Abstract: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the humoral and cellular responses of commercial multiparous and hyper-immunized sows against peptides from non-structural (nsp) and structural proteins of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV). We selected sows with different numbers of parities from a commercial farm. Management practices on this farm include the use of the MLV commercial vaccine four times per year, plus two vaccinations during the acclimation period. The humoral response was evaluated via the antibody recognition of peptides from nsp and structural proteins, and the cellular response was assessed by measuring the frequency of peptide and PRRSV-specific IFN-gamma-secreting cells (IFNγ-SC). Our results show that sows with six parities have more antibodies against peptides from structural proteins than against peptides from nsp. The analysis of the cellular response revealed that the number of immunizations did not affect the frequency of IFNγ-SC and that the response was stronger against peptides from structural proteins (M protein) than against nsp (nsp2). In summary, these results demonstrate that multiparous, hyper-immunized sows have a stronger immune humoral response to PRRSV structural peptides than nsp, but no differences in IFNγ-SC against the same peptides were observed.
Abstract: Genetically attenuated microorganisms, including pathogenic and commensal bacteria, can be engineered to carry and deliver heterologous antigens to elicit host immunity against both the vector as well as the pathogen from which the donor gene is derived. These live attenuated bacterial vectors have been given much attention due to their capacity to induce a broad range of immune responses including localized mucosal, as well as systemic humoral and/or cell-mediated immunity. In addition, the unique tumor-homing characteristics of these bacterial vectors has also been exploited for alternative anti-tumor vaccines and therapies. In such approach, tumor-associated antigen, immunostimulatory molecules, anti-tumor drugs, or nucleotides (DNA or RNA) are delivered. Different potential vectors are appropriate for specific applications, depending on their pathogenic routes. In this review, we survey and summarize the main features of the different types of live bacterial vectors and discussed the clinical applications in the field of vaccinology. In addition, different approaches for using live attenuated bacterial vectors for anti-cancer therapy is discussed, and some promising pre-clinical and clinical studies in this field are outlined.
Abstract: In the last years, nanotechnologies have raised great interest because of the potential applications of engineered nanoparticles in nanomedicine (i.e., in vaccination, in diagnostic imaging procedures, and as therapeutic drug delivery systems). The use of nanoparticles in medicine has brought about the issue of their interaction with the immune system for two main reasons: first, understanding how long nanomedicines could persist in the organism and exert their beneficial effects before being recognized and eliminated by our defensive systems; second, understanding how the immune responses can be modulated by nanoparticles in order to obtain optimal effects. This issue is crucial in vaccine formulations based on the use of nanoparticles, which can operate both as a delivery system to enhance antigen processing and as an immunostimulatory adjuvant to induce and amplify protective immunity, in part because of their ability to activate the inflammasome and induce the maturation of interleukin 1β. Nanoparticles can be excellent adjuvants due to their biocompatibility and their physicochemical properties (e.g., size, shape, and surface charge), which can be tailored to obtain different immunological effects. This review provides an overview of recent strategies for the use of nanoparticles as promising/attractive adjuvants for novel prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines. The use of nanovaccines, with their practically infinite possibilities of specific design, could open the way to precision vaccinology, i.e., vaccine formulations tailored on the individual immune reactivity status.
Abstract: Malaria vaccine research has been ongoing since the 1980s with limited success. However, recent improvements in our understanding of the immune responses required to combat each stage of infection will allow for intelligent design of both antigens and their associated delivery vaccine vehicles/vectors. Synthetic carriers (also known as vectors) are usually particulate and have multiple properties, which can be varied to control how an associated vaccine interacts with the host, and consequently how the immune response develops. This review comprehensively analyzes both historical and recent studies in which synthetic carriers are used to deliver malaria vaccines. Furthermore, the requirements for a synthetic carrier, such as size, charge, and surface chemistry are reviewed in order to understand the design of effective particle-based vaccines against malaria, as well as providing general insights. Synthetic carriers have the ability to alter and direct the immune response, and a better control of particle properties will facilitate improved vaccine design in the near future.
Abstract: Sperm protein antigen 17 (Sp17), expressed in primary as well as in metastatic lesions in >83% of patients with ovarian cancer, is a promising ovarian cancer vaccine candidate. Herein we describe the formulation of nanoparticle based vaccines based on human Sp17 (hSp17) sequence derived peptides, and map the immuno-dominant T cell and antibody epitopes induced using such formulations. The primary T and B cell immuno-dominant region within Sp17 was found to be the same when using biocompatible nanoparticle carriers or the conventional “mix-in” pro-inflammatory adjuvant CpG, both mapping to amino acids (aa) 111–142. However, delivery of hSp17111–142 as a nanoparticle conjugate promoted a number of new properties, changing the dominant antibody isotype induced from IgG2a to IgG1 and the fine specificity of the B cell epitopes within hSp17111–142, from an immuno-dominant region 134–142 aa for CpG, to region 121–138 aa for nanoparticles. Associated with this change in specificity was a substantial increase in antibody cross-reactivity between mouse and human Sp17. These results indicate conjugation of antigen to nanoparticles can have major effects on fine antigen specificity, which surprisingly could be beneficially used to increase the cross-reactivity of antibody responses.
Abstract: Alternatives to the well-established capsular polysaccharide-based vaccines against Streptococcus pneumoniae that circumvent limitations arising from limited serotype coverage and the emergence of resistance due to capsule switching (serotype replacement) are being widely pursued. Much attention is now focused on the development of recombinant subunit vaccines based on highly conserved pneumococcal surface proteins and virulence factors. A further step might involve focusing the host humoral immune response onto protective protein epitopes using as immunogens structurally optimized epitope mimetics. One approach to deliver such epitope mimetics to the immune system is through the use of synthetic virus-like particles (SVLPs). SVLPs are made from synthetic coiled-coil lipopeptides that are designed to spontaneously self-assemble into 20–30 nm diameter nanoparticles in aqueous buffer. Multivalent display of epitope mimetics on the surface of SVLPs generates highly immunogenic nanoparticles that elicit strong epitope-specific humoral immune responses without the need for external adjuvants. Here, we set out to demonstrate that this approach can yield vaccine candidates able to elicit a protective immune response, using epitopes derived from the proline-rich region of pneumococcal surface protein A (PspA). These streptococcal SVLP-based vaccine candidates are shown to elicit strong humoral immune responses in mice. Following active immunization and challenge with lethal doses of streptococcus, SVLP-based immunogens are able to elicit significant protection in mice. Furthermore, a mimetic-specific monoclonal antibody is shown to mediate partial protection upon passive immunization. The results show that SVLPs combined with synthetic epitope mimetics may have potential for the development of an effective vaccine against Streptococcus pneumoniae.