Human vaccines

An intranasal heat shock protein based vaccination strategy confers protection against mucosal challenge with herpes simplex virus.

PMID 18382144


Herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1) represents a significant obstacle for vaccine designers, despite decades of investigation. The virus primarily infects the host at vulnerable mucosal surfaces that progresses to lesion development, latency in nervous tissue, and possible reactivation. Therefore, protection at the site of infection is crucial. Mucosal adjuvants are critical for the development of an effective vaccine approach and heat-shock protein 70 (Hsp70) represents an attractive candidate for this purpose. This study demonstrates that Hsp70 coupled to gB498-505 from HSV-1 induced mucosal and systemic priming of CD8(+) T cells capable of protecting C57BL/6 mice against a lethal vaginal challenge. Elevated gB-specific cytotoxicity was observed in the spleen of mice immunized with conjugated Hsp70 and gB498-505. In addition, both vaginal IFNgamma levels and viral clearance were enhanced in mice mucosally immunized with Hsp70 and gB peptide versus peptide only control mice or mice receiving Hsp70 and a control peptide. These studies demonstrate that Hsp70 can be used as an effective mucosal adjuvant capable of generating a protective cell-mediated immune response against HSV-1.