Nasal vaccination with pneumococcal surface protein A in combination with cationic liposomes consisting of DOTAP and DC-chol confers antigen-mediated protective immunity againstStreptococcus pneumoniaeinfections in mice

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Abstract

Infectious diseases are the second leading cause of death worldwide, suggesting that there is still a need for the development of new and improved strategies for combating pathogens effectively. Streptococcus pneumoniae is the most virulent bacteria causing pneumonia with high mortality, especially in children and the elderly. Because of the emergence of antibiotic resistance in S. pneumoniae, employing a serotype-independent mucosal vaccine would be the best approach to prevent and treat the diseases caused by S. pneumoniae. In this study, we have developed a pneumococcal nasal vaccine, consisting of pneumococcal surface protein A (PspA) and cationic liposomes composed of 1,2-dioleoyl-3-trimethylammonium-propane (DOTAP) and cholesteryl 3β-N-(dimethylaminoethyl)carbamate (DC-chol) (DOTAP/DC-chol liposome). The efficiency of this cationic liposome-based PspA nasal vaccine was examined in a murine model of S. pneumoniae infection. Intranasal vaccination with PspA and DOTAP/DC-chol liposomes conferred protective immunity against lethal inhalation of S. pneumoniae, improving the survival rate of infected mice. Moreover, intranasal immunization with PspA and DOTAP/DC-chol liposomes not only induced the production of PspA-specific IgA and IgG by both mucosal and systemic compartments but also elicited PspA-specific Th17 responses, which play a pivotal role in controlling S. pneumoniae infection by host innate immune response. We further demonstrated that DOTAP/DC-chol liposomes enhanced PspA uptake by nasal dendritic cells (DCs), which might be a mechanism for the induction of protective immune responses to S. pneumoniae infection. These results show that DOTAP/DC-chol liposome would be an efficient mucosal vaccine system for a serotype-independent universal nasal vaccine against pneumococcal infection.

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