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Virology. 2006 Mar 15;346(2):338-47. Epub 2006 Jan 10.

Protection against rotavirus shedding after intranasal immunization of mice with a chimeric VP6 protein does not require intestinal IgA.

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  • 1Division of Infectious Diseases, Children's Hospital Medical Center, 3333 Burnet Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45229, USA.


Intranasal immunization of mice with chimeric VP6 and the adjuvant LT(R192G) consistently elicits >95% reductions in fecal rotavirus shedding following challenge. To determine the association between mucosal antibody and protection, we immunized BALB/c wt and J chain knockout (Jch-/-) mice with VP6 and either LT(R192G) or cholera toxin (CT). Both strains developed nearly equal levels of serum rotavirus IgG, but Jch-/- mice, which cannot transport dimeric IgA across epithelial cell surfaces, developed >4-fold higher levels of serum rotavirus IgA. Stool rotavirus IgA was present in wt but undetectable in Jch-/- mice. When challenged with rotavirus strain EDIM, reductions in rotavirus shedding were nearly identical in VP6-immunized wt and Jch-/- mice (i.e., 97% and 92%, respectively; P > 0.01). Th1 CD4 T cell responses were also detected in VP6-immunized animals based on high levels of IFN-gamma and IL-2 found after in vitro VP6 stimulation of spleen cells. Therefore, protection induced by intranasal immunization of mice with VP6 and adjuvant does not depend on intestinal rotavirus IgA antibody but appears to be associated with CD4 T cells.

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