Pharmacological reports : PR

Epicutaneous immunization with phosphorylcholine conjugated to bovine serum albumin (PC-BSA) and TLR9 ligand CpG alleviates pneumococcal pneumonia in mice.

PMID 24948056


Epicutaneous (EC) immunization is a potential new strategy of a needle-free and self-administrable immunization by using a topically applied patch to deliver vaccine. We have previously shown that EC immunization with various protein antigens inhibits both Th1- and Tc1-mediated contact hypersensitivity (CHS) in mice. Our further work showed that maneuver of EC immunization with an antigen and Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands prior to hapten sensitization reverses skin-induced suppression. Animal model of pneumococcal pneumonia was used to study efficacy of EC induced immunopotentiation. Current work showed that EC immunization with phosphorylcholine conjugated to bovine serum albumin (PC-BSA) and CpG prior to Streptococcus pneumoniae infection results in smaller decrease of body weight when compared to PBS treated mice. Consistent with the behavioral observations and body weight, smaller numbers of bacteria were quantitated in lung homogenates of mice patched with PC-BSA and CpG prior inoculation with S. pneumonia when compared to mice patched with PBS alone. In vitro experiments showed that lymph node cells and spleen cells from mice EC immunized with PC-BSA plus CpG produced high levels of IFN-γ and IL-17A when compared to PBS or PC-BSA or CpG treated mice. This work shows that EC immunization with PC-BSA plus TLR9 ligand CpG may be a potential tool to boost immunity to S. pneumoniae.