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Universal vaccine against respiratory syncytial virus A and B subtypes

Lee, JY;Chang, J;

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a major cause of acute lower respiratory tract infection in infants, young children, and the elderly. Two subtypes of RSV, A and B, circulate alternately at 1-2-year intervals during epidemics. The attachment glycoprotein (G protein) of RSV is one of the major targets for immune responses. In this study, we generated a recombinant fusion protein, GcfAB, which consists of the central regions (a.a. residues 131-230) of the G proteins of both RSV A (A2 strain) and B (B1 strain) subtypes, and investigated immunogenicity, protective efficacy, and immunopathology. We immunized mice with GcfAB plus cholera toxin as a mucosal adjuvant via intranasal (IN) or sublingual (SL) routes. The IN group showed higher levels of RSV G-specific antibody responses, including serum IgG and mucosal IgA, compared with the SL group. On the contrary, more vigorous RSV G-specific CD4+ T-cell responses were elicited in the SL group than in the IN group after RSV-A but not RSV-B viral challenge. Furthermore, the SL group showed more pulmonary eosinophil recruitment and body weight loss than did the IN group after RSV-A challenge. Both IN and SL immunization with GcfAB provided potential protection against both subtypes of infections. Together, these results suggest that vaccination with GcfAB via an IN route could be a universal vaccine regimen preventing both RSV A and B infections.