Inferior immunogenicity and efficacy of respiratory syncytial virus fusion protein-based subunit vaccine candidates in aged versus young mice.
ABSTRACT: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is recognized as an important cause of lower and upper respiratory tract infections in older adults, and a successful vaccine would substantially lower morbidity and mortality in this age group. Recently, two vaccine candidates based on soluble purified glycoprotein F (RSV F), either alone or adjuvanted with glucopyranosyl lipid A formulated in a stable emulsion (GLA-SE), failed to reach their primary endpoints in clinical efficacy studies, despite demonstrating the desired immunogenicity profile and efficacy in young rodent models. Here, one of the RSV F vaccine candidates (post-fusion conformation, RSV post-F), and a stabilized pre-fusion form of RSV F (RSV pre-F, DS-Cav1) were evaluated in aged BALB/c mice. Humoral and cellular immunogenicity elicited after immunization of naïve, aged mice was generally lower compared to young animals. In aged mice, RSV post-F vaccination without adjuvant poorly protected the respiratory tract from virus replication, and addition of GLA-SE only improved protection in the lungs, but not in nasal turbinates. RSV pre-F induced higher neutralizing antibody titers compared to RSV post-F (as previously reported) but interestingly, RSV F-specific CD8 T cell responses were lower compared to RSV post-F responses regardless of age. The vaccines were also tested in RSV seropositive aged mice, in which both antigen forms similarly boosted neutralizing antibody titers, although GLA-SE addition boosted neutralizing activity only in RSV pre-F immunized animals. Cell-mediated immune responses in the aged mice were only slightly boosted and well below levels induced in seronegative young mice. Taken together, the findings suggest that the vaccine candidates were not able to induce a strong anti-RSV immune response in recipient mice with an aged immune system, in agreement with recent human clinical trial results. Therefore, the aged mouse model could be a useful tool to evaluate improved vaccine candidates, targeted to prevent RSV disease in older adults.
Project description:Illness associated with Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) remains an unmet medical need in both full-term infants and older adults. The fusion glycoprotein (F) of RSV, which plays a key role in RSV infection and is a target of neutralizing antibodies, is an attractive vaccine target for inducing RSV-specific immunity.BALB/c mice and cotton rats, two well-characterized rodent models of RSV infection, were used to evaluate the immunogenicity of intramuscularly administered RSV vaccine candidates consisting of purified soluble F (sF) protein formulated with TLR4 agonist glucopyranosyl lipid A (GLA), stable emulsion (SE), GLA-SE, or alum adjuvants. Protection from RSV challenge, serum RSV neutralizing responses, and anti-F IgG responses were induced by all of the tested adjuvanted RSV sF vaccine formulations. However, only RSV sF + GLA-SE induced robust F-specific TH1-biased humoral and cellular responses. In mice, these F-specific cellular responses include both CD4 and CD8 T cells, with F-specific polyfunctional CD8 T cells that traffic to the mouse lung following RSV challenge. This RSV sF + GLA-SE vaccine formulation can also induce robust RSV neutralizing titers and prime IFN?-producing T cell responses in Sprague Dawley rats.These studies indicate that a protein subunit vaccine consisting of RSV sF + GLA-SE can induce robust neutralizing antibody and T cell responses to RSV, enhancing viral clearance via a TH1 immune-mediated mechanism. This vaccine may benefit older populations at risk for RSV disease.
Project description:This is the second phase 1 study of a respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine containing RSV fusion protein (sF) adjuvanted with glucopyranosyl lipid A (GLA) in a squalene-based 2% stable emulsion (GLA-SE). In this randomized, double-blind study, 261 subjects aged ?60 years received inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV), a vaccine containing 120 ?g sF with escalating doses of GLA (1, 2.5, or 5 ?g) in SE, or a vaccine containing 80 ?g sF with 2.5 ?g GLA in SE. Subjects receiving 120 ?g sF with 2.5 or 5 ?g GLA were also randomized to receive IIV or placebo. Immunity to RSV was assessed by detection of microneutralizing, anti-F immunoglobulin G, and palivizumab-competitive antibodies and F-specific gamma interferon enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot assay T-cell responses. Higher adjuvant doses increased injection site discomfort, but at the highest dose, the reactogenicity was similar to that of IIV. Significant humoral and cellular immune responses were observed. The 120 ?g sF plus 5.0 ?g GLA formulation resulted in the highest responses in all subjects and in older subjects. These results confirm previous observations of vaccine tolerability, safety, and immunogenicity and were used to select the 120 ?g sF plus 5.0 ?g GLA formulation for phase 2 evaluation. (This study has been registered at ClinicalTrials.gov under registration no. NCT02289820.).
Project description:Recombinant KSAC and L110f are promising Leishmania vaccine candidates. Both antigens formulated in stable emulsions (SE) with the natural TLR4 agonist MPL® and L110f with the synthetic TLR4 agonist GLA in SE protected BALB/c mice against L. major infection following needle challenge. Considering the virulence of vector-transmitted Leishmania infections, we vaccinated BALB/c mice with either KSAC+GLA-SE or L110f+GLA-SE to assess protection against L. major transmitted via its vector Phlebotomus duboscqi.Mice receiving the KSAC or L110f vaccines were challenged by needle or L. major-infected sand flies. Weekly disease progression and terminal parasite loads were determined. Immunological responses to KSAC, L110f, or soluble Leishmania antigen (SLA) were assessed throughout vaccination, three and twelve weeks after immunization, and one week post-challenge.Following sand fly challenge, KSAC-vaccinated mice were protected while L110f-vaccinated animals showed partial protection. Protection correlated with the ability of SLA to induce IFN-?-producing CD4(+)CD62L(low)CCR7(low) effector memory T cells pre- and post-sand fly challenge.This study demonstrates the protective efficacy of KSAC+GLA-SE against sand fly challenge; the importance of vector-transmitted challenge in evaluating vaccine candidates against Leishmania infection; and the necessity of a rapid potent Th1 response against Leishmania to attain true protection.
Project description:The respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is one major cause of lower respiratory tract infections in childhood and an effective vaccine is still not available. We previously described a new rhabdoviral vector vaccine, VSV-GP, a variant of the vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), where the VSV glycoprotein G is exchanged by the glycoprotein GP of the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus. Here, we evaluated VSV-GP as vaccine vector for RSV with the aim to induce RSV neutralizing antibodies. Wild-type F (Fwt) or a codon optimized version (Fsyn) were introduced at position 5 into the VSV-GP genome. Both F versions were efficiently expressed in VSV-GP-F infected cells and incorporated into VSV-GP particles. In mice, high titers of RSV neutralizing antibodies were induced already after prime and subsequently boosted by a second immunization. After challenge with RSV, viral loads in the lungs of immunized mice were reduced by 2-3 logs with no signs of an enhanced disease induced by the vaccination. Even a single intranasal immunization significantly reduced viral load by a factor of more than 100-fold. RSV neutralizing antibodies were long lasting and mice were still protected when challenged 20 weeks after the boost. Therefore, VSV-GP is a promising candidate for an effective RSV vaccine.
Project description:Elderly people are at high risk for influenza-related morbidity and mortality due to progressive immunosenescence. While toll-like receptor (TLR) agonist containing adjuvants, and other adjuvants, have been shown to enhance influenza vaccine-induced protective responses, the mechanisms underlying how these adjuvanted vaccines could benefit the elderly remain elusive. Here, we show that a split H1N1 influenza vaccine (sH1N1) combined with a TLR4 agonist, glucopyranosyl lipid adjuvant formulated in a stable oil-in-water emulsion (GLA-SE), boosts IgG2c:IgG1 ratios, enhances hemagglutination inhibition (HAI) titers, and increases protection in aged mice. We find that all adjuvanted sH1N1 vaccines tested were able to protect both young and aged mice from lethal A/H1N1/California/4/2009 virus challenge after two immunizations compared to vaccine alone. We show that GLA-SE combined with sH1N1, however, also provides enhanced protection from morbidity in aged mice given one immunization (based on change in weight percentage). While the GLA-SE-adjuvanted sH1N1 vaccine promotes the generation of cytokine-producing T helper 1 cells, germinal center B cells, and long-lived bone marrow plasma cells in young mice, these responses were muted in aged mice. Differential in vitro responses, dependent on age, were also observed from mouse-derived bone marrow-derived dendritic cells and lung homogenates following stimulation with adjuvants, including GLA-SE. Besides enhanced HAI titers, additional protective factors elicited with sH1N1?+?GLA-SE in young mice were observed, including (a) rapid reduction of viral titers in the lung, (b) prevention of excessive lung inflammation, and (c) homeostatic maintenance of alveolar macrophages (AMs) following H1N1 infection. Collectively, our results provide insight into mechanisms of adjuvant-mediated immune protection in the young and elderly.
Project description:Since ID93/GLA-SE was developed as a targeted BCG-prime booster vaccine, in the present study, we evaluated the protective efficacy of ID93/GLA-SE as a boost to a BCG-prime against the hypervirulent Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) K challenge to provide further information on the development and application of this vaccine candidate. Boosting BCG with the ID93/GLA-SE vaccine significantly reduced bacterial burden at 16 weeks post-challenge while the BCG vaccine alone did not confer significant protection against Mtb K. The pathological analysis of the lung from the challenged mice also showed the remarkably protective boosting effect of ID93/GLA-SE on BCG-immunised animals. Moreover, qualitative and quantitative analysis of the immune responses following ID93/GLA-SE-immunisation demonstrated that ID93/GLA-SE was able to elicit robust and sustained Th1-biased antigen-specific multifunctional CD4+ T-cell responses up to 16 weeks post-challenge as well as a high magnitude of an antigen-specific IgG response. Our findings demonstrate that the ID93/GLA-SE vaccine candidate given as a BCG-prime boost regimen confers a high level of long-term protection against the hypervirulent Mtb Beijing infection. These findings will provide further and more feasible validation for the potential utility of this vaccine candidate particularly in East-Asian countries, with the predominance of the Beijing genotype, after BCG vaccination.
Project description:The availability of a highly purified and well characterized circumsporozoite protein (CSP) is essential to improve upon the partial success of recombinant CSP-based malaria vaccine candidates. Soluble, near full-length, Plasmodium falciparum CSP vaccine antigen (CS/D) was produced in E. coli under bio-production conditions that comply with current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP). A mouse immunogenicity study was conducted using a stable oil-in-water emulsion (SE) of CS/D in combination with the Toll-Like Receptor 4 (TLR4) agonist Glucopyranosyl Lipid A (GLA/SE), or one of two TLR7/8 agonists: R848 (un-conjugated) or 3M-051 (covalently conjugated). Compared to Alum and SE, GLA/SE induced higher CS/D specific antibody response in Balb/c mice. Subclass analysis showed higher IgG2:IgG1 ratio of GLA/SE induced antibodies as compared to Alum and SE. TLR synergy was not observed when soluble R848 was mixed with GLA/SE. Antibody response of 3M051 formulations in Balb/c was similar to GLA/SE, except for the higher IgG2:IgG1 ratio and a trend towards higher T cell responses in 3M051 containing groups. However, no synergistic enhancement of antibody and T cell response was evident when 3M051 conjugate was mixed with GLA/SE. In C57Bl/6 mice, CS/D adjuvanted with 3M051/SE or GLA/SE induced higher CSP repeat specific titers compared to SE. While, 3M051 induced antibodies had high IgG2c:IgG1 ratio, GLA/SE promoted high levels of both IgG1 and IgG2c. GLA/SE also induced more potent T-cell responses compared to SE in two independent C57/BL6 vaccination studies, suggesting a balanced and productive T(H1)/T(H2) response. GLA and 3M-051 similarly enhanced the protective efficacy of CS/D against challenge with a transgenic P. berghei parasite and most importantly, high levels of cytophilic IgG2 antibodies were associated with protection in this model. Our data indicated that the cGMP-grade, soluble CS/D antigen combined with the TLR4-containing adjuvant GLA/SE warrants further evaluation for protective responses in humans.
Project description:Prevention of severe lower respiratory tract infections in infants caused by the human respiratory syncytial virus (hRSV) remains a major public health priority. Currently, the major focus of vaccine development relies on the RSV fusion (F) protein since it is the main target protein for neutralizing antibodies induced by natural infection. The protein conserves 5 N-glycosylation sites, two of which are located in the F2 subunit (N27 and N70), one in the F1 subunit (N500) and two in the p27 peptide (N116 and N126). To study the influence of the loss of one or more N-glycosylation sites on RSV F immunogenicity, BALB/c mice were immunized with plasmids encoding RSV F glycomutants. In comparison with F WT DNA immunized mice, higher neutralizing titres were observed following immunization with F N116Q. Moreover, RSV A2-K-line19F challenge of mice that had been immunized with mutant F N116Q DNA was associated with lower RSV RNA levels compared with those in challenged WT F DNA immunized animals. Since p27 is assumed to be post-translationally released after cleavage and thus not present on the mature RSV F protein, it remains to be elucidated how deletion of this glycan can contribute to enhanced antibody responses and protection upon challenge. These findings provide new insights to improve the immunogenicity of RSV F in potential vaccine candidates.
Project description:Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a significant cause of severe respiratory illness worldwide, particularly in infants, young children, and the elderly. Although no licensed vaccine is currently available, an engineered version of the metastable RSV fusion (F) surface glycoprotein-stabilized in the pre-fusion (pre-F) conformation by "DS-Cav1" mutations-elicits high titer RSV-neutralizing responses. Moreover, pre-F-specific antibodies, often against the neutralization-sensitive antigenic site Ø in the membrane-distal head region of trimeric F glycoprotein, comprise a substantial portion of the human response to natural RSV infection. To focus the vaccine-elicited response to antigenic site Ø, we designed a series of RSV F immunogens that comprised the membrane-distal head of the F glycoprotein in its pre-F conformation. These "head-only" immunogens formed monomers, dimers, and trimers. Antigenic analysis revealed that a majority of the 70 engineered head-only immunogens displayed reactivity to site Ø-targeting antibodies, which was similar to that of the parent RSV F DS-Cav1 trimers, often with increased thermostability. We evaluated four of these head-only immunogens in detail, probing their recognition by antibodies, their physical stability, structure, and immunogenicity. When tested in naïve mice, a head-only trimer, half the size of the parent RSV F trimer, induced RSV titers, which were statistically comparable to those induced by DS-Cav1. When used to boost DS-Cav1-primed mice, two head-only RSV F immunogens, a dimer and a trimer, boosted RSV-neutralizing titers to levels that were comparable to those boosted by DS-Cav1, although with higher site Ø-directed responses. Our results provide proof-of-concept for the ability of the smaller head-only RSV F immunogens to focus the vaccine-elicited response to antigenic site Ø. Decent primary immunogenicity, enhanced physical stability, potential ease of manufacture, and potent immunogenicity upon boosting suggest these head-only RSV F immunogens, engineered to retain the pre-fusion conformation, may have advantages as candidate RSV vaccines.
Project description:Appropriate adjuvant selection may be essential to optimize the potency and to tailor the immune response of subunit vaccines. To induce protective responses against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)-a highly prevalent childhood pathogen without a licensed vaccine-we previously engineered a pre-fusion-stabilized trimeric RSV F (pre-F) "DS-Cav1" immunogen, which induced high titer RSV-neutralizing antibodies, in mice and non-human primates, when formulated with adjuvants Poly (I:C) and Poly (IC:LC), respectively. To assess the impact of different adjuvants, here we formulated RSV F DS-Cav1 with multiple adjuvants and assessed immune responses. Very high RSV-neutralizing antibody responses (19,006 EC50) were observed in naïve mice immunized with 2 doses of DS-Cav1 adjuvanted with Sigma adjuvant system (SAS), an oil-in-water adjuvant, plus Carbopol; high responses (3658-7108) were observed with DS-Cav1 adjuvanted with Alum, SAS alone, Adjuplex, Poly (I:C) and Poly (IC:LC); and moderate responses (1251-2129) were observed with DS-Cav1 adjuvanted with the TLR4 agonist MPLA, Alum plus MPLA or AddaVax. In contrast, DS-Cav1 without adjuvant induced low-level responses (6). A balanced IgG1 and IgG2a (Th2/Th1) immune response was elicited in most of the high to very high response groups (all but Alum and Adjuplex). We also tested the immune response induced by DS-Cav1 in elderly mice with pre-existing DS-Cav1 immunity; we observed that DS-Cav1 adjuvanted with SAS plus Carbopol boosted the response 2-3-fold, whereas DS-Cav1 adjuvanted with alum boosted the response 5-fold. Finally, we tested whether a mixture of ISA 71 VG and Carbopol would enhanced the antibody response in DS-Cav1 immunized calves. While pre-F-stabilized bovine RSV F induced very high titers in mice when adjuvanted with SAS plus Carbopol, the addition of Carbopol to ISA 71 VG did not enhance immune responses in calves. The vaccine response to pre-F-stabilized RSV F is augmented by adjuvant, but the degree of adjuvant-induced enhancement appears to be both context-dependent and species-specific.