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Immunology - Infectious Diseases - Pediatrics and Child Health

Nucleoprotein Nanostructures Combined with Adjuvants Adapted to the Neonatal Immune Context: A Candidate Mucosal RSV Vaccine
Published: Thursday, May 24, 2012
Author: Aude Remot et al.

by Aude Remot, Xavier Roux, Catherine Dubuquoy, Jenna Fix, Stephan Bouet, Mohammed Moudjou, Jean-François Eléouët, Sabine Riffault, Agnès Petit-Camurdan


The human respiratory syncytial virus (hRSV) is the leading cause of severe bronchiolitis in infants worldwide. The most severe RSV diseases occur between 2 and 6 months-of-age, so pediatric vaccination will have to be started within the first weeks after birth, when the immune system is prone to Th2 responses that may turn deleterious upon exposure to the virus. So far, the high risk to prime for immunopathological responses in infants has hampered the development of vaccine. In the present study we investigated the safety and efficacy of ring-nanostructures formed by the recombinant nucleoprotein N of hRSV (NSRS) as a mucosal vaccine candidate against RSV in BALB/c neonates, which are highly sensitive to immunopathological Th2 imprinting.

Methodology and Principal Findings

A single intranasal administration of NSRS with detoxified E.coli enterotoxin LT(R192G) to 5–7 day old neonates provided a significant reduction of the viral load after an RSV challenge at five weeks of age. However, neonatal vaccination also generated an enhanced lung infiltration by neutrophils and eosinophils following the RSV challenge. Analysis of antibody subclasses and cytokines produced after an RSV challenge or a boost administration of the vaccine suggested that neonatal vaccination induced a Th2 biased local immune memory. This Th2 bias and the eosinophilic reaction could be prevented by adding CpG to the vaccine formulation, which, however did not prevent pulmonary inflammation and neutrophil infiltration upon viral challenge.


In conclusion, protective vaccination against RSV can be achieved in neonates but requires an appropriate combination of adjuvants to prevent harmful Th2 imprinting.