Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.520, No.1, 86-92, 2019
Intranasal vaccination with HBs and HBc protein combined with carboxyl vinyl polymer induces strong neutralizing antibody, anti-HBs IgA, and IFNG response
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection causes acute and chronic hepatitis, which is a major public health concern worldwide. Immunization methods incorporating hepatitis B surface-small (HBs-S) antigen and hepatitis B core antigen (HBc) have been proposed as candidate therapeutic vaccines, but the elimination of existing HBV infection remains a challenge. To enhance the efficacy of HBs and HBc vaccination, we investigated HBs-large (HBs-L) as an immunogen, and carboxyl vinyl polymer (CVP) as an excipient. HBsS or HBs-L, in combination with HBc antigen, was administered subcutaneously (without CVP) or intranasally (with or without CVP) for the evaluation of immune response in the tree shrew, which is considered to be a suitable small animal model of HBV infection. Immunization with HBs-L antigen by either route induced a rapid IgG response. Intranasal immunization with HBs-S or HBs-L and HBc formulated with CVP strongly induced neutralizing antibody activity, IgA response, and HBc-specific expression of the interferon gamma-encoding gene. These data indicated the potential of HBs-L and HBc intranasal immunization with CVP, not only as a therapeutic vaccine, but also as a prophylactic vaccine candidate. (C) 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc.