Clinical And Vaccine Immunology
Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of anthrax, and its spores have been developed into lethal bioweapons. To mitigate an onslaught from airborne anthrax spores that are maliciously disseminated, it is of paramount importance to develop a rapid-response anthrax vaccine that can be mass administered by nonmedical personnel during a crisis. We report here that intranasal instillation of a nonreplicating adenovirus vector encoding B. anthracis protective antigen could confer rapid and sustained protection against inhalation anthrax in mice in a single-dose regimen in the presence of preexisting adenovirus immunity. The potency of the vaccine was greatly enhanced when codons of the antigen gene were optimized to match the tRNA pool found in human cells. In addition, an adenovirus vector encoding lethal factor can confer partial protection against inhalation anthrax and might be coadministered with a protective antigen-based vaccine.