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Mol Ther. 2011 Mar;19(3):602-11. doi: 10.1038/mt.2010.222. Epub 2010 Oct 19.

Intranasal DNA vaccination induces potent mucosal and systemic immune responses and cross-protective immunity against influenza viruses.

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UPMC Univ Paris 06, UMR7211, I3, F-75013, Paris, France.


The induction of potent virus-specific immune responses at mucosal surfaces where virus transmission occurs is a major challenge for vaccination strategies. In the case of influenza vaccination, this has been achieved only by intranasal delivery of live-attenuated vaccines that otherwise pose safety problems. Here, we demonstrate that potent mucosal and systemic immune responses, both cellular and humoral, are induced by intranasal immunization using formulated DNA. We show that formulation with the DNA carrier polyethylenimine (PEI) improved by a 1,000-fold the efficiency of gene transfer in the respiratory track following intranasal administration of luciferase-coding DNA. Using PEI formulation, intranasal vaccination with DNA-encoding hemagglutinin (HA) from influenza A H5N1 or (H1N1)2009 viruses induced high levels of HA-specific immunoglobulin A (IgA) antibodies that were detected in bronchoalveolar lavages (BALs) and the serum. No mucosal responses could be detected after parenteral or intranasal immunization with naked-DNA. Furthermore, intranasal DNA vaccination with HA from a given H5N1 virus elicited full protection against the parental strain and partial cross-protection against a distinct highly pathogenic H5N1 strain that could be improved by adding neuraminidase (NA) DNA plasmids. Our observations warrant further investigation of intranasal DNA as an effective vaccination route.

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