Adjuvant-free immunization with infective filarial larvae as lymphatic homing antigen carriers

Catherine Card, David S. Wilson, Sachiko Hirosue, Marcela Rincon-Restrepo, Alexandre de Titta, Esra Güç, Coralie Martin, Odile Bain, Melody A. Swartz, Witold W. Kilarski*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Controlled infection with intestinal nematodes has therapeutic potential for preventing the symptoms of allergic and autoimmune diseases. Here, we engineered larvae of the filarial nematode Litomosoides sigmodontis as a vaccine strategy to induce adaptive immunity against a foreign, crosslinked protein, chicken egg ovalbumin (OVA), in the absence of an external adjuvant. The acylation of filarial proteins with fluorescent probes or biotin was not immediately detrimental to larval movement and survival, which died 3 to 5 days later. At least some of the labeled and skin-inoculated filariae migrated through lymphatic vessels to draining lymph nodes. The immunization potential of OVA-biotin-filariae was compared to that of an OVA-bound nanoparticulate carrier co-delivered with a CpG adjuvant in a typical vaccination scheme. Production of IFNγ and TNFα by restimulated CD4+ cells but not CD8+ confirmed the specific ability of filariae to stimulate CD4+ T cells. This alternative method of immunization exploits the intrinsic adjuvancy of the attenuated nematode carrier and has the potential to shift the vaccination immune response towards cellular immunity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1055
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2020


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