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Clin Exp Immunol. 1999 Sep;117(3):496-503.

Use of reconstituted influenza virus virosomes as an immunopotentiating delivery system for a peptide-based vaccine.

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  • 1Swiss Tropical Institute, Basel.


Immunopotentiating reconstituted influenza virosomes (IRIV) were used as a delivery system for the synthetic peptide-based malaria vaccine SPf66. The reduced SPf66 peptide molecules containing terminal cysteine residues were covalently attached to phosphatidylethanolamine with the heterobifunctional crosslinker gamma-maleimidobutyric acid N-hydroxysuccinimide ester. The SPf66-phosphatidylethanolamine was incorporated into IRIV and BALB/c mice were immunized twice by intramuscular injection with peptide-loaded virosomes. Titres of elicited anti-SPf66 IgG were determined by ELISA. These titres were significantly higher and the required doses of antigen were lower, when mice had been preimmunized with a commercial whole virus influenza vaccine. After preimmunization with the influenza vaccine, SPf66-IRIV elicited far more consistently anti-SPf66 antibody responses than SPf(66)n adsorbed to alum. MoAb produced by four B cell hybridoma clones derived from a SPf66-IRIV-immunized mouse cross-reacted with Plasmodium falciparum blood stage parasites in immunofluorescence assays. All four MoAbs were specific for the merozoite surface protein-1 (MSP-1)-derived 83.1 portion of SPf66. Sequencing of their functionally rearranged kappa light chain variable region genes demonstrated that the four hybridomas were generated from clonally related splenic B cells. Biomolecular interaction analyses (BIA) together with these sequencing data provided evidence for the selection of somatically mutated affinity-matured B cells upon repeated immunization with SPf66-IRIV. The results indicate that IRIV are a suitable delivery system for synthetic peptide vaccines and thus have a great potential for the design of molecularly defined combined vaccines targeted against multiple antigens and development stages of one parasite, as well as against multiple pathogens.

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