Specific secretory immune responses in the female genital tract following intranasal immunization with a recombinant adenovirus expressing glycoprotein B of herpes simplex virus
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Previously, we demonstrated that intranasal (i.n.) but not intraperitoneal (i.p.) immunization with a recombinant adenovirus vector expressing glycoprotein B (gB) of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) induced mucosal immune responses and conveyed long-term protection to mice against an i.n. challenge with heterologous HSV-2. We now show that i.n. immunization of female mice with this same vector, AdgB8, provides secretory and serum-derived humoral immune responses in the genital tract. Intranasal immunization induced anti-HSVgB IgA and IgG in vaginal washes of mice, whereas i.p. immunization only induced IgG, which appeared to be serum-derived. Interestingly, intravaginal (ivag) immunization with AdgB8 resulted in little or no anti-HSVgB IgA and only low levels of specific IgG in vaginal washes. All three routes of inoculation induced gB-specific serum IgG and IgA; however, i.n. immunized mice demonstrated the highest level of serum anti-HSVgB IgA. Additionally, ivag boosting with AdgB8 did not significantly alter the serum or vaginal wash antibody responses in i.n. or i.p. immunized mice. The IgG to IgA ratios of gB-specific and total antibody titres in the serum and vaginal washes of i.n. immunized mice indicated that the IgA in the vaginal washes was likely to be secretory. Furthermore, the titres of anti-HSVgB IgA relative to total IgA were higher in vaginal washes than sera, suggesting that the gB-specific vaginal wash IgA present in i.n. immunized mice was locally produced.
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