Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is one of the most common causes of viral deaths in infants worldwide, yet no effective vaccines are available. Here, we report an osmotically active polysaccharide-based polysorbitol transporter (PST) prepared from sorbitol diacrylate and low-molecular-weight polyethylenimine (PEI) showing a potent, yet safe, adjuvant activity and acting as an effective delivery tool for RSV glycoprotein (RGp) antigen. PST showed no toxicity in vitro or in vivo, unlike PEI and the well-known experimental mucosal adjuvant cholera toxin (CT). PST formed nano-sized complexes with RGp by simple mixing, without affecting antigenic stability. The complexes exhibited negative surface charges that made them highly efficient in the selective activation of phagocytic cells and enhancement of phagocytic uptake. This resulted in an improved cytokine production and in the significant augmentation of RGp-specific antibody production, which persisted for over 200 days. Interestingly, PST/RGp enhanced phagocytic uptake owing to the osmotic property of PST and its negative zeta potential, suggesting that PST could selectively stimulate phagocytic cells, thereby facilitating a long-lived antigen-specific immune response, which was presumably further enhanced by the polysaccharide properties of PST.
- Adjuvant activity
- Enhanced phagocytosis
- Long-term antibody response
- Osmotically active polysorbitol transporter
- RSV glycoprotein