Journal of virological methods

Influenza virus-like particles as an antigen-carrier platform for the ESAT-6 epitope of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

PMID 20304011


Various virus-like particles (VLPs) have been shown to induce cytotoxic T-cell immune response as well as B-cell immune response. This makes VLPs promising candidates for antigen-carrier platforms for various epitopes. Influenza A VLPs were produced displaying a 20 amino acid sequence from Mycobacterium tuberculosis early secretory antigenic target 6 protein (ESAT-6). As this sequence is known to comprise a potent T-cell epitope it was chosen as a model for a foreign epitope to be presented on an influenza VLP scaffold. The ESAT-6 epitope was engineered into the antigenic region B of the influenza hemagglutinin (HA) from strain A/New Caledonia/20/99. VLPs were expressed in insect cells and subjected to immunization studies in mice. High serum antibody titers detected against recombinant ESAT-6 demonstrated the feasibility of influenza A VLPs serving as an efficient platform for epitope presentation.