We have previously demonstrated protective efficacy against B. melitensis using formulations of naked DNA vaccines encoding genes ialB and omp25 . The present study was undertaken to further understand the immune response generated by the protective vaccination regimens and to evaluate cationic liposome adsorption as a delivery method to improve vaccine utility.
The protective efficacy and immunogenicity of vaccines delivered as four doses of naked DNA, a single dose of naked DNA or a single dose of DNA surface adsorbed to cationic liposomes were compared using the BALB/c murine infection model of B. melitensis . Antigen-specific T cells and antibody responses were compared between the various formulations.
The four dose vaccination strategy was confirmed to be protective against B. melitensis challenge. The immune response elicited by the various vaccines was found to be dependent upon both the antigen and the delivery strategy, with the IalB antigen favouring CD4+ T cell priming and Omp25 antigen favouring CD8+. Delivery of the p- ialB construct as a lipoplex improved antibody generation in comparison to the equivalent quantity of naked DNA. Delivery of p- omp25 as a lipoplex altered the profile of responsive T cells from CD8+ to CD4+ dominated. Under these conditions neither candidate delivered by single dose naked DNA or lipoplex vaccination methods was able to produce a robust protective effect.
Delivery of the p- omp25 and p- ialB DNA vaccine candidates as a lipoplex was able to enhance antibody production and effect CD4+ T cell priming, but was insufficient to promote protection from a single dose of either vaccine. The enhancement of immunogenicity by lipoplex delivery is a promising step toward improving the practicality of these two candidate vaccines, and suggests that this lipoplex formulation may be of value in situations where improvements to CD4+ responses are required. However, in the case of Brucella vaccine development it is suggested that further modifications to the candidate vaccines and delivery strategies will be required in order to deliver sustained protection.
Genetic Vaccines and Therapy. 01/2010;