A M2 protein-based universal influenza vaccine containing Advax-SM adjuvant provides newborn protection via maternal or neonatal immunization

Isaac G. Sakala, Yoshikazu Honda-Okubo, Lei Li, Jeremy Baldwin, Nikolai Petrovsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Despite newborns being at increased risk of serious influenza infection, influenza vaccines are currently not recommended for use in infants under 6 months of age. We therefore sought to evaluate the protective efficacy in mice of an M2-based influenza vaccine (CapM2e) formulated with Advax-SM adjuvant. Vaccine protection was assessed via both passive maternal immunization and direct neonatal immunization. Methods: For maternal transfer studies, female mice were immunized 1 week before and after mating. Blood was collected from both mother and offspring during weaning and pups were challenged when they reached 3 weeks of age with lethal doses of H1N1 and homologous reassortment influenza strain H3N2 with conserved M2. For direct immunization studies, newborns were immunized at 1 and 3 weeks of age and blood was collected prior to challenge at 4 weeks of age. Results: Maternal immunization with CapM2e + Advax-SM vaccine induced high maternal M2e antibody levels that were passively transferred to their offspring and provided them with protection against both H1N1 and H3N2 influenza strains when challenged at 3 weeks of age. When used for direct immunization of neonatal mice, CapM2e + Advax-SM vaccine similarly induced high serum M2e antibody levels and protected against H1N1 and H3N2 influenza challenges with protection associated with inhibition of virus replication with a significant reduction in lung virus load in immunized pups. Conclusion: CapM2e + Advax-SM vaccine could be useful for protecting newborns against diverse influenza A strains, with opportunities to achieve protection by passive maternal immunization or active neonatal immunization. This data supports further development of this promising M2e-based vaccine candidate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5162-5172
Number of pages11
JournalVaccine
Volume39
Issue number36
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2021

Keywords

  • Adjuvant
  • Advax
  • Influenza
  • Maternal
  • Neonatal
  • Vaccine

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