Single-stranded RNA adjuvant enhances the efficacy of 10-valent human papilloma virus-like particle vaccine

Hye Won Kwak, Wooseok Shin, Kyunghwa Baik, Minsun Kim, Yong Wook Park, So Hee Hong, Hyo Jung Park, Hyeong Jun Park, Yoo Jin Bang, Jae Yong Kim, Yu Sun Lee, In Beom Kim, Hong Lim Kim, Hun Kim, Jae Hwan Nam

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1 Scopus citations


Following the development of various types of vaccines, the use of adjuvants to boost vaccine efficacy has become a focus of research. Aluminum hydroxide (alum), the most commonly used adjuvant, induces a certain immune response and ensures safety in human trials. However, alum mainly induces only a Th2 response; its Th1 response is weak. Thus, we previously developed a single-stranded ribose nucleic acid (ssRNA) adjuvant that induces a Th1 response through toll-like receptors. Here, we explored whether 10-valent human papilloma virus (HPV)-like particle (VLP) vaccine formulated with ssRNA adjuvant and alum helped to enhance immune response and maintained memory response. The mice were immunized intramuscularly twice at 2 week intervals and were inoculated 4 days after the second boost (after about 1 year). The antibody response and T cell activation were measured by Elispot, ELISA using harvested serum and splenocytes. The 10-valent HPV VLP vaccine formulated with ssRNA adjuvant and alum increased the antigen-specific immune response more than alum used alone. It increased each type-specific IgG1/IgG2a titer, and antigen-specific IFN-γ cells. Furthermore, the ssRNA adjuvant with alum induced memory response. In memory response, each type-specific IgG1/IgG2c, IFN-γ, and IL-6 cytokine, and neutralizing antibodies were increased by the ssRNA adjuvant with alum. Overall, the ssRNA adjuvant with alum induced memory responses and balanced Th1/Th2 responses. The ssRNA adjuvant and alum may help to enhance prophylactic vaccine efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-537
Number of pages9
JournalMicrobiology and Immunology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a grant from SK Bioscience [grant numbers M‐2020‐D0731‐0001, NRF‐2015 M3A9B 5030157]. and partially supported by the Brain Korea 21 Plus Program, H.‐J.P. is supported by the grant from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety in 2022 (grant number 22203MFDS404).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Societies and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.


  • HPV virus like particle
  • Th1 response
  • aluminum hydroxide
  • long-lasting immunity
  • single-stranded RNA adjuvant


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