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Sustained protective immunity against Bordetella pertussis nasal colonization by intranasal immunization with a vaccine-adjuvant combination that induces IL-17-secreting TRM cells

Allen, AC;Wilk, MM;Misiak, A;Borkner, L;Murphy, D;Mills, KHG;

Current acellular pertussis (aP) vaccines induce strong antibody and Th2 responses but fail to protect against nasal colonization and transmission of Bordetella pertussis. Furthermore, immunity wanes rapidly after immunization. We have developed a novel adjuvant combination (called LP-GMP), comprising c-di-GMP, an intracellular receptor stimulator of interferon genes (STING) agonist, and LP1569, a TLR2 agonist from B. pertussis, which synergistically induces production of IFN-, IL-12 and IL-23, and maturation of dendritic cells. Parenteral immunization of mice with an experimental aP vaccine formulated with LP-GMP promoted Th1 and Th17 responses and conferred protection against lung infection with B. pertussis. Intranasal immunization with the same aP vaccine-induced potent B. pertussis-specific Th17 responses and IL-17-secreting respiratory tissue-resident memory (TRM) CD4 T cells, and conferred a high level of protection against nasal colonization as well as lung infection, which was sustained for at least 10 months. Furthermore, long-term protection against nasal colonization with B. pertussis correlated with the number of IL-17-secreting TRM cells in nasal tissue. Our study has identified an approach for inducing IL-17-secreting TRM cells that sustain sterilizing immunity against nasal colonization of mice with B. pertussis, and could form the basis of a third generation pertussis vaccine for humans.