Product(s) used in this publication: PepMix™ Peptide Pools
Varicella zoster virus (VZV) is a neurotropic and lymphotropic alpha herpesvirus that causes varicella and herpes zoster (HZ). At a primary infection, VZV causes varicella in young children. Reactivation of latent VZV in sensory ganglia causes painful HZ in elderly people, occasionally leading to a serious complication, postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). A live attenuated VZV vaccine, the first vaccine licensed for the prevention of HZ and PHN is not very effective, while a recombinant subunit vaccine provides higher and longer protection against HZ. In the present study, we developed a new adjuvant system CIA09A, which is composed of cationic liposomes, the Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) agonist de-O-acylated lipooligosaccharide, and Quillaja saponin fraction QS-21. We then determined its adjuvant activity for recombinant VZV glycoprotein E (gE) in mice. Co-lyophilization of the liposomal adjuvant formulation with gE did not abolish the immune-stimulating activity. In fact, the CIA09A-adjuvanted gE vaccine was highly effective in eliciting both humoral and cellular immune responses to the recombinant gE protein and VZV in a VZV-primed mouse model. Furthermore, the frequency of gE-specific polyfunctional CD4+ T cells expressing interferon (IFN)-γ, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and interleukin (IL)-2 was significantly increased in mice immunized with the adjuvanted vaccine. These data indicate that co-lyophilization of protein antigens with CIA09A enables development of a liposome-adjuvanted vaccine in a single vial to induce strong cell-mediated immunity required for vaccine efficacy. Thus, the CIA09A-adjuvanted gE vaccine warrants further development as a new prophylactic vaccine against HZ.
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