GM-CSF increases mucosal and systemic immunogenicity of an H1N1 influenza DNA vaccine administered into the epidermis of non-human primates.

PLoS One 2010 Jun 8;5(6):e11021. Epub 2010 Jun 8.

PowderMed Ltd., Oxford, UK.

Background: The recent H5N1 avian and H1N1 swine-origin influenza virus outbreaks reaffirm that the threat of a world-wide influenza pandemic is both real and ever-present. Vaccination is still considered the best strategy for protection against influenza virus infection but a significant challenge is to identify new vaccine approaches that offer accelerated production, broader protection against drifted and shifted strains, and the capacity to elicit anti-viral immune responses in the respiratory tract at the site of viral entry. As a safe alternative to live attenuated vaccines, the mucosal and systemic immunogenicity of an H1N1 influenza (A/New Caledonia/20/99) HA DNA vaccine administered by particle-mediated epidermal delivery (PMED or gene gun) was analyzed in rhesus macaques.

Methodology/principal Findings: Macaques were immunized at weeks 0, 8, and 16 using a disposable single-shot particle-mediated delivery device designed for clinical use that delivers plasmid DNA directly into cells of the epidermis. Significant levels of hemagglutination inhibiting (HI) antibodies and cytokine-secreting HA-specific T cells were observed in the periphery of macaques following 1-3 doses of the PMED HA DNA vaccine. In addition, HA DNA vaccination induced detectable levels of HA-specific mucosal antibodies and T cells in the lung and gut-associated lymphoid tissues of vaccinated macaques. Importantly, co-delivery of a DNA encoding the rhesus macaque GM-CSF gene was found to significantly enhance both the systemic and mucosal immunogenicity of the HA DNA vaccine.

Conclusions/significance: These results provide strong support for the development of a particle-mediated epidermal DNA vaccine for protection against respiratory pathogens such as influenza and demonstrate, for the first time, the ability of skin-delivered GM-CSF to serve as an effective mucosal adjuvant for vaccine induction of immune responses in the gut and respiratory tract.

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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0011021PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2882341PMC
June 2010
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References

(Supplied by CrossRef)
Mechanisms of heterosubtypic immunity to lethal influenza A virus infection in fully immunocompetent, T cell-depleted, beta2-microglobulin-deficient, and J chain-deficient mice.
SL Epstein et al.
J Immunol 1997
Targeting the skin for genetic immunization.
LD Falo Jr et al.
Proc Assoc Am Physicians 1999

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