[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Systemic use of epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors (EGFRIs) has been shown to alter MHC expression and that of several chemokines, and to enhance immune cell recruitment into human skin. We hypothesized that EGFRIs may have value as cutaneous immune response modifiers, and determined the effects of topical application of an irreversible EGFRI on a well-established murine model of influenza vaccination. We found that a single topical application of an EGFRI led to increased levels of antibodies that inhibit influenza mediated hemagglutination and viral cytopathic effects. The topically applied EGFRI significantly enhanced the generation of vaccine-specific IL-4 and IFN-γ producing cells within skin-draining lymph nodes as early as one week following vaccination. The EGFRI/vaccine group showed a twelve-fold reduction in detectable pulmonary viral load four days after infection as compared to the vaccine alone control group. The reduction in the lung viral titers correlated with the survival rate, which demonstrated 100% protection in the EGFRI/vaccine immunized group but only 65% protection in the mice immunized with vaccine alone. These findings are significant because they demonstrate that inhibition of defined signaling pathways within the skin using small molecule kinase inhibitors provides a novel approach to enhance immune responses to vaccines.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Enveloped virus vaccines can be damaged by high osmotic strength solutions, such as those used to protect the vaccine antigen during drying, which contain high concentrations of sugars. We therefore studied shrinkage and activity loss of whole inactivated influenza virus in hyperosmotic solutions and used those findings to improve vaccine coating of microneedle patches for influenza vaccination. Using stopped-flow light scattering analysis, we found that the virus underwent an initial shrinkage on the order of 10% by volume within 5 s upon exposure to a hyperosmotic stress difference of 217 milliosmolarity. During this shrinkage, the virus envelope had very low osmotic water permeability (1 - 6×10-4 cm s-1) and high Arrhenius activation energy (Ea = 15.0 kcal mol-1), indicating that the water molecules diffused through the viral lipid membranes. After a quasi-stable state of approximately 20 s to 2 min, depending on the species and hypertonic osmotic strength difference of disaccharides, there was a second phase of viral shrinkage. At the highest osmotic strengths, this led to an undulating light scattering profile that appeared to be related to perturbation of the viral envelope resulting in loss of virus activity, as determined by in vitro hemagglutination measurements and in vivo immunogenicity studies in mice. Addition of carboxymethyl cellulose effectively prevented vaccine activity loss in vitro and in vivo, believed to be due to increasing the viscosity of concentrated sugar solution and thereby reducing osmotic stress during coating of microneedles. These results suggest that hyperosmotic solutions can cause biphasic shrinkage of whole inactivated influenza virus which can damage vaccine activity at high osmotic strength and that addition of a viscosity enhancer to the vaccine coating solution can prevent osmotically driven damage and thereby enable preparation of stable microneedle coating formulations for vaccination.
PLoS ONE 08/2015; 10(7):e0134431. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0134431 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: HIV vaccines should elicit immune responses at both the mucosal portals of entry to block transmission and systemic compartments to clear disseminated viruses. Co-delivery of mucosal adjuvants has been shown to be essential to induce effective mucosal immunity by non-replicating vaccines. A novel cytokine, GIFT4, engineered by fusing GM-CSF and interleukin-4, was previously found to simulate B cell proliferation and effector function. Herein a membrane-anchored form of GIFT4 was constructed by fusing a glycolipid (GPI)-anchoring sequence and incorporated into Env-enriched HIV virus-like particles (VLPs) as a molecular adjuvant. Guinea pigs were immunized with the resulting HIV VLPs through an intramuscular priming-intranasal boosting immunization route. The GIFT4-containing VLPs induced higher levels of systemic antibody responses with significantly increased binding avidity and improved neutralizing breadth and potency to a panel of selected strains, as well as higher levels of IgG and IgA at several mucosal sites. Thus, the novel GPI-GIFT4-containging VLPs have the potential to be developed into a prophylactic HIV vaccine. Incorporation of GPI-anchored GIFT4 into VLPs as a molecular adjuvant represents a novel approach to increase their immunogenicity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prevention of seasonal influenza epidemics and pandemics relies on widespread vaccination coverage to induce protective immunity. In addition to a good antigenic match with the circulating viruses, the effectiveness of individual strains represented in the trivalent vaccines depends on their immunogenicity. In this study, we evaluated the immunogenicity of H1N1, H3N2, and B seasonal influenza virus vaccine strains delivered individually with a novel dissolving microneedle patch and the stability of this formulation during storage at 25 °C. Our data demonstrate that all strains retained their antigenic activity after incorporation in the dissolving patches as measured by single radial diffusion (SRID) assay and immune responses to vaccination in BALB/c mice. After a single immunization, all three antigens delivered with microneedle patches induced superior neutralizing antibody titers compared to intramuscular immunization. Cutaneous antigen delivery was especially beneficial for the less immunogenic B strain. Mice immunized with dissolving microneedle patches encapsulating influenza A/Brisbane/59/07 (H1N1) vaccine were fully protected against lethal challenge by homologous mouse-adapted influenza virus. All vaccine components retained activity during storage at room temperature for at least 3 months as measured in vitro by SRID assay and in vivo by mouse immunization studies. Our data demonstrate that dissolving microneedle patches are a promising advance for influenza cutaneous vaccination due to improved immune responses using less immunogenic influenza antigens and enhanced stability.
Drug Delivery and Translational Research 04/2015; 5(4). DOI:10.1007/s13346-015-0228-0
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Influenza virus is a source of significant health and economic burden from yearly epidemics and sporadic pandemics. Given the potential for the emerging H7N9 influenza virus to cause severe respiratory infections and the lack of exposure to H7 and N9 influenza viruses in the human population, we aimed to quantify the H7N9 cross-reactive memory T cell reservoir in humans and mice previously exposed to common circulating influenza viruses. We identified significant cross-reactive T cell populations in humans and mice; we also found that cross-reactive memory T cells afforded heterosubtypic protection by reducing morbidity and mortality upon lethal H7N9 challenge. In context with our observation that PR8-primed mice have limited humoral cross-reactivity with H7N9, our data suggest protection from H7N9 challenge is indeed mediated by cross-reactive T cell populations established upon previous priming with another influenza virus. Thus, pre-existing cross-reactive memory T cells may limit disease severity in the event of an H7N9 influenza virus pandemic.
PLoS ONE 02/2015; 10(2):e0115725. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0115725 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Ebola virus (EBOV) surface glycoprotein (GP1,2) mediates host cell attachment and fusion and is the primary target for host neutralizing antibodies. Expression of GP1,2 at high levels disrupts normal cell physiology, and EBOV uses an RNA-editing mechanism to regulate expression of the GP gene.
In this study, we demonstrate that high levels of GP1,2 expression impair production and release of EBOV virus-like particles (VLPs) as well as infectivity of GP1,2-pseudotyped viruses. We further show that this effect is mediated through two mechanisms. First, high levels of GP1,2 expression reduce synthesis of other proteins needed for virus assembly. Second, viruses containing high levels of GP1,2 are intrinsically less infectious, possibly due to impaired receptor binding or endosomal processing. Importantly, proteolysis
can rescue the infectivity of high-GP1,2-containing viruses. Taken together, our findings indicate that GP1,2 expression levels have a profound effect on factors that contribute to virus fitness and that RNA editing may be an important
mechanism employed by EBOV to regulate GP1,2 expression in order to optimize virus production and infectivity.
IMPORTANCE The Ebola virus (EBOV), as well as other members of the Filoviridae family, causes severe hemorrhagic fever that is highly lethal, with up to 90% mortality. The EBOV surface glycoprotein (GP1,2) plays important roles in virus infection and pathogenesis, and its expression is tightly regulated by an RNA-editing mechanism
during virus replication. Our study demonstrates that the level of GP1,2 expression profoundly affects virus particle production and release and uncovers a new mechanism by which Ebola virus infectivity
is regulated by the level of GP1,2 expression. These findings extend our understanding of EBOV infection and replication in adaptation of host environments,
which will aid the development of countermeasures against EBOV infection.
Journal of Virology 11/2014; 89(2). DOI:10.1128/JVI.01810-14 · 4.44 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Influenza virus H9N2 subtype has triggered co-infection with other infectious agents, resulting in huge economical losses in the poultry industry. Our current study aims to evaluate the antiviral activity of protocatechuic acid (PCA) against a virulent H9N2 strain in a mouse model. 120 BALB/c mice were divided into one control group, one untreated group, one 50 mg/kg amantadine hydrochloride-treated group and three PCA groups treated 12 hours post-inoculation with 40, 20 or 10 mg/kg PCA for 7 days. All the infected animals were inoculated intranasally with 0.2 ml of a A/Chicken/Hebei/4/2008(H9N2) inoculum. A significant body weight loss was found in the 20 mg/kg and 40 mg/kg PCA-treated and amantadine groups as compared to the control group. The 14 day survivals were 94.4%, 100% and 95% in the PCA-treated groups and 94.4% in the amantadine hydrochloride group, compared to less than 60% in the untreated group. Virus loads were less in the PCA-treated groups compared to the amantadine-treated or the untreated groups. Neutrophil cells in BALF were significantly decreased while IFN-γ, IL-2, TNF-α and IL-6 decreased significantly at days 7 in the PCA-treated groups compared to the untreated group. Furthermore, a significantly decreased CD4+/CD8+ ratio and an increased proportion of CD19 cells were observed in the PCA-treated groups and amantadine-treated group compared to the untreated group. Mice administered with PCA exhibited a higher survival rate and greater viral clearance associated with an inhibition of inflammatory cytokines and activation of CD8+ T cell subsets. PCA is a promising novel agent against bird flu infection in the poultry industry.
PLoS ONE 10/2014; 9(10):e111004. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0111004 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most important pathogen for lower respiratory tract illness in infants and a high priority for vaccine development. We previously reported that RSV virus-like particles (VLPs) expressing either the fusion (F) or attachment (G) glycoprotein could confer protection against RSV challenge in BALB/c mice. Here, we tested the hypothesis that RSV VLP vaccine efficacy can be enhanced by mixing RSV VLP F and RSV VLP G, and we analyzed host responses to these RSV VLPs. Mice were immunized with VLP F, VLP G, or VLP F + VLP G. Lung viral loads in BALB/c mice following RSV strain A2-line19F challenge were lower in mice vaccinated with RSV VLP F + VLP G compared to VLP F- or VLP G-vaccinated mice. Vaccination with VLP F or VLP F + VLP G induced similar levels of neutralizing antibodies. The enhanced protection against RSV challenge induced by vaccination with RSV VLP F + VLP G correlated with CD8 T cells producing T helper type 1 cytokines. VLP G vaccination alone followed by challenge resulted in immunopathology similar to formalin-inactivated RSV vaccination and RSV challenge. Taken together, mixed VLP F + VLP G provided a high level of protection against RSV without vaccine-induced immunopathology, but VLP G vaccination enhanced disease when used alone.
Antiviral Research 09/2014; 111. DOI:10.1016/j.antiviral.2014.09.005 · 3.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Detection of immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies has long been used as an important diagnostic tool for identifying active viral
infections, but their relevance in later stages has not been clearly defined in vivo. In this study, we followed the kinetics, longevity, and function of influenza virus-specific IgM antibodies for 2 years
following sublethal infection of mice with live mouse-adapted A/PR/8/34 virus or immunization with formalin-inactivated virus.
These groups mounted robust protective immune responses and survived lethal challenges with 50× 50% lethal dose (LD50) mouse-adapted A/PR/8/34 virus 600 days after the primary exposure. Surprisingly, the virus-specific IgM antibodies persisted
along with IgG antibodies, and we found a significantly higher number of IgM-positive (IgM+) virus-specific plasma cells than IgG+ plasma cells that persisted for at least 9 months postexposure. The IgM antibodies were functional as they neutralized influenza
virus in the presence of complement just as well as IgG antibodies did.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cutaneous vaccination with microneedle patches offers several advantages over more frequently used approaches for vaccine delivery, including improved protective immunity. However, the involvement of specific APC subsets and their contribution to the induction of immunity following cutaneous vaccine delivery is not well understood. A better understanding of the functions of individual APC subsets in the skin will allow us to target specific skin cell populations in order to further enhance vaccine efficacy. Here we use a Langerin-EGFP-DTR knock-in mouse model to determine the contribution of langerin(+) subsets of skin APCs in the induction of adaptive immune responses following cutaneous microneedle delivery of influenza vaccine. Depletion of langerin(+) cells prior to vaccination resulted in substantial impairment of both Th1 and Th2 responses, and decreased post-challenge survival rates, in mice vaccinated cutaneously but not in those vaccinated via the intramuscular route or in non-depleted control mice. Our results indicate that langerin(+) cells contribute significantly to the induction of protective immune responses following cutaneous vaccination with a subunit influenza vaccine.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Problems with existing influenza vaccines include the strain specificity of the immune response, resulting in the need for frequent reformulation in response to viral antigenic drift. Even in years when the same influenza strains are prevalent, the duration of immunityduration of immunity is limited, and results in the need for annual revaccination. The immunogenicity of the present split or subunit vaccines is also lower than that observed with whole inactivated virus, and the vaccines are not very effective in high risk groups such as the young or the elderly. Vaccine coverage is incomplete, due in part to concerns about the use of hypodermic needles for delivery. Alternative approaches for vaccination are being developed which address many of these concerns. Here we review new approaches which focus on skin immunization, including the development of needle-free delivery systems which use stable dry formulations and induce stronger and longer-lasting immune responses.
Current topics in microbiology and immunology 07/2014; 386. DOI:10.1007/82_2014_407 · 4.10 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Due to frequent viral antigenic change, current influenza vaccines need to be re-formulated annually to match the circulating strains for battling seasonal influenza epidemics. These vaccines are also ineffective in preventing occasional outbreaks of new influenza pandemic viruses. All these challenges call for the development of universal influenza vaccines capable of conferring broad cross-protection against multiple subtypes of influenza A viruses. Facilitated by the advancement in modern molecular biology, delicate antigen design becomes one of the most effective factors for fulfilling such goals. Conserved epitopes residing in virus surface proteins including influenza matrix protein 2 and the stalk domain of the hemagglutinin draw general interest for improved antigen design. The present review summarizes the recent progress in such endeavors and also covers the encouraging progress in integrated antigen/adjuvant delivery and controlled release technology that facilitate the development of an affordable universal influenza vaccine.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Unlabelled:
Sporadic activity by H5N2 influenza viruses has been observed in chickens in Taiwan from 2003 to 2012. The available information suggests that these viruses were generated by reassortment between a Mexican-like H5N2 virus and a local enzootic H6N1 virus. Yet the origin, prevalence, and pathogenicity of these H5N2 viruses have not been fully defined. Following the 2012 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreaks, surveillance was conducted from December 2012 to July 2013 at a live-poultry wholesale market in Taipei. Our findings showed that H5N2 and H6N1 viruses cocirculated at low levels in chickens in Taiwan. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that all H5N2 viruses had hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) genes derived from a 1994 Mexican-like virus, while their internal gene complexes were incorporated from the enzootic H6N1 virus lineage by multiple reassortment events. Pathogenicity studies demonstrated heterogeneous results even though all tested viruses had motifs (R-X-K/R-R) supportive of high pathogenicity. Serological surveys for common subtypes of avian viruses confirmed the prevalence of the H5N2 and H6N1 viruses in chickens and revealed an extraordinarily high seroconversion rate to an H9N2 virus, a subtype that is not found in Taiwan but is prevalent in mainland China. These findings suggest that reassortant H5N2 viruses, together with H6N1 viruses, have become established and enzootic in chickens throughout Taiwan and that a large-scale vaccination program might have been conducted locally that likely led to the introduction of the 1994 Mexican-like virus to Taiwan in 2003.
H5N2 avian influenza viruses first appeared in chickens in Taiwan in 2003 and caused a series of outbreaks afterwards. Phylogenetic analyses show that the chicken H5N2 viruses have H5 and N2 genes that are closely related to those of a vaccine strain originating from Mexico in 1994, while the contemporary duck H5N2 viruses in Taiwan belong to the Eurasian gene pool. The unusually high similarity of the chicken H5N2 viruses to the Mexican vaccine strain suggests that these viruses might have been introduced to Taiwan by using inadequately inactivated or attenuated vaccines. These chicken H5N2 viruses are developing varying levels of pathogenicity that could lead to significant consequences for the local poultry industry. These findings emphasize the need for strict quality control and competent oversight in the manufacture and usage of avian influenza virus vaccines and indicate that alternatives to widespread vaccination may be desirable.
Journal of Virology 03/2014; DOI:10.1128/JVI.00139-14 · 4.44 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Current influenza vaccines do not provide good protection against antigenically different influenza A viruses. As an approach to overcome strain-specificity of protection, this study demonstrates significantly improved long-term cross protection by supplementing split vaccines with a conserved molecular target, a repeat of the influenza M2 ectodomain (M2e) expressed on virus-like particles (M2e5x VLPs) in a membrane-anchored form. Intramuscular immunization with H1N1 split vaccine (A/California/07/2009) supplemented with M2e5x VLPs induced M2e specific humoral and cellular immune responses, and shaped the host responses to the vaccine in the direction of T helper type 1 responses inducing dominant IgG2a isotype antibodies as well as IFN-? producing cells in systemic and mucosal sites. Upon lethal challenge, M2e5x VLP-supplemented vaccination lowered lung viral loads and induced long-term cross protection against H3N2 or H5N1 subtype influenza viruses over 12 months. M2e antibodies, CD4 T cells, and CD8 T-cells were found to contribute to improving heterosubtypic cross protection. In addition, improved cross protection by supplemented vaccination with M2e5x VLPs was mediated via Fc receptors. The results support evidence that supplementation with M2e5x VLPs is a promising approach for overcoming the limitation of strain-specific protection by current influenza vaccination.Molecular Therapy (2014); doi:10.1038/mt.2014.33.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The generation of memory B cells by vaccination plays a critical role in maintaining antigen specific antibodies and producing antibody responses upon re-exposure to a pathogen. B cell populations contributing to antibody production and protection by vaccination remain poorly defined. We used influenza virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine in a transgenic mouse model that would identify germinal center-derived memory B cells with the expression of yellow fluorescent protein (YFP+ cells). Immunization with influenza VLP vaccine did not induce significant increases in YFP+ cells although vaccine antigen-specific antibodies in sera were found to confer protection against a lethal dose of influenza A virus (A/PR8). In addition, CD43+B220- populations with low YFP+ cells mainly contributed to the production of vaccine antigen-specific IgG isotype-switched antibodies whereas CD43-B220+ populations with high YFP+ cells were able to produce vaccine antigen-specific IgM antibodies. Challenge infection of immunized transgenic mice with live influenza A virus resulted in significant increases in YFP+ cells in the B220- populations of spleen and bone marrow cells. These results suggest that CD43+B220- B cells generated by vaccination are important for producing influenza vaccine antigen-specific antibodies and conferring protection.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction:
Most vaccines are administered by intramuscular injection using a hypodermic needle and syringe. Some limitations of this procedure include reluctance to be immunized because of fear of needlesticks, and concerns associated with the safe disposal of needles after their use. Skin delivery is an alternate route of vaccination that has potential to be painless and could even lead to dose reduction of vaccines. Recently, microneedles have emerged as a novel painless approach for delivery of influenza vaccines via the skin.
In this review, we briefly summarize the approaches and devices used for skin vaccination, and then focus on studies of skin immunization with influenza vaccines using microneedles. We discuss both the functional immune response and the nature of this immune response following vaccination with microneedles.
The cutaneous administration of influenza vaccines using microneedles offers several advantages: it is painless, elicits stronger immune responses in preclinical studies and could improve responses in high-risk populations. These dry formulations of vaccines provide enhanced stability, a property of high importance in enabling their rapid global distribution in response to possible outbreaks of pandemic influenza and newly emerging infectious diseases.
Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery 02/2014; 11(4). DOI:10.1517/17425247.2014.885947 · 4.84 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Influenza vaccines with broad cross-protection are urgently needed to prevent an emerging influenza pandemic. A fusion protein of the TLR5-agonist domains from flagellin and multiple repeats of the conserved extracellular domain of the influenza matrix protein 2 (M2e) was constructed, purified and evaluated as such a vaccine. A painless vaccination method suitable for possible self-administration using coated microneedle arrays was investigated for skin-targeted delivery of the fusion protein in a mouse model. The results demonstrate that microneedle immunization induced strong humoral as well as mucosal antibody responses and conferred complete protection against homo- and heterosubtypic lethal virus challenges. Protective efficacy with microneedles was found to be significantly better than that seen with conventional intramuscular injection, and comparable to that observed with intranasal immunization. Because of its advantages for administration, safety and storage, microneedle delivery of M2e-flagellin fusion protein is a promising approach for an easy-to-administer universal influenza vaccine.