Pharmaceutics. 2020 May 10;12(5). pii: E441. doi: 10.3390/pharmaceutics12050441.
MERS-CoV Spike Protein Vaccine and Inactivated Influenza Vaccine Formulated with Single Strand RNA Adjuvant Induce T-Cell Activation through Intranasal Immunization in Mice.

Kim HJ1, Kwak HW1, Kang KW2, Bang YJ1, Lee YS1, Park HJ1, Kim JY1, Park HJ1, Hwang KA3, Lee SM2, Nam JH1.

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The effectiveness of vaccines is enhanced by adding adjuvants. Furthermore, the selection of an inoculation route depends on the type of adjuvant used and is important for achieving optimum vaccine efficacy. We investigated the immunological differences between two types of vaccines-spike protein from the Middle East respiratory syndrome virus and inactivated influenza virus vaccine, in combination with a single-stranded RNA adjuvant-administered through various routes (intramuscular, intradermal, and intranasal) to BALB/c mice. Intramuscular immunization with the RNA adjuvant-formulated spike protein elicited the highest humoral immune response, characterized by IgG1 and neutralizing antibody production. Although intranasal immunization did not elicit a humoral response, it showed extensive T-cell activation through large-scale induction of interferon-γ- and interleukin-2-secreting cells, as well as CD4+ T-cell activation in mouse splenocytes. Moreover, only intranasal immunization induced IgA production. When immunized with the inactivated influenza vaccine, administration of the RNA adjuvant via all routes led to protection after viral challenge, regardless of the presence of a vaccine-specific antibody. Therefore, the inoculation route should depend on the type of immune response needed; i.e., the intramuscular route is suitable for eliciting a humoral immune response, whereas the intranasal route is useful for T-cell activation and IgA induction.


Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoA); RNA adjuvant; inactivated vaccine; influenza virus; intramuscular immunization; intranasal immunization; protein-based vaccine

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