Whole-virus vaccines, including inactivated or live-attenuated influenza vaccines, have been conventionally developed and supported as a prophylaxis. These currently available virus-based influenza vaccines are widely used in the clinic, but the vaccine production takes a long time and a huge number of embryonated chicken eggs. To overcome the imperfection of egg-based influenza vaccines, epitope-based peptide vaccines have been studied as an alternative approach. Here, we formulated an efficacious peptide vaccine without carriers using phosphodiester CpG-DNA and a special liposome complex. Potential epitope peptides predicted from the hemagglutinin (HA) protein of the H5N1 A/Viet Nam/1203/2004 strain (NCBI database, AAW80717) were used to immunize mice along with phosphodiester CpG-DNA co-encapsulated in a phosphatidyl-β-oleoyl-γ-palmitoyl ethanolamine (DOPE):cholesterol hemisuccinate (CHEMS) complex (Lipoplex(O)) without carriers. We identified a B cell epitope peptide (hH5N1 HA233 epitope, 14 amino acids) that can potently induce epitope-specific antibodies. Furthermore, immunization with a complex of the B cell epitope and Lipoplex(O) completely protects mice challenged with a lethal dose of recombinant H5N1 virus. These results suggest that our improved peptide vaccine technology can be promptly applied to vaccine development against pandemic influenza. Furthermore our results suggest that potent epitopes, which cannot be easily found using proteins or a virus as an antigen, can be screened when we use a complex of peptide epitopes and Lipoplex(O).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)