Table of Contents
Influenza Research and Treatment
Volume 2011, Article ID 126794, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/126794
Research Article

A Novel Vaccine Using Nanoparticle Platform to Present Immunogenic M2e against Avian Influenza Infection

1Department of Pathobiology and Veterinary Science, University of Connecticut, 61 North Eagleville Road, Storrs, CT 06268, USA
2Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Connecticut, 91 North Eagleville Road, Storrs, CT 06269, USA
3The Institute of Materials Science, University of Connecticut, 97 North Eagleville Road, Storrs, CT 06269, USA
4M.E. Müller Institute, University of Basel, 50/70 Klingelbergstrasse, 4056 Basel, Switzerland
5Institute for Medical Microbiology, University of Basel, 4003 Basel, Switzerland
6Charles River SPAFAS, Inc., 106 RT 32 North Franklin, Storrs, CT 06254, USA
7Department of Statistics, University of Connecticut, 215 Glenbrook Road, Storrs, CT 06269, USA

Received 6 June 2011; Revised 24 September 2011; Accepted 12 October 2011

Academic Editor: Oleg P. Zhirnov

Copyright © 2011 Sankhiros Babapoor et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Using peptide nanoparticle technology, we have designed two novel vaccine constructs representing M2e in monomeric (Mono-M2e) and tetrameric (Tetra-M2e) forms. Groups of specific pathogen free (SPF) chickens were immunized intramuscularly with Mono-M2e or Tetra-M2e with and without an adjuvant. Two weeks after the second boost, chickens were challenged with 107.2 EID50 of H5N2 low pathogenicity avian influenza (LPAI) virus. M2e-specific antibody responses to each of the vaccine constructs were tested by ELISA. Vaccinated chickens exhibited increased M2e-specific IgG responses for each of the constructs as compared to a non-vaccinated group. However, the vaccine construct Tetra-M2e elicited a significantly higher antibody response when it was used with an adjuvant. On the other hand, virus neutralization assays indicated that immune protection is not by way of neutralizing antibodies. The level of protection was evaluated using quantitative real time PCR at 4, 6, and 8 days post-challenge with H5N2 LPAI by measuring virus shedding from trachea and cloaca. The Tetra-M2e with adjuvant offered statistically significant ( ) protection against subtype H5N2 LPAI by reduction of the AI virus shedding. The results suggest that the self-assembling polypeptide nanoparticle shows promise as a potential platform for a development of a vaccine against AI.