A variety of DNA vaccine prime and recombinant viral boost immunization strategies have been developed to enhance immune responses in humans, but inherent limitations to these strategies exist. There is still an overwhelming need to develop safe and effective approaches that raise broad humoral and T cell-mediated immune responses systemically and on mucosal surfaces. We have developed a novel mucosal immunization regimen that precludes the use of viral vectors yet induces potent T cell responses. Using hepatitis B surface Ag (HBsAg), we observed that vaccination of BALB/c mice with an i.m. HBsAg-DNA vaccine prime followed by an intranasal boost with HBsAg protein encapsulated in biologically inert liposomes enhanced humoral and T cell immune responses, particularly on mucosal surfaces. Intranasal live virus challenge with a recombinant vaccinia virus expressing HBsAg revealed a correlation between T cell immune responses and protection of immunized mice. A shortened immunization protocol was developed that was successful in both adult and neonatal mice. These results support the conclusion that this new approach is capable of generating a Th-type-1-biased, broad spectrum immune response, specifically at mucosal surfaces. The success of this design may provide a safe and effective vaccination alternative for human use.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/vtorchilin/1/