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JCI Insight. 2017 Mar 23;2(6):e91020. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.91020.

TLR7/8 adjuvant overcomes newborn hyporesponsiveness to pneumococcal conjugate vaccine at birth.

Author information

Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Precision Vaccines Program, Department of Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Division of Newborn Medicine, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Center for Patient Safety and Quality Research, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Tulane National Primate Research Center (TNPRC), Covington, Louisiana, USA.
Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
3M Drug Delivery Systems, Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA.


Infection is the most common cause of mortality in early life, and immunization is the most promising biomedical intervention to reduce this burden. However, newborns fail to respond optimally to most vaccines. Adjuvantation is a key approach to enhancing vaccine immunogenicity, but responses of human newborn leukocytes to most candidate adjuvants, including most TLR agonists, are functionally distinct. Herein, we demonstrate that 3M-052 is a locally acting lipidated imidazoquinoline TLR7/8 agonist adjuvant in mice, which, when properly formulated, can induce robust Th1 cytokine production by human newborn leukocytes in vitro, both alone and in synergy with the alum-adjuvanted pneumococcal conjugate vaccine 13 (PCV13). When admixed with PCV13 and administered i.m. on the first day of life to rhesus macaques, 3M-052 dramatically enhanced generation of Th1 CRM-197-specific neonatal CD4+ cells, activation of newborn and infant Streptococcus pneumoniae polysaccharide-specific (PnPS-specific) B cells as well as serotype-specific antibody titers, and opsonophagocytic killing. Remarkably, a single dose at birth of PCV13 plus 0.1 mg/kg 3M-052 induced PnPS-specific IgG responses that were approximately 10-100 times greater than a single birth dose of PCV13 alone, rapidly exceeding the serologic correlate of protection, as early as 28 days of life. This potent immunization strategy, potentially effective with one birth dose, could represent a new paradigm in early life vaccine development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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