Development of novel vaccine candidates for measles
Despite the availability of live attenuated measles virus vaccines, a large number of measles-associated deaths occur among infants in developing countries during the "window of susceptibility" (age 4-9 months). During this period declining maternal antibody titers are no longer protective against wild-type measles virus (MV) and impede successful immunization with the live attenuated vaccines. Therefore, the development of a safe vaccine that would induce protective immunity in the presence of maternally derived MV-specific antibodies in young infants and would close the "window of susceptibility" is desirable. Since adenoviruses have been shown as suitable vaccine candidates capable of eliciting potent protection against mucosal infectious diseases, the ability of an adenovirus-vectored anti-measles vaccine to elicit robust immune responses against MV was assessed in this study. Mice immunized intramuscularly or intranasally with a combination of human adenovirus serotype 5 (Ad5) recombinants expressing MV hemagglutinin (H) and fusion (F) glycoproteins developed MV-specific neutralizing antibody titers similar for both routes of immunization. However, intramuscular immunization of mice with Ad5 recombinants resulted in induction of a predominant T helper type (Th1) immune response, whereas intranasal immunization induced a balanced Th1/Th2 immune response. Furthermore, intranasal immunization resulted in increased titers of MV-specific immunoglobulin A (IgA) in lungs in comparison to intramuscularly immunized animals. The ability of the Ad5 recombinants to induce protective immune responses in cotton rats by different routes of administration was also evaluated. Cotton rats that received a single dose of the Ad5 recombinants intramuscularly or intranasally experienced a rise in MV-specific neutralizing antibody titers and reduction of the viral RNA load in the lung tissue after intranasal MV challenge. In addition, the largest reduction in viral replication was observed in the group of cotton rats inoculated with the Ad5 recombinants intranasally. Based on these observations, the Ad5-based vaccine appears to be a suitable candidate against measles. Furthermore, a capability of purified globular head domain of MV H protein produced in a human cell line to induce MV-specific immune responses in mice was tested. Subcutaneous immunization of mice with the recombinant protein alone resulted in both humoral and cell-mediated immunity, characterized by the production of MV-specific serum IgG and neutralizing antibodies, as well as interferon-gamma and interleukin 5 (IL-5) production by in vitro restimulated splenocytes. The former responses were further enhanced by formulation of the protein with aluminium hydroxide. However, very low numbers of INF-gamma secreting cells and low levels of IgG2a in the serum suggested a Th2 immune response. Novel adjuvants (Th1-directing), as well as MV F protein should be considered for the inclusion into the vaccine formulations to induce more balanced Th1/Th2 immune responses against measles.
measles, adenovirus, vaccine formulations, immune responses, vaccine
Master of Science (M.Sc.)
College of Graduate Studies
College of Graduate Studies