Kinetic analysis and evaluation of the mechanisms involved in the resolution of experimental nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae-induced otitis media after transcutaneous immunization

Vaccine. 2013 Jul 25;31(34):3417-26. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2012.10.033. Epub 2012 Oct 22.


Transcutaneous immunization (TCI) is a simple and needle-free method with which to induce protective immune responses. Using a chinchilla model of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHI)-induced otitis media (OM), we examined the efficacy afforded by TCI with a novel chimeric immunogen called 'chimV4' which targets two critical adhesins expressed by NTHI, outer membrane protein P5 and the majority subunit of NTHI Type IV pilus, PilA. Experimental OM was first established in cohorts of animals, and then TCI performed via a therapeutic immunization regime by rubbing vaccine formulations on hydrated pinnae. The kinetics of resolution of established experimental disease was evaluated by clinically-relevant assessments of OM, bacterial culture of planktonic and adherent NTHI within the middle ear and gross examination of the relative amount of NTHI mucosal biofilms within the middle ear space. Within seven days after primary TCI, a significant reduction in the signs of OM, significantly fewer NTHI adherent to the middle ear mucosa and significant resolution of mucosal biofilms was detected in animals that received chimV4+ the adjuvant LT(R192G-L211A), compared to animals administered LT(R192G-L211A) alone or saline by TCI (p<0.05) with eradication of NTHI within an additional seven days. The mechanism for rapid disease resolution involved efflux of activated dermal dendritic cells from the pinnae after TCI, secretion of factors chemotactic for CD4(+) T-cells, induction of polyfunctional IFNγ- and IL-17-producing CD4(+) T-cells and secretion of host defense peptide within the middle ear. These data support TCI as a therapeutic intervention against experimental NTHI-induced OM and begin to elucidate the host response to immunization by this noninvasive regimen.

Keywords: Chinchilla; Dendritic cell; Mucosal biofilm; OMP P5; Type IV pilus; chimv4; dmLT.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adhesins, Bacterial / administration & dosage
  • Adhesins, Bacterial / immunology
  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / administration & dosage
  • Administration, Cutaneous*
  • Animals
  • Bacterial Adhesion
  • Bacterial Load
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / immunology
  • Biofilms
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Chinchilla / immunology
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Dermis / immunology
  • Ear, Middle / microbiology
  • Haemophilus Infections / immunology
  • Haemophilus Infections / therapy*
  • Haemophilus Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Haemophilus Vaccines / therapeutic use
  • Haemophilus influenzae
  • Immunization / methods*
  • Interferon-gamma / immunology
  • Interleukin-17 / immunology
  • Otitis Media / immunology
  • Otitis Media / microbiology
  • Otitis Media / therapy*


  • Adhesins, Bacterial
  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins
  • Haemophilus Vaccines
  • Interleukin-17
  • outer membrane protein P5, Haemophilus
  • Interferon-gamma