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PLoS One. 2013 Aug 12;8(8):e71072. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0071072. eCollection 2013.

A protective and safe intranasal RSV vaccine based on a recombinant prefusion-like form of the F protein bound to bacterium-like particles.

Author information

1
Virology Division, Department of Infectious Diseases & Immunology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Abstract

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is an important cause of respiratory tract disease in infants and the elderly. Currently, no licensed vaccine against RSV is available. Here we describe the development of a safe and effective intranasal subunit vaccine that is based on recombinant fusion (F) protein bound to the surface of immunostimulatory bacterium-like particles (BLPs) derived from the food-grade bacterium Lactococcus lactis. Different variants of F were analyzed with respect to their conformation and reactivity with neutralizing antibodies, assuming that F proteins mimicking the metastable prefusion form of RSV F expose a more extensive and relevant epitope repertoire than F proteins corresponding to the postfusion structure. Our results indicate that the recombinant soluble ectodomain of RSV F readily adopts a postfusion conformation, generation of which cannot be prevented by C-terminal addition of a trimerization motif, but whose formation is prevented by mutation of the two furin cleavage sites in F. While the putative postfusion form of F is recognized well by the monoclonal antibody Palivizumab, this is much less so for the more potently neutralizing, prefusion-specific antibodies D25 and AM22. Both addition of the trimerization motif and mutation of the furin cleavage sites increased the reactivity of F with D25 and AM22, with the highest reactivity being observed for F proteins in which both these features were combined. Intranasal vaccination of mice or cotton rats with BLPs loaded with this latter prefusion-like F protein (BLP-F), resulted in the potent induction of F-specific immunoglobulins and in significantly decreased virus titers in the lungs upon RSV challenge. Moreover, and in contrast to animals vaccinated with formalin-inactivated RSV, animals that received BLP-F exhibited high levels of F-specific secretory IgA in the nose and RSV-neutralizing antibodies in sera, but did not show symptoms of enhanced disease after challenge with RSV.

PMID:
23951084
PMCID:
PMC3741363
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0071072
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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