Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a major cause of severe lower respiratory tract disease in infancy and early childhood. Despite its importance as a pathogen, there is no licensed vaccine to prevent RSV infection. The G glycoprotein of RSV, a major attachment protein, is a potentially important target for protective antiviral immune responses and has been shown to exhibit chemotactic activity through CX3C mimicry. Here, we show that sublingual or intranasal immunization of a purified G protein fragment of amino acids from 131 to 230, designated Gcf, induces strong serum IgG and mucosal IgA responses. Interestingly, these antibody responses could be elicited by Gcf even in the absence of any adjuvant, indicating a novel self-adjuvanting property of our vaccine candidate. Gcf exhibited potent chemotactic activity in in vitro cell migration assay and cysteine residues are necessary for chemotactic activity and self-adjuvanticity of Gcf in vivo. Mucosal immunization with Gcf also provides protection against RSV challenge without any significant lung eosinophilia or vaccine-induced weight loss. Together, our data demonstrate that mucosal administration of Gcf vaccine elicits beneficial protective immunity and represents a promising vaccine regimen preventing RSV infection.
|State||Published - 27 Feb 2012|