Intranasal immunization with pneumococcal polysaccharide conjugate vaccines with nontoxic mutants of Escherichia coli heat-labile enterotoxins as adjuvants protects mice against invasive pneumococcal infections

Håvard Jakobsen, Dominique Schulz, Mariagrazia Pizza, Rino Rappuoli, Ingileif Jónsdóttir*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Host defenses against Streptococcus pneumoniae depend largely on phagocytosis following opsonization by polysaccharide-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies and complement. Since colonization of the respiratory mucosa is the first step in pneumococcal pathogenesis, mucosal immune responses may play a significant role. In addition to inducing systemic immune responses, mucosal vaccination with an effective adjuvant has the advantage of inducing mucosal IgA antibodies. The heat-labile enterotoxin (LT) of Escherichia coli is a well-studied mucosal adjuvant, and adjuvant activity of nontoxic LT mutants has been demonstrated for several protein antigens. We investigated the immunogenicity of pneumococcal polysaccharide conjugate vaccines (PNC) of serotypes 1 and 3 in mice after intranasal (i.n.) immunization by using as an adjuvant the nontoxic LT mutant LT-K63 or LT-R72, which has minimal residual toxicity. Pneumococcal serotype-specific antibodies were measured in serum (IgM, IgG, and IgA) and saliva (IgA), and vaccine-induced protection was evaluated by i.n. challenge with virulent pneumococci of the homologous serotype. When administered with LT mutants, i.n. immunization with both conjugates induced systemic and mucosal immune responses, and serum IgG antibody levels were significantly higher than after subcutaneous immunization. All mice immunized i.n. with PNC-1 and LT mutants were protected against bacteremia and cleared the pneumococci from the lung 24 h after i.n. challenge; pneumococcal density correlated significantly with serum IgG antibody levels. Similarly, the survival of mice immunized i.n. with PNC-3 and LT mutants was significantly prolonged. These results demonstrate that i.n. vaccination with PNC and potent adjuvants can protect mice against invasive and lethal pneumococcal infections, indicating that mucosal vaccination with PNC may be an alternative vaccination strategy for humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5892-5897
Number of pages6
JournalInfection and Immunity
Volume67
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1999

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