Mucosal immunization with integrase-defective lentiviral vectors protects against influenza virus challenge in mice

Judith M. Fontana, Paul J. Christos, Zuleika Michelini, Donatella Negri, Andrea Cara, Mirella Salvatore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent reports highlight the potential for integrase-defective lentiviral vectors (IDLV) to be developed as vaccines due to their ability to elicit cell-mediated and humoral immune responses after intramuscular administration. Differently from their integrase-competent counterpart, whose utility for vaccine development is limited by the potential for insertional mutagenesis, IDLV possess a mutation in their integrase gene that prevents genomic integration. Instead, they are maintained as episomal DNA circles that retain the ability to stably express functional proteins. Despite their favorable profile, it is unknown whether IDLV elicit immune responses after intranasal administration, a route that could be advantageous in the case of infection with a respiratory agent. Using influenza as a model, we constructed IDLV expressing the influenza virus nucleoprotein (IDLV-NP), and tested their ability to generate NP-specific immune responses and protect from challenge in vivo. We found that administration of IDLV-NP elicited NP-specific T cell and antibody responses in BALB/c mice. Importantly, IDLV-NP was protective against homologous and heterosubtypic influenza virus challenge only when given by the intranasal route. This is the first report demonstrating that IDLV can induce protective immunity after intranasal administration, and suggests that IDLV may represent a promising vaccine platform against infectious agents.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere97270
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume9
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 13 May 2014
Externally publishedYes

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