Research ArticleBIOMATERIALS

In situ pneumococcal vaccine production and delivery through a hybrid biological-biomaterial vector

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Science Advances  01 Jul 2016:
Vol. 2, no. 7, e1600264
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1600264


The type and potency of an immune response provoked during vaccination will determine ultimate success in disease prevention. The basis for this response will be the design and implementation of antigen presentation to the immune system. Whereas direct antigen administration will elicit some form of immunological response, a more sophisticated approach would couple the antigen of interest to a vector capable of broad delivery formats and designed for heightened response. New antigens associated with pneumococcal disease virulence were used to test the delivery and adjuvant capabilities of a hybrid biological-biomaterial vector consisting of a bacterial core electrostatically coated with a cationic polymer. The hybrid design provides (i) passive and active targeting of antigen-presenting cells, (ii) natural and multicomponent adjuvant properties, (iii) dual intracellular delivery mechanisms, and (iv) a simple formulation mechanism. In addition, the hybrid format enables device-specific, or in situ, antigen production and consolidation via localization within the bacterial component of the vector. This capability eliminates the need for dedicated antigen production and purification before vaccination efforts while leveraging the aforementioned features of the overall delivery device. We present the first disease-specific utilization of the vector toward pneumococcal disease highlighted by improved immune responses and protective capabilities when tested against traditional vaccine formulations and a range of clinically relevant Streptococcus pneumoniae strains. More broadly, the results point to similar levels of success with other diseases that would benefit from the production, delivery, and efficacy capabilities offered by the hybrid vector.

  • Antigen delivery
  • vaccine
  • biomaterials
  • biological vector
  • pneumococcal disease

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

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