Maximal immune response and cross protection by influenza virus nucleoprotein derived from E. coli using an optimized formulation.

PMID 25213406


The highly conserved internal nucleoprotein (NP) is a promising antigen to develop a universal influenza A virus vaccine. In this study, mice were injected intramuscularly with Escherichia coli-derived NP protein alone or in combination with adjuvant alum (Al(OH)3), CpG or both. The results showed that the NP protein formulated with adjuvant was effective in inducing a protective immune response. Additionally, the adjuvant efficacy of Al(OH)3 was stronger than that of CpG. Optimal immune responses were observed in BALB/c mice immunized with a combination of NP protein plus Al(OH)3 and CpG. These mice also showed maximal resistance following challenge with influenza A virus PR8 strain. Most importantly, 10 µg NP formulated with Al(OH)3 and CpG induced higher protection than did 90 µg NP. These findings indicated that a combination of Al(OH)3 and CpG may be an efficient adjuvant in the NP formulation.