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Outer membrane vesicles harboring modified lipid A moiety augment the efficacy of an influenza vaccine exhibiting reduced endotoxicity in a mouse model

Lee, TY;Kim, CU;Bae, EH;Seo, SH;Jeong, DG;Yoon, SW;Chang, KT;Kim, YS;Kim, SH;Kim, DJ;

Influenza is an acute respiratory disease and a major health problem worldwide. Since mucosal immunity plays a critical role in protection against influenza virus infection, mucosal immunization is considered a promising vaccination route. However, except for live-attenuated vaccines, there are no effective killed or recombinant mucosal influenza vaccines to date. Outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) are nano-sized vesicles produced by gram-negative bacteria, and contain various bacterial components capable of stimulating the immune system of the host. We generated an OMV with low endotoxicity (fmOMV) by modifying the structure of the lipid A moiety of lipopolysaccharide and investigated its effect as an intranasal vaccine adjuvant in an influenza vaccine model. In this model, fmOMV exhibited reduced toll-like receptor 4-stimulating activity and attenuated endotoxicity compared to that of native OMV. Intranasal injection of the vaccine antigen with fmOMV significantly increased systemic antibody and T cell responses, mucosal IgA levels, and the frequency of lung-resident influenza-specific T cells. In addition, the number of antigen-bearing CD103(+) dendritic cells in the mediastinal lymph nodes was significantly increased after fmOMV co-administration. Notably, the mice co-immunized with fmOMV showed a significantly higher protection rate against challenge with a lethal dose of homologous or heterologous influenza viruses without adverse effects. These results show the potential of fmOMV as an effective mucosal adjuvant for intranasal vaccines.