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PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e59081. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059081. Epub 2013 Mar 18.

M2e-displaying virus-like particles with associated RNA promote T helper 1 type adaptive immunity against influenza A.

Author information

1
Department for Molecular Biomedical Research, VIB, Ghent, Belgium.

Abstract

The ectodomain of influenza A matrix protein 2 (M2e) is a candidate for a universal influenza A vaccine. We used recombinant Hepatitis B core antigen to produce virus-like particles presenting M2e (M2e-VLPs). We produced the VLPs with and without entrapped nucleic acids and compared their immunogenicity and protective efficacy. Immunization of BALB/c mice with M2e-VLPs containing nucleic acids induced a stronger, Th1-biased antibody response compared to particles lacking nucleic acids. The former also induced a stronger M2e-specific CD4(+) T cell response, as determined by ELISPOT. Mice vaccinated with alum-adjuvanted M2e-VLPs containing the nucleic acid-binding domain were better protected against influenza A virus challenge than mice vaccinated with similar particles lacking this domain, as deduced from the loss in body weight following challenge with X47 (H3N2) or PR/8 virus. Challenge of mice that had been immunized with M2e-VLPs with or without nucleic acids displayed significantly lower mortality, morbidity and lung virus titers than control-immunized groups. We conclude that nucleic acids present in M2e-VLPs correlate with improved immune protection.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00819013.

PMID:
23527091
PMCID:
PMC3601086
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0059081
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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