J Immunol Methods 2019 08 27;471:11-17. Epub 2019 Apr 27.
GSK Vaccines Institute for Global Health (GVGH) S.r.l., Siena, Italy. Electronic address:
Many formulated vaccines, including 1790GAHB Shigella sonnei GMMA-based vaccine, contain Alhydrogel (aluminum hydroxide), consequently the antigen content must be determined in the formulated final vaccine product, as required by regulatory authorities. The direct quantification of antigens adsorbed on aluminum salts is difficult, and antigens may need to be extracted using laborious and often ineffective desorption procedures. To directly quantify the sugar vaccine target in the LPS of 1790GAHB, we have developed a new FAcE (Formulated Alhydrogel competitive ELISA) method. FAcE is an immunoassay based on the competition between S. sonnei LPS, coated on the ELISA plate, and the LPS in formulated S. sonnei GMMA, in binding a specific monoclonal antibody. To optimize the method, which is as easy to perform as a standard ELISA, we have applied a Design of Experiments (DOE) approach. A model was found to define the significant assay variables and to predict their impact on the output responses. Results obtained using the DOE optimized FAcE assay showed that the method is sensitive (0.02 μg/mL lower detection limit), precise, reproducible and can accurately quantify independently formulated drug products, making it a useful tool in routine tests of Alhydrogel-based vaccines. We are currently using this method to determine S. sonnei vaccine potency, stability and lot-to-lot variations, and are broadening its applicability to quantify active ingredients of other Alhydrogel GMMA-vaccines and in multivalent vaccines formulations.