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J Infect Dis. 1999 Jun;179(6):1326-33.

Protective efficacy against respiratory syncytial virus following murine neonatal immunization with BBG2Na vaccine: influence of adjuvants and maternal antibodies.

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  • 1World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Neonatal Vaccinology, University of Geneva, 1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland.


Alum-adsorbed BBG2Na, a recombinant vaccine derived in part from the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) subgroup A G protein, induced moderate antibody titers after 1 immunization in 1-week-old mice but conferred complete lung protection upon RSV challenge. The anti-BBG2Na IgG1-IgG2a neonatal isotype profile was suggestive of dominant Th2 responses compared with those in adults. Formulation of BBG2Na with a Th1-driving adjuvant efficiently shifted neonatal responses toward a more balanced and adultlike IgG1-IgG2a profile without compromising its protective efficacy. BBG2Na-induced protective immunity was maintained even after early life immunization in the presence of high titers of maternal antibodies. Under these conditions, the protective efficacy (86%-100%) reflected the high capacity of the nonglycosylated G2Na immunogen to escape inhibition by RSV-A-induced maternal antibodies. Thus, immunization with BBG2Na protected against viral challenge despite neonatal immunologic immaturity and the presence of maternal antibodies, two major obstacles to neonatal RSV vaccine development.

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