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Intradermal immunisation using the TLR3-ligand Poly (I:C) as adjuvant induces mucosal antibody responses and protects against genital HSV-2 infection

Journal article
Authors Emilie Bardel
Remi Doucet-Ladeveze
Cyrille Mathieu
Ali M Harandi
Bertrand Dubois
Dominique Kaiserlian
Published in npj Vaccines
Volume 1
Publication year 2016
Published at Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Language en
Subject categories Immunology in the medical area, Infectious Medicine


© The Author(s) 2016. Development of vaccines able to induce mucosal immunity in the genital and gastrointestinal tracts is a major challenge to counter sexually transmitted pathogens such as HIV-1 and HSV-2. Herein, we showed that intradermal (ID) immunisation with sub-unit vaccine antigens (i.e., HIV-1 gp140 and HSV-2 gD) delivered with Poly(I:C) or CpG1668 as adjuvant induces long-lasting virus-specific immunoglobulin (Ig)-G and IgA antibodies in the vagina and feces. Poly(I:C)-supplemented sub-unit viral vaccines caused minimal skin reactogenicity at variance to those containing CpG1668, promoted a delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) to the vaccine and protected mice from genital and neurological symptoms after a lethal vaginal HSV-2 challenge. Interestingly, Poly(I:C 12U) (Ampligen), a Poly(I:C) structural analogue that binds to TLR3 but not MDA-5, promoted robust mucosal and systemic IgG antibodies, a weak skin DTH to the vaccine but not IgA responses and failed to confer protection against HSV-2 infection. Moreover, Poly(I:C) was far superior to Poly(I:C 12U) at inducing prompt and robust upregulation of IFNß transcripts in lymph nodes draining the injection site. These data illustrate that ID vaccination with glycoproteins and Poly(I:C) as adjuvant promotes long-lasting mucosal immunity and protection from genital HSV-2 infection, with an acceptable skin reactogenicity profile. The ID route thus appears to be an unexpected inductive site for mucosal immunity and anti-viral protection suitable for sub-unit vaccines. This works further highlights that TLR3/MDA5 agonists such as Poly(I:C) may be valuable adjuvants for ID vaccination against sexually transmitted diseases.

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