AdHu5Ag85A Respiratory Mucosal Boost Immunization Enhances Protection against Pulmonary Tuberculosis in BCG-Primed Non-Human Primates
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Persisting high global tuberculosis (TB) morbidity and mortality and poor efficacy of BCG vaccine emphasizes an urgent need for developing effective novel boost vaccination strategies following parenteral BCG priming in humans. Most of the current lead TB vaccine candidates in the global pipeline were developed for parenteral route of immunization. Compelling evidence indicates respiratory mucosal delivery of vaccine to be the most effective way to induce robust local mucosal protective immunity against pulmonary TB. However, despite ample supporting evidence from various animal models, there has been a lack of evidence supporting the safety and protective efficacy of respiratory mucosal TB vaccination in non-human primates (NHP) and humans. By using a rhesus macaque TB model we have evaluated the safety and protective efficacy of a recombinant human serotype 5 adenovirus-based TB vaccine (AdHu5Ag85A) delivered via the respiratory mucosal route. We show that mucosal AdHu5Ag85A boost immunization was safe and well tolerated in parenteral BCG-primed rhesus macaques. A single AdHu5Ag85A mucosal boost immunization in BCG-primed rhesus macaques enhanced the antigen-specific T cell responses. Boost immunization significantly improved the survival and bacterial control following M.tb challenge. Furthermore, TB-related lung pathology and clinical outcomes were lessened in BCG-primed, mucosally boosted animals compared to control animals. Thus, for the first time we show that a single respiratory mucosal boost immunization with a novel TB vaccine enhances protection against pulmonary TB in parenteral BCG-primed NHP. Our study provides the evidence for the protective potential of AdHu5Ag85A as a respiratory mucosal boost TB vaccine for human application.
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