell responses were unaffected in mice deficient in MLKL, a downstream mediator of necroptosis. Surprisingly, antibody responses were unaffected in RIPK3-kinase or Batf3 deficient mice. In contrast, antibody responses were impaired by in vivo administration of the pan-caspase inhibitor Z-VAD-FMK, but normal in caspase-1 deficient mice, suggesting a contribution from apoptotic caspases, in the induction of antibody responses. These results demonstrate that squalene emulsion-based vaccine adjuvants induce antigen-specific CD8 T cell and antibody responses, through RIPK3-dependent and-independent pathways, respectively.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.52687DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7314549PMC
June 2020

Emerging technologies for systems vaccinology - multi-omics integration and single-cell (epi)genomic profiling.

Curr Opin Immunol 2020 08 3;65:57-64. Epub 2020 Jun 3.

Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA; Department of Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA; Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA; Chemistry, Engineering & Medicine for Human Health, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA. Electronic address:

Systems vaccinology leverages high-throughput 'omics' technologies, such as transcriptomics, metabolomics, and mass cytometry, coupled with computational approaches to construct a global map of the complex processes that occur during an immune response to vaccination. Its goal is to define the mechanisms of protective immunity and to identify cellular and molecular correlates of vaccine efficacy. Emerging technological advances including integration of multi-omics datasets, and single-cell genomic and epigenomic profiling of immune responses, have invigorated systems vaccinology, and provide new insights into the mechanisms by which the cellular and molecular information underlying immune memory is stored in the innate and adaptive immune systems. Here, we will review these emerging directions in systems vaccinology, with a particular focus on the epigenome, and its impact on modulating vaccination induced memory in the innate and adaptive immune systems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.coi.2020.05.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7710534PMC
August 2020

T cell-inducing vaccine durably prevents mucosal SHIV infection even with lower neutralizing antibody titers.

Nat Med 2020 06 11;26(6):932-940. Epub 2020 May 11.

Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.

Recent efforts toward an HIV vaccine focus on inducing broadly neutralizing antibodies, but eliciting both neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) and cellular responses may be superior. Here, we immunized macaques with an HIV envelope trimer, either alone to induce nAbs, or together with a heterologous viral vector regimen to elicit nAbs and cellular immunity, including CD8 tissue-resident memory T cells. After ten vaginal challenges with autologous virus, protection was observed in both vaccine groups at 53.3% and 66.7%, respectively. A nAb titer >300 was generally associated with protection but in the heterologous viral vector + nAb group, titers <300 were sufficient. In this group, protection was durable as the animals resisted six more challenges 5 months later. Antigen stimulation of T cells in ex vivo vaginal tissue cultures triggered antiviral responses in myeloid and CD4 T cells. We propose that cellular immune responses reduce the threshold of nAbs required to confer superior and durable protection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41591-020-0858-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7303014PMC
June 2020

Persistence of Varicella-Zoster Virus-Specific Plasma Cells in Adult Human Bone Marrow following Childhood Vaccination.

J Virol 2020 06 16;94(13). Epub 2020 Jun 16.

Emory Vaccine Center and Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Childhood immunization with the live-attenuated varicella-zoster virus (VZV) vaccine induces protective immune responses. Routine VZV vaccination started only 2 decades ago, and thus, there are few studies examining the longevity of vaccine-induced immunity. Here, we analyzed the quantity of VZV-specific plasma cells (PCs) and CD4 T cells in the bone marrow (BM) of healthy young adults ( = 15) following childhood VZV immunization. Long-lived BM resident plasma cells constitutively secrete antibodies, and we detected VZV-specific PCs in the BM of all subjects. Anti-VZV plasma antibody titers correlated positively with the number of VZV-specific BM PCs. Furthermore, we quantified the number of interferon gamma (IFN-γ)-producing CD4 T cells specific for VZV glycoprotein E and all other structural and nonstructural VZV proteins in both BM and blood (peripheral blood mononuclear cells [PBMCs]). The frequency of VZV-specific IFN-γ-producing CD4 T cells was significantly higher in PBMCs than BM. Our study shows that VZV-specific PCs and VZV-specific CD4 memory T cells persist up to 20 years after vaccination. These findings indicate that childhood VZV vaccination can elicit long-lived immune memory responses in the bone marrow. Childhood varicella-zoster virus (VZV) immunization induces immune memory responses that protect against primary VZV infection, chicken pox. In the United States, routine childhood VZV vaccination was introduced only 2 decades ago. Hence, there is limited information on the longevity of B and CD4 T cell memory, which are both important for protection. Here, we showed in 15 healthy young adults that VZV-specific B and CD4 T cell responses are detectable in bone marrow (BM) and blood up to 20 years after vaccination. Specifically, we measured antibody-secreting plasma cells in the BM and VZV-specific CD4 T cells in BM and blood. These findings suggest that childhood VZV vaccination induces long-lived immunity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.02127-19DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7307153PMC
June 2020

Systems Biological Analysis of Immune Response to Influenza Vaccination.

Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med 2020 Mar 9. Epub 2020 Mar 9.

Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection, School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA.

The last decade has witnessed tremendous progress in immunology and vaccinology, owing to several scientific and technological breakthroughs. Systems vaccinology is a field that has emerged at the forefront of vaccine research and development and provides a unique way to probe immune responses to vaccination in humans. The goals of systems vaccinology are to use systems-based approaches to define signatures that can be used to predict vaccine immunogenicity and efficacy and to delineate the molecular mechanisms driving protective immunity. The application of systems biological approaches in influenza vaccination studies has enabled the discovery of early signatures that predict immunogenicity to vaccination and yielded novel mechanistic insights about vaccine-induced immunity. Here we review the contributions of systems vaccinology to influenza vaccine development and critically examine the potential of systems vaccinology toward enabling the development of a universal influenza vaccine that provides robust and durable immunity against diverse influenza viruses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/cshperspect.a038596DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7483643PMC
March 2020

Systems Vaccinology for a Live Attenuated Tularemia Vaccine Reveals Unique Transcriptional Signatures That Predict Humoral and Cellular Immune Responses.

Vaccines (Basel) 2019 Dec 24;8(1). Epub 2019 Dec 24.

Hope Clinic, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Decatur, GA 30030, USA.

Tularemia is a potential biological weapon due to its high infectivity and ease of dissemination. This study aimed to characterize the innate and adaptive responses induced by two different lots of a live attenuated tularemia vaccine and compare them to other well-characterized viral vaccine immune responses. Microarray analyses were performed on human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) to determine changes in transcriptional activity that correlated with changes detected by cellular phenotyping, cytokine signaling, and serological assays. Transcriptional profiles after tularemia vaccination were compared with yellow fever [YF-17D], inactivated [TIV], and live attenuated [LAIV] influenza. Tularemia vaccine lots produced strong innate immune responses by Day 2 after vaccination, with an increase in monocytes, NK cells, and cytokine signaling. T cell responses peaked at Day 14. Changes in gene expression, including upregulation of , , and , predicted tularemia-specific antibody responses. Changes in expression positively correlated with peak CD8+ T cell responses, but negatively correlated with peak CD4+ T cell activation. Tularemia vaccines elicited gene expression signatures similar to other replicating vaccines, inducing early upregulation of interferon-inducible genes. A systems vaccinology approach identified that tularemia vaccines induce a strong innate immune response early after vaccination, similar to the response seen after well-studied viral vaccines, and produce unique transcriptional signatures that are strongly correlated to the induction of T cell and antibody responses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/vaccines8010004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7158697PMC
December 2019

Immunology taught by vaccines.

Authors:
Bali Pulendran

Science 2019 11;366(6469):1074-1075

Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection, School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aau6975DOI Listing
November 2019

Vaccine innovations for emerging infectious diseases-a symposium report.

Ann N Y Acad Sci 2020 02 28;1462(1):14-26. Epub 2019 Oct 28.

GlaxoSmithKline, Brentford, United Kingdom.

Vaccines have been incredibly successful at stemming the morbidity and mortality of infectious diseases worldwide. However, there are still no effective vaccines for many serious and potentially preventable infectious diseases. Advances in vaccine technology, including new delivery methods and adjuvants, as well as progress in systems biology and an increased understanding of the human immune system, hold the potential to address these issues. In addition, maternal immunization has opened an avenue to address infectious diseases in neonates and very young infants. This report summarizes the presentations from a 1-day symposium at the New York Academy of Sciences entitled "Innovative Vaccines against Resistant Infectious Diseases and Emerging Threats," held on May 20, 2019.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nyas.14235DOI Listing
February 2020

West Nile Virus Infection Blocks Inflammatory Response and T Cell Costimulatory Capacity of Human Monocyte-Derived Dendritic Cells.

J Virol 2019 12 13;93(23). Epub 2019 Nov 13.

Department of Pediatrics, Division of Infectious Diseases, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

West Nile virus (WNV) is a neurotropic flavivirus and the leading cause of mosquito-borne encephalitis in the United States. Recent studies in humans have found that dysfunctional T cell responses strongly correlate with development of severe WNV neuroinvasive disease. However, the contributions of human dendritic cells (DCs) in priming WNV-specific T cell immunity remains poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that human monocyte derived DCs (moDCs) support productive viral replication following infection with a pathogenic strain of WNV. Antiviral effector gene transcription was strongly induced during the log phase of viral growth, while secretion of type I interferons (IFN) occurred with delayed kinetics. Activation of RIG-I like receptor (RLR) or type I IFN signaling prior to log phase viral growth significantly diminished viral replication, suggesting that early activation of antiviral programs can block WNV infection. In contrast to the induction of antiviral responses, WNV infection did not promote transcription or secretion of proinflammatory (interleukin-6 [IL-6], granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor [GM-CSF], CCL3, CCL5, and CXCL9) or T cell modulatory (IL-4, IL-12, and IL-15) cytokines. There was also minimal induction of molecules associated with antigen presentation and T cell priming, including the costimulatory molecules CD80, CD86, and CD40. Functionally, WNV-infected moDCs dampened allogenic CD4 and CD8 T cell activation and proliferation. Combining these observations, we propose a model whereby WNV subverts human DC activation to compromise priming of WNV-specific T cell immunity. West Nile virus (WNV) is an encephalitic flavivirus that remains endemic in the United States. Previous studies have found dysfunctional T cell responses correlate to severe disease outcomes during human WNV infection. Here, we sought to better understand the ability of WNV to program human dendritic cells (DCs) to prime WNV-specific T cell responses. While productive infection of monocyte-derived DCs activated antiviral and type I interferon responses, molecules associated with inflammation and programming of T cells were minimally induced. Functionally, WNV-infected DCs dampened T cell activation and proliferation during an allogeneic response. Combined, our data support a model whereby WNV infection of human DCs compromises WNV-specific T cell immunity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.00664-19DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6854506PMC
December 2019

STAT5: a Target of Antagonism by Neurotropic Flaviviruses.

J Virol 2019 12 13;93(23). Epub 2019 Nov 13.

Department of Pediatrics, Division of Infectious Diseases, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Flaviviruses are a diverse group of arthropod-borne viruses responsible for numerous significant public health threats; therefore, understanding the interactions between these viruses and the human immune response remains vital. West Nile virus (WNV) and Zika virus (ZIKV) infect human dendritic cells (DCs) and can block antiviral immune responses in DCs. Previously, we used mRNA sequencing and weighted gene coexpression network analysis (WGCNA) to define molecular signatures of antiviral DC responses following activation of innate immune signaling (RIG-I, MDA5, or type I interferon [IFN] signaling) or infection with WNV. Using this approach, we found that several genes involved in T cell cosignaling and antigen processing were not enriched in DCs during WNV infection. Using -regulatory sequence analysis, STAT5 was identified as a regulator of DC activation and immune responses downstream of innate immune signaling that was not activated during either WNV or ZIKV infection. Mechanistically, WNV and ZIKV actively blocked STAT5 phosphorylation downstream of RIG-I, IFN-β, and interleukin-4 (IL-4), but not granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), signaling. Unexpectedly, dengue virus serotypes 1 to 4 (DENV1 to DENV4) and the yellow fever 17D vaccine strain (YFV-17D) did not antagonize STAT5 phosphorylation. In contrast to WNV, ZIKV inhibited JAK1 and TYK2 phosphorylation following type I IFN treatment, suggesting divergent mechanisms used by these viruses to inhibit STAT5 activation. Combined, these findings identify STAT5 as a target of antagonism by specific pathogenic flaviviruses to subvert the immune response in infected DCs. Flaviviruses are a diverse group of insect-borne viruses responsible for numerous significant public health threats. Previously, we used a computational biology approach to define molecular signatures of antiviral DC responses following activation of innate immune signaling or infection with West Nile virus (WNV). In this work, we identify STAT5 as a regulator of DC activation and antiviral immune responses downstream of innate immune signaling that was not activated during either WNV or Zika virus (ZIKV) infection. WNV and ZIKV actively blocked STAT5 phosphorylation downstream of RIG-I, IFN-β, and IL-4, but not GM-CSF, signaling. However, other related flaviviruses, dengue virus serotypes 1 to 4 and the yellow fever 17D vaccine strain, did not antagonize STAT5 phosphorylation. Mechanistically, WNV and ZIKV showed differential inhibition of Jak kinases upstream of STAT5, suggesting divergent countermeasures to inhibit STAT5 activation. Combined, these findings identify STAT5 as a target of antagonism by specific pathogenic flaviviruses to subvert antiviral immune responses in human DCs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.00665-19DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6854481PMC
December 2019

Antibiotics-Driven Gut Microbiome Perturbation Alters Immunity to Vaccines in Humans.

Cell 2019 09;178(6):1313-1328.e13

Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection, School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA; Department of Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA; Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA. Electronic address:

Emerging evidence indicates a central role for the microbiome in immunity. However, causal evidence in humans is sparse. Here, we administered broad-spectrum antibiotics to healthy adults prior and subsequent to seasonal influenza vaccination. Despite a 10,000-fold reduction in gut bacterial load and long-lasting diminution in bacterial diversity, antibody responses were not significantly affected. However, in a second trial of subjects with low pre-existing antibody titers, there was significant impairment in H1N1-specific neutralization and binding IgG1 and IgA responses. In addition, in both studies antibiotics treatment resulted in (1) enhanced inflammatory signatures (including AP-1/NR4A expression), observed previously in the elderly, and increased dendritic cell activation; (2) divergent metabolic trajectories, with a 1,000-fold reduction in serum secondary bile acids, which was highly correlated with AP-1/NR4A signaling and inflammasome activation. Multi-omics integration revealed significant associations between bacterial species and metabolic phenotypes, highlighting a key role for the microbiome in modulating human immunity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2019.08.010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6750738PMC
September 2019

N6-Methyladenosine Modification Controls Circular RNA Immunity.

Mol Cell 2019 10 29;76(1):96-109.e9. Epub 2019 Aug 29.

Center for Personal Dynamic Regulomes, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA; Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA. Electronic address:

Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are prevalent in eukaryotic cells and viral genomes. Mammalian cells possess innate immunity to detect foreign circRNAs, but the molecular basis of self versus foreign identity in circRNA immunity is unknown. Here, we show that N6-methyladenosine (mA) RNA modification on human circRNAs inhibits innate immunity. Foreign circRNAs are potent adjuvants to induce antigen-specific T cell activation, antibody production, and anti-tumor immunity in vivo, and mA modification abrogates immune gene activation and adjuvant activity. mA reader YTHDF2 sequesters mA-circRNA and is essential for suppression of innate immunity. Unmodified circRNA, but not mA-modified circRNA, directly activates RNA pattern recognition receptor RIG-I in the presence of lysine-63-linked polyubiquitin chain to cause filamentation of the adaptor protein MAVS and activation of the downstream transcription factor IRF3. CircRNA immunity has considerable parallel to prokaryotic DNA restriction modification system that transforms nucleic acid chemical modification into organismal innate immunity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molcel.2019.07.016DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6778039PMC
October 2019

ImmuneRegulation: a web-based tool for identifying human immune regulatory elements.

Nucleic Acids Res 2019 07;47(W1):W142-W150

Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY 10029, USA.

Humans vary considerably both in their baseline and activated immune phenotypes. We developed a user-friendly open-access web portal, ImmuneRegulation, that enables users to interactively explore immune regulatory elements that drive cell-type or cohort-specific gene expression levels. ImmuneRegulation currently provides the largest centrally integrated resource on human transcriptome regulation across whole blood and blood cell types, including (i) ∼43,000 genotyped individuals with associated gene expression data from ∼51,000 experiments, yielding genetic variant-gene expression associations on ∼220 million eQTLs; (ii) 14 million transcription factor (TF)-binding region hits extracted from 1945 ChIP-seq studies; and (iii) the latest GWAS catalog with 67,230 published variant-trait associations. Users can interactively explore associations between queried gene(s) and their regulators (cis-eQTLs, trans-eQTLs or TFs) across multiple cohorts and studies. These regulators may explain genotype-dependent gene expression variations and be critical in selecting the ideal cohorts or cell types for follow-up studies or in developing predictive models. Overall, ImmuneRegulation significantly lowers the barriers between complex immune regulation data and researchers who want rapid, intuitive and high-quality access to the effects of regulatory elements on gene expression in multiple studies to empower investigators in translating these rich data into biological insights and clinical applications, and is freely available at https://immuneregulation.mssm.edu.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkz450DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6602512PMC
July 2019

Understanding the immunology of the Zostavax shingles vaccine.

Curr Opin Immunol 2019 08 7;59:25-30. Epub 2019 Apr 7.

Emory Vaccine Center and Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA.

Zostavax is a live-attenuated varicella zoster virus (VZV) vaccine recommended for use in adults >50 years of age to prevent shingles. The main risk factor for the development of shingles is age, which correlates with decreasing cell-mediated immunity. These data suggest a predominant role of T cell immunity in controlling VZV latency. However, other components of the immune system may also contribute. In this review, we will discuss how the immune system responds to Zostavax, focusing on recent studies examining innate immunity, transcriptomics, metabolomics, cellular, and humoral immunity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.coi.2019.02.005DOI Listing
August 2019