[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sustained antibody levels are a hallmark of immunity against many pathogens, and induction of long-term durable antibody titers is an essential feature of effective vaccines. Heterologous prime-boost approaches with vectors are optimal strategies to improve a broad and prolonged immunogenicity of malaria vaccines.
In this study, we demonstrate that the heterologous prime-boost regimen Ad35-CS/BCG-CS induces stronger immune responses by enhancing type 1 cellular producing-cells with high levels of CSp-specific IFN-γ and cytophilic IgG2a antibodies as compared to a homologous BCG-CS and a heterologous BCG-CS/CSp prime-boost regimen. Moreover, the heterologous prime-boost regimen elicits the highest level of LLPC-mediated immune responses.
The increased IFN-γ-producing cell responses induced by the combination of Ad35-CS/BCG-CS and sustained type 1 antibody profile together with high levels of LLPCs may be essential for the development of long-term protective immunity against liver-stage parasites.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A protective malaria vaccine may induce both high levels of neutralising antibodies and strong T-cell responses. The Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite protein (CSp) is a leading pre-erythrocytic vaccine candidate. CSp is a week immunogen per se, but Mycobacterium bovis Bacille Calmette–Guérin (BCG) has excellent adjuvant activity and has been utilized as a vector to deliver heterologous vaccine candidate antigens. It is safe in immunocompetent individuals and inexpensive to produce.We assessed in vitro and in vivo a recombinant BCG-expressing CSp (BCG-CS) as malaria vaccine candidate. Immunisation of BALB/c mice with BCG-CS augmented numbers of dendritic cells (DCs) in draining lymph nodes and in the spleen. The activation markers MHC-class-II, CD40, CD80 and CD86 on DCs were significantly upregulated by BCG-CS as compared to wild-type BCG (wt-BCG). In vitro stimulation of bone marrow-derived DCs and macrophages with BCG-CS induced IL-12 and TNF-α production. BCG-CS induced higher phagocytic activity in macrophages as compared to wt-BCG. Immunogenicity studies show that BCG-CS induced CS-specific antibodies and IFN-γ-producing memory cells.In conclusion, BCG-CS is highly efficient in activating antigen-presenting cells (APCs) for priming of adaptive immunity. Implications for the rational design of novel vaccines against malaria and TB, the two major devastating poverty-related diseases, are discussed.Highlights► BCG-CS induced superior activation of antigen-presenting cells (APCs). ► BCG-CS induced CS-specific antibody responses. ► BCG-CS induced strong CS-specific T-cell responses. ► The response is polarized towards TH1 type immunity. ► BCG-CS is highly efficient in activating APCs for priming of adaptive immunity.