• The bacterial second messenger cdiGMP exhibits promising activity as a mucosal adjuvant.

      Ebensen, Thomas; Schulze, Kai; Riese, Peggy; Morr, Michael; Guzmán, Carlos A; Department of Vaccinology, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Inhoffenstrasse 7, D-38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2007-08)
      The development of mucosal adjuvants is still a critical need in vaccinology. In the present work, we show that bis(3',5')-cyclic dimeric GMP (cdiGMP), a second messenger that modulates cell surface properties of several microorganisms, exerts potent activity as a mucosal adjuvant. BALB/c mice were immunized intranasally with the model antigen beta-galactosidase (beta-Gal) coadministered with cdiGMP. Animals receiving cdiGMP as an adjuvant showed significantly higher anti-beta-Gal immunoglobulin G (IgG) titers in sera than controls (i.e., 512-fold [P < 0.05]). Coadministration of cdiGMP also stimulated efficient beta-Gal-specific secretory IgA production in the lung (P < 0.016) and vagina (P < 0.036). Cellular immune responses were observed in response to both the beta-Gal protein and a peptide encompassing its major histocompatibility complex class I-restricted epitope. The IgG1-to-IgG2a ratio of anti-beta-Gal antibodies and the observed profiles of secreted cytokines suggest that a dominant Th1 response pattern is promoted by mucosal coadministration of cdiGMP. Finally, the use of cdiGMP as a mucosal adjuvant also led to the stimulation of in vivo cytotoxic T-lymphocyte responses in C57BL/6 mice intranasally immunized with ovalbumin and cdiGMP (up to 30% of specific lysis). The results obtained indicate that cdiGMP is a promising tool for the development of mucosal vaccines.
    • Evaluation of the sublingual route for administration of influenza H5N1 virosomes in combination with the bacterial second messenger c-di-GMP.

      Pedersen, Gabriel Kristian; Ebensen, Thomas; Gjeraker, Ingrid Hjetland; Svindland, Signe; Bredholt, Geir; Guzmán, Carlos Alberto; Cox, Rebecca Jane; The Gade Institute, University of Bergen, Norway. gabriel.pedersen@gades.uib.no (2011)
      Avian influenza A H5N1 is a virus with pandemic potential. Mucosal vaccines are attractive as they have the potential to block viruses at the site of entry, thereby preventing both disease and further transmission. The intranasal route is safe for the administration of seasonal live-attenuated influenza vaccines, but may be less suitable for administration of pandemic vaccines. Research into novel mucosal routes is therefore needed. In this study, a murine model was used to compare sublingual administration with intranasal and intramuscular administration of influenza H5N1 virosomes (2 µg haemagglutinin; HA) in combination with the mucosal adjuvant (3',5')-cyclic dimeric guanylic acid (c-di-GMP). We found that sublingual immunisation effectively induced local and systemic H5N1-specific humoral and cellular immune responses but that the magnitude of response was lower than after intranasal administration. However, both the mucosal routes were superior to intramuscular immunisation for induction of local humoral and systemic cellular immune responses including high frequencies of splenic H5N1-specific multifunctional (IL-2+TNF-α+) CD4+ T cells. The c-di-GMP adjuvanted vaccine elicited systemic haemagglutination inhibition (HI) antibody responses (geometric mean titres ≥ 40) both when administered sublingually, intranasally and inramuscularly. In addition, salivary HI antibodies were elicited by mucosal, but not intramuscular vaccination. We conclude that the sublingual route is an attractive alternative for administration of pandemic influenza vaccines.
    • Intranasal vaccination with recombinant outer membrane protein CD and adamantylamide dipeptide as the mucosal adjuvant enhances pulmonary clearance of Moraxella catarrhalis in an experimental murine model.

      Becker, Pablo D; Bertot, Gustavo M; Souss, David; Ebensen, Thomas; Guzmán, Carlos A; Grinstein, Saúl; Virology Laboratory, Ricardo Gutiérrez Children's Hospital, Gallo 1330, 1425 Buenos Aires, Argentina. (2007-04)
      Moraxella catarrhalis causes acute otitis media in children and lower respiratory tract infections in adults and elderly. In children the presence of antibodies against the highly conserved outer membrane protein CD correlates with protection against infection, suggesting that this protein may be useful as a vaccine antigen. However, native CD is difficult to purify, and it is still unclear if recombinant CD (rCD) is a valid alternative. We performed a side-by-side comparison of the immunogenicities and efficacies of vaccine formulations containing native CD and rCD with adamantylamide dipeptide as the mucosal adjuvant. Intranasal vaccination of mice stimulated the production of high CD-specific antibody titers in sera and of secretory immunoglobulin A in mucosal lavages, which cross-recognized both antigens. While vaccination with native CD increased the number of interleukin-2 (IL-2)- and gamma interferon-producing cells, rCD mainly stimulated IL-4-secreting cells. Nevertheless, efficient bacterial clearance was observed in the lungs of challenged mice receiving native CD and in the lungs of challenged mice receiving rCD (96% and 99%, respectively). Thus, rCD is a promising candidate for incorporation in vaccine formulations for use against M. catarrhalis.
    • NKT cell stimulation with α-galactosylceramide results in a block of Th17 differentiation after intranasal immunization in mice.

      Zygmunt, Beata M; Weissmann, Sebastian F; Guzman, Carlos A; Department of Vaccinology and Applied Microbiology, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig, Germany. beata.zygmunt@bbsrc.ac.uk (2012)
      In a previous study we demonstrated that intranasal (i.n.) vaccination promotes a Th17 biased immune response. Here, we show that co-administration of a pegylated derivative of α-galactosylceramide (αGCPEG) with an antigen, even in the presence of Th17-polarizing compounds, results in a strong blocking of Th17 differentiation. Additional studies demonstrated that this phenomenon is specifically dependent on soluble factors, like IL-4 and IFNγ, which are produced by NKT cells. Even NK1.1 negative NKT cells, which by themselves produce IL-17A, are able to block Th17 differentiation. It follows that the use of αGCPEG as adjuvant would enable to tailor Th17 responses, according to the specific clinical needs. This knowledge expands our understanding of the role played by NKT cells in overall control of the cytokine microenvironment, as well as in the overall shaping of adaptive immune responses.
    • NKT cell stimulation with α-galactosylceramide results in a block of Th17 differentiation after intranasal immunization in mice.

      Zygmunt, Beata M; Weissmann, Sebastian F; Guzman, Carlos A; Department of Vaccinology and Applied Microbiology, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig, Germany. beata.zygmunt@bbsrc.ac.uk (2012)
      In a previous study we demonstrated that intranasal (i.n.) vaccination promotes a Th17 biased immune response. Here, we show that co-administration of a pegylated derivative of α-galactosylceramide (αGCPEG) with an antigen, even in the presence of Th17-polarizing compounds, results in a strong blocking of Th17 differentiation. Additional studies demonstrated that this phenomenon is specifically dependent on soluble factors, like IL-4 and IFNγ, which are produced by NKT cells. Even NK1.1 negative NKT cells, which by themselves produce IL-17A, are able to block Th17 differentiation. It follows that the use of αGCPEG as adjuvant would enable to tailor Th17 responses, according to the specific clinical needs. This knowledge expands our understanding of the role played by NKT cells in overall control of the cytokine microenvironment, as well as in the overall shaping of adaptive immune responses.
    • A prime-boost vaccination protocol optimizes immune responses against the nucleocapsid protein of the SARS coronavirus.

      Schulze, Kai; Staib, Caroline; Schätzl, Hermann M; Ebensen, Thomas; Erfle, Volker; Guzman, Carlos A; Department of Vaccinology and Applied Microbiology, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Inhoffenstrasse 7, D-38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2008-12-02)
      Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a serious infectious disease caused by the SARS coronavirus. We assessed the potential of prime-boost vaccination protocols based on the nucleocapsid (NC) protein co-administered with a derivative of the mucosal adjuvant MALP-2 or expressed by modified Vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA-NC) to stimulate humoral and cellular immune responses at systemic and mucosal levels. The obtained results demonstrated that strong immune responses can be elicited both at systemic and mucosal levels following a heterologous prime-boost vaccination protocol consisting in priming with NC protein add-mixed with MALP-2 by intranasal route and boosting with MVA-NC by intramuscular route.