Sub-unit vaccine againstS. aureus-mediated infections: Set-up of nano-sized polymeric adjuvant

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The aim of this work was the design of a novel adjuvanted system for vaccination against S. aureus-mediated infections: in particular, poly-lactide-co-glycolide (PLGA) nanoparticles were developed in order to efficiently load and boost a sub-unit model vaccine, namely a purified recombinant collagen binding bacterial adhesin fragment (CNA19).At first, the assessment of the actual immunogenicity of free CNA19 via subcutaneous administration was evaluated, in order to consider it as subunit antigen model. Secondly, for the development of CNA19 loaded PLGA nanoparticles, a preliminary study was focused on the production of well-formed nanoparticles by w/o/w double emulsion method exploiting ultrasonication cycles under mild conditions, then the optimization of the freeze-drying conditions and different CNA19 loading methods were considered (encapsulation, adsorption of on blank or CNA19 encapsulated nanoparticles). The set-up preparation method (process yield of about 83%) permitted to obtain CNA19 loaded nanoparticles with spherical shape, narrow size distribution (187.41 ± 51.2 nm), a slightly negative zeta-potential (−2.91 ± 0.64 mV) and to elicit satisfactory protein encapsulation efficiency (75.91 ± 4.22%) and loading capacity (8.59 ± 0.33 μg CNA19/nanoparticles mg). Then, CNA19 loaded PLGA nanoparticles were characterized by (i) an in vitro release test performed at different temperatures, namely 4 °C, 25 °C and 37 °C, testing the antigen integrity (SDS-PAGE) and activity (ELISA); (ii) an in vitro stability study in terms of dimension and surface charge performed in a 21 days period of time. At 37 °C there was evidence of a sustained release of the antigen, in active form, for almost 240 h with a burst release of about 20% in the first 2 h. At 4 °C stability tests and activity assays allowed to identify storage conditions useful to maintain CNA19 activity and easily NP re-suspendability with intact physical characteristics. Furthermore the evaluation of CNA19 loaded nanoparticles cytotoxicity (up to 10.652 mg PLGA/ml) by MTT assay and the study of cellular up-take assessed on human fibroblasts confirmed the feasibility to formulate a dosage form useful for vaccination against S. aureus-mediated infections.

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