LTA1 is a safe, intranasal enterotoxin-based adjuvant that improves vaccine protection against influenza in young, old and B-cell-depleted (μMT) mice

Sci Rep. 2019 Oct 22;9(1):15128. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-51356-w.


Enterotoxin-based adjuvants including cholera toxin and heat-labile toxin (LT) are powerful manipulators of mucosal immunity; however, past clinical trials identified unacceptable neurological toxicity when LT or mutant AB5 adjuvant proteins were added to intranasal vaccines. Here, we examined the isolated enzymatic A1 domain of LT (LTA1) for intranasal safety and efficacy in combination with influenza (flu) vaccination. LTA1-treated mice exhibited no neurotoxicity, as measured by olfactory system testing and H&E staining of nasal tissue in contrast with cholera toxin. In vaccination studies, intranasal LTA1 enhanced immune responses to inactivated virus antigen and subsequent protection against H1N1 flu challenge in mice (8-week or 24-months). In addition, lung H1N1 viral titers post-challenge correlated to serum antibody responses; however, enhanced protection was also observed in μMT mice lacking B-cells while activation and recruitment of CD4 T-cells into the lung was apparent. Thus, we report that LTA1 protein is a novel, safe and effective enterotoxin adjuvant that improves protection of an intranasal flu vaccination by a mechanism that does not appear to require B-cells.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / administration & dosage*
  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / pharmacology
  • Administration, Intranasal
  • Aging / immunology*
  • Animals
  • Antibodies / blood
  • Antibody Formation / drug effects
  • B-Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic
  • Enterotoxins / administration & dosage*
  • Enterotoxins / immunology
  • Enterotoxins / toxicity
  • Female
  • Immunity, Mucosal / drug effects
  • Immunization
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype / immunology
  • Lung / virology
  • Lymphocyte Activation / drug effects
  • Lymphocyte Depletion*
  • Mast Cells / drug effects
  • Mast Cells / pathology
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Orthomyxoviridae Infections / blood
  • Orthomyxoviridae Infections / immunology*
  • Orthomyxoviridae Infections / prevention & control*
  • Orthomyxoviridae Infections / virology


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Antibodies
  • Enterotoxins