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Viruses. 2012 Dec 10;4(12):3606-24. doi: 10.3390/v4123606.

Molecular adjuvant Ag85A enhances protection against influenza A virus in mice following DNA vaccination.

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Department of Microbiology, West China School of Preclinical and Forensic Medicine, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan 610041, China.


A novel DNA vaccine vector encoding the Mycobacterium tuberculosis secreted antigen Ag85A fused with the influenza A virus (IAV) HA2 protein epitopes, pEGFP/Ag85A-sHA2 (pAg85A-sHA2), was designed to provide protection against influenza. The antigen encoded by the DNA vaccine vector was efficiently expressed in mammalian cells, as determined by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and fluorescence analyses. Mice were immunized with the vaccine vector by intramuscular injection before challenge with A/Puerto Rico/8/34 virus (PR8 virus). Sera and the splenocyte culture IFN-γ levels were significantly higher in immunized mice compared with the control mice. The novel vaccine group showed a high neutralization antibody titer in vitro. The novel vaccine vector also reduced the viral loads, increased the survival rates in mice after the PR8 virus challenge and reduced the alveolar inflammatory cell numbers. Sera IL-4 concentrations were significantly increased in mice immunized with the novel vaccine vector on Day 12 after challenge with the PR8 virus. These results demonstrated that short HA2 (sHA2) protein epitopes may provide protection against the PR8 virus and that Ag85A could strengthen the immune response to HA2 epitopes, thus, Ag85A may be developed as a new adjuvant for influenza vaccines.

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