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Virology. 2003 Sep 1;313(2):502-13.

Enhancement of mucosal immune responses by chimeric influenza HA/SHIV virus-like particles.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.


To enhance mucosal immune responses using simian/human immunodeficiency virus-like particles (SHIV VLPs), we have produced novel phenotypically mixed chimeric influenza HA/SHIV VLPs and used them to immunize C57BL/6J mice intranasally. Antibody and cytotoxic T-cell (CTL) responses as well as cytokine production in both systemic and mucosal sites were compared after immunization with SHIV VLPs or chimeric HA/SHIV VLPs. By using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), the levels of serum IgG and mucosal IgA to the HIV envelope protein (Env) were found to be highest in the group immunized with chimeric HA/SHIV VLPs. Furthermore, the highest titer of serum neutralizing antibody against HIV Env was found with the group immunized with chimeric HA/SHIV VLPs. Analysis of the IgG1/IgG2a ratio indicated that a T(H)1-oriented immune response resulted from these VLP immunizations. HA/SHIV VLP-immunized mice also showed significantly higher CTL responses than those observed in SHIV VLP-immunized mice. Moreover, a MHC class I restricted T-cell activation ELISPOT assay showed a mixed type of T(H)1/T(H)2 cytokines in the HA/SHIV VLP-immunized mice, indicating that the chimeric VLPs can enhance both humoral and cellular immune responses to the HIV Env protein at multiple mucosal and systemic sites. The results indicate that incorporation of influenza HA into heterotypic VLPs may be highly effective for targeting vaccines to mucosal surfaces.

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