CAF01 potentiates immune responses and efficacy of an inactivated influenza vaccine in ferrets

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Cyril Jean-Marie Martel, Else Marie Agger, Julie Juul Poulsen, Trine Hammer Jensen, Lars Andresen, Dennis Christensen, Lars Peter Nielsen, Merete Blixenkrone-Møller, Peter Andersen, Bent Aasted

Trivalent inactivated vaccines (TIV) against influenza are given to 350 million people every year. Most of these are non-adjuvanted vaccines whose immunogenicity and protective efficacy are considered suboptimal. Commercially available non-adjuvanted TIV are known to elicit mainly a humoral immune response, whereas the induction of cell-mediated immune responses is negligible. Recently, a cationic liposomal adjuvant (dimethyldioctadecylammonium/trehalose 6,6'-dibehenate, CAF01) was developed. CAF01 has proven to enhance both humoral and cell-mediated immune responses to a number of different experimental vaccine candidates. In this study, we compared the immune responses in ferrets to a commercially available TIV with the responses to the same vaccine mixed with the CAF01 adjuvant. Two recently circulating H1N1 viruses were used as challenge to test the vaccine efficacy. CAF01 improved the immunogenicity of the vaccine, with increased influenza-specific IgA and IgG levels. Additionally, CAF01 promoted cellular-mediated immunity as indicated by interferon-gamma expressing lymphocytes, measured by flow cytometry. CAF01 also enhanced the protection conferred by the vaccine by reducing the viral load measured in nasal washes by RT-PCR. Finally, CAF01 allowed for dose-reduction and led to higher levels of protection compared to TIV adjuvanted with a squalene emulsion. The data obtained in this human-relevant challenge model supports the potential of CAF01 in future influenza vaccines.
Original languageEnglish
JournalP L o S One
Volume6
Issue number8
Number of pages10
ISSN1932-6203
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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