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Front Immunol . Sex-biased immunogenicity of a mucosal subunit vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 in mice

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  • Front Immunol . Sex-biased immunogenicity of a mucosal subunit vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 in mice

    Front Immunol


    . 2024 May 21:15:1386243.
    doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2024.1386243. eCollection 2024. Sex-biased immunogenicity of a mucosal subunit vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 in mice

    Jianping Li 1 , Kevin S Hsu 1 , Savannah E Howe 1 , Tanya Hoang 1 , Zheng Xia 1 , Jay A Berzofsky 1 , Yongjun Sui 1



    AffiliationsAbstract

    Introduction: Current vaccines against COVID-19 administered via parenteral route have limited ability to induce mucosal immunity. There is a need for an effective mucosal vaccine to combat SARS-CoV-2 virus replication in the respiratory mucosa. Moreover, sex differences are known to affect systemic antibody responses against vaccines. However, their role in mucosal cellular responses against a vaccine remains unclear and is underappreciated.
    Methods: We evaluated the mucosal immunogenicity of a booster vaccine regimen that is recombinant protein-based and administered intranasally in mice to explore sex differences in mucosal humoral and cellular responses.
    Results: Our results showed that vaccinated mice elicited strong systemic antibody (Ab), nasal, and bronchiole alveolar lavage (BAL) IgA responses, and local T cell immune responses in the lung in a sex-biased manner irrespective of mouse genetic background. Monocytes, alveolar macrophages, and CD103+ resident dendritic cells (DCs) in the lungs are correlated with robust mucosal Ab and T cell responses induced by the mucosal vaccine.
    Discussion: Our findings provide novel insights into optimizing next-generation booster vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 by inducing spike-specific lung T cell responses, as well as optimizing mucosal immunity for other respiratory infections, and a rationale for considering sex differences in future vaccine research and vaccination practice.

    Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; and sex differences; innate immunity; lung tissue-resident T cells; mucosal vaccine.

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