FMD empty capsids combined with the immunostant particle adjuvant ISPA or ISA206 induce protective immunity against foot and mouth disease virus
Foot and mouth disease virus (FMDV) causes economy losses and is controlled by vaccination in many countries. Vaccine formulations based on empty capsids or Virus-Like Particles (VLPs) have the advantage of avoiding the biological hazard of using infectious FMDV, albeit are poorly immunogenic. Recently, we have described that ISPA a new Immune Stimulating Complex adjuvant, is useful to improve the response against FMD of vaccines that use inactivated virus. Now, the adjuvant effects of ISPA and ISA 206 (water/oil/water) on a VLPs-based FMD vaccine were evaluated. VLPs (strain A/Argentina/2001) were obtained in mammalian cell cultures and their elicitation of an immune response against FMDV with and without ISPA or ISA 206 was evaluated in mice as a first approach. Notably, VLPs-ISPA and VLPs-ISA 206 vaccines induced protection against viral challenge in 100 % of mice, while protection induced by VLPs alone was of 40 %. Total and neutralizing FMDV antibodies were higher in the VLPs-ISPA and VLPs-ISA 206 groups compared to the VLPs group. VLPs-ISPA induced significantly higher (p < 0.001) IgG1, IgG2a, IgG2b and IgG3 titers than the VLPs vaccine. Moreover, in comparison with non-adjuvanted VLPs, VLPs-ISPA and VLPs-ISA 206 elicited an increased virus-specific T response, including higher IFNγ+/CD8 + lymphocyte production in mice. When these vaccines were tested in calves, antibody titers reached an Expected Percentage of Protection (EPP) above 90 % in the case of the VLPs-ISPA and VLPs-ISA 206 vaccines, while, in the VLPs group, EPP reached 25 %. IFNγ levels secreted by mononuclear cells of VLP-ISPA-vaccinated cattle were significantly higher than in the VLPs group. Overall, the results demonstrate that VLPs-ISPA or VLPs-ISA 206 are promising formulations for the development of a novel FMD vaccine.