Comparative immunization in BALB/c mice with recombinant replication-defective adenovirus vector and DNA plasmid expressing a SARS-CoV nucleocapsid protein gene

Chunling Ma, Kun Yao, Feng Zhou, Minsheng Zhu
Cellular & Molecular Immunology 2006, 3 (6): 459-65
In order to investigate immunogenicity in the induction of humoral and cellular immune responses, severe acute respiratory syndrome associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV)-N gene recombinant replication-defective adenoviral vector, rAd-N, was generated and immunized BALB/c mice in a pcDNA3.1-N prime-rAd-N boost regimen. After humoral and cellular immune response detection, different levels of SARS-CoV N protein specific antibodies and interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) secretion are shown compared to controls. The humoral immune response was induced more effectively by the DNA priming and recombinant adenovirus boosting regimen. There is a significant difference between heterogeneous and homologous vaccinations. The heterogeneous combinations were all higher than those of the homologous combinations in the induction of anti-N antibody response. Among the three heterogeneous combinations, pcDNA3.1-N/pcDNA3.1-N/pcDNA3.1-N/rAd-N induced the strongest antibody response. In the induction of IFN-gamma production, the homologous combination of rAd-N/rAd-N/rAd-N/rAd-N was significantly stronger than that of pcDNA3.1-N/pcDNA3.1-N/pcDNA3.1-N/pcDNA3.1-N, but was relatively weaker than the heterogeneous combination of pcDAN3.1-N/pcDAN3.1-N/pcDAN3.1-N/rAd-N. This combination was a most efficient immunization regimen in induction of SARS-CoV-N-specific (IFN-gamma) secretion just as the antibody response. These results suggest that DNA immunization followed by recombinant adenovirus boosting could be used as a potential SARS-CoV vaccine.

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