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Immunology. 2007 Sep;122(1):98-106. Epub 2007 Apr 30.

CD40-mediated enhancement of immune responses against three forms of influenza vaccine.

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Unit of Infection and Immunity, University of Sheffield Medical School, Sheffield, UK.


There is potential for influenza A infections to cause massive morbidity and mortality. Vaccination may be the primary defence against pandemic influenza, and potential pandemic'flu vaccines may be produced conventionally, in embryonated eggs, or as recombinant protein or synthetic peptide vaccines. However the vaccines are produced, the supply may be limiting, and it will be important to enhance the immunogenicity of the vaccines as much as possible. We have shown that conjugation to CD40 binding antibody is a very efficient way of enhancing immune responses against model antigens, but were interested in assessing the effectiveness of this system using influenza vaccines. We produced conjugates of CD40 monoclonal antibody (mAb) and isotype control with three potential influenza vaccines: a peptide-based vaccine containing T- and B-cell epitopes from virus haemagglutinin; a whole, killed virus vaccine; and a commercially produced split virus vaccine. CD40 mAb conjugates in each case were more immunogenic, but the adjuvant effect of CD40 conjugation was greatest with the split vaccine, where antibody responses were enhanced by several hundred-fold after a single immunization, and lymphocyte proliferation in response to antigen in vitro was also strongly enhanced.

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