Molecular characterization of in vivo adjuvant activity in ferrets vaccinated against influenza virus

J Virol. 2010 Sep;84(17):8369-88. doi: 10.1128/JVI.02305-09. Epub 2010 Jun 9.


The 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic has prompted a significant need for the development of efficient, single-dose, adjuvanted vaccines. Here we investigated the adjuvant potential of CpG oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) when used with a human seasonal influenza virus vaccine in ferrets. We found that the CpG ODN-adjuvanted vaccine effectively increased antibody production and activated type I interferon (IFN) responses compared to vaccine alone. Based on these findings, pegylated IFN-alpha2b (PEG-IFN) was also evaluated as an adjuvant in comparison to CpG ODN and complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA). Our results showed that all three vaccines with adjuvant added prevented seasonal human A/Brisbane/59/2007 (H1N1) virus replication more effectively than did vaccine alone. Gene expression profiles indicated that, as well as upregulating IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs), CpG ODN enhanced B-cell activation and increased Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) and IFN regulatory factor 4 (IRF4) expression, whereas PEG-IFN augmented adaptive immunity by inducing major histocompatibility complex (MHC) transcription and Ras signaling. In contrast, the use of CFA as an adjuvant induced limited ISG expression but increased the transcription of MHC, cell adhesion molecules, and B-cell activation markers. Taken together, our results better characterize the specific molecular pathways leading to adjuvant activity in different adjuvant-mediated influenza virus vaccinations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / administration & dosage
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Ferrets*
  • Freund's Adjuvant / administration & dosage
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype / genetics
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype / immunology*
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype / physiology
  • Influenza Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Influenza Vaccines / genetics
  • Influenza Vaccines / immunology*
  • Influenza, Human / immunology*
  • Influenza, Human / prevention & control*
  • Influenza, Human / virology
  • Interferon Type I / immunology
  • Male
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides / administration & dosage
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides / immunology*
  • Vaccination


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • CPG-oligonucleotide
  • Influenza Vaccines
  • Interferon Type I
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides
  • Freund's Adjuvant