DNA immunization provides many advantages as an approach to prevent infectious diseases. However, although previous studies using this approach have demonstrated immune responses in serum, they were not successful in inducing significant levels of antibodies in secretions. In this study, plasmid DNAs expressing the influenza virus hemagglutinin glycoprotein have been evaluated for their ability to induce antibody responses in serum and saliva when used alone or along with either liposomes or bioadhesive polymers as mucosal delivery vehicles. Significant levels of virus-specific Ig in serum as well as secretory IgA in saliva were detected in mice following mucosal DNA immunization. These antibodies were found to block the infectivity of the virus using a plaque reduction assay. Our findings thus indicate that mucosal DNA immunization with specific delivery systems can elicit virus-specific antibody responses in serum as well as IgA responses at mucosal surfaces.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by grant AI 43068 from the National Institutes of Health.