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Lipid vesicle size of an oral influenza vaccine delivery vehicle influences the Th1/Th2 bias in the immune response and protection against infection

Mann, Jamie F S and Shakir, Eisin and Carter, Katharine C and Mullen, Alexander B and Alexander, James and Ferro, Valerie A (2009) Lipid vesicle size of an oral influenza vaccine delivery vehicle influences the Th1/Th2 bias in the immune response and protection against infection. Vaccine, 27 (27). pp. 3643-3649. ISSN 0264-410X

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Previous studies, using parenteral administration of antigen in lipid vesicles, have indicated a possible role for vesicle size in determining the Th1/Th2 bias of the resulting immune response. We have also demonstrated that the incorporation of bile salts into lipid vesicles (bilosomes) allows successful induction of mucosal and systemic immunity via the oral route. The following study was therefore carried out to determine whether size could also influence the Th1/Th2 bias in the immune response to bilosome entrapped influenza A antigen containing haemagglutinin administered by the oral route in the mouse and whether this could influence the disease process in the classical ferret model of disease. Consequently we produced two formulations of influenza A antigen entrapped in bilosomes: BV3 which contained a single population (range 10-100 nm, Z-average diameter 250 nm) and BV which had two populations (60-350 and 400-2500 nm, Z-average 980 nm). Following oral vaccination of BALB/c mice, BV was found to generate an immune response that had a significantly greater Th1 bias than BV3 as measured by serum IgG2a production and antigen-induced spleen cell IFN-γ production. In the traditional infection challenge model (ferrets) vaccination with BV (large) vesicles resulted in greater protection in terms of symptom-score and a higher responder number. However, both oral vaccine formulations were an improvement on intramuscular administration in terms of higher antibody production, lower temperatures, and reduced symptoms over time, post-infection. The results presented here demonstrate that oral vaccine formulations can be physically modified to manipulate resultant immune responses following vaccination and consequently can be designed to enhance the effectiveness of candidate vaccine antigens.