Enhancing the protection of influenza virus vaccines with BECC TLR4 adjuvant in aged mice

Robert Haupt, Lauren Baracco, Erin M. Harberts, Madhumathi Loganathan, Lucas J. Kerstetter, Florian Krammer, Lynda Coughlan, Robert K. Ernst, Matthew B. Frieman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Influenza A virus (IAV) is a leading cause of respiratory disease worldwide often resulting in severe morbidity and mortality. We have previously shown that the Bacterial Enzymatic Combinatorial Chemistry (BECC) adjuvants, BECC438 and BECC470, formulated with an influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA) protein vaccine, offer greater protection from influenza virus challenge in mouse respiratory models using adult mice than standard HA:adjuvant combinations. In this study, we determined that immunization with HA + BECC adjuvants also significantly broadened the epitopes targeted on HA as compared with other adjuvants, resulting in increased titers of antibodies directed against the highly conserved HA stalk domain. Importantly, we demonstrate that BECC470 combined with an influenza virus HA protein antigen in a prime-only immunization regimen was able to achieve complete protection from challenge in a ~ 12-month-old mouse aged model. Together, this demonstrates the heightened protection provided by the BECC470 adjuvant in an influenza virus vaccine model and shows the enhanced immune response, as compared to other adjuvants elicited by the formulation of HA with BECC470.

Original languageEnglish
Article number715
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023


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