A Glycolipidated-liposomal peptide vaccine confers long-term mucosal protection against Streptococcus pyogenes via IL-17, macrophages and neutrophils

Nat Commun. 2023 Sep 25;14(1):5963. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-41410-7.


Mucosally active subunit vaccines are an unmet clinical need due to lack of licensed immunostimulants suitable for vaccine antigens. Here, we show that intranasal administration of liposomes incorporating: the Streptococcus pyogenes peptide antigen, J8; diphtheria toxoid as a source of T cell help; and the immunostimulatory glycolipid, 3D(6-acyl) PHAD (PHAD), is able to induce long-lived humoral and cellular immunity. Mice genetically deficient in either mucosal antibodies or total antibodies are protected against S. pyogenes respiratory tract infection. Utilizing IL-17-deficient mice or depleting cellular subsets using antibodies, shows that the cellular responses encompassing, CD4+ T cells, IL-17, macrophages and neutrophils have important functions in vaccine-mediated mucosal immunity. Overall, these data demonstrate the utility of a mucosal vaccine platform to deliver multi-pronged protective responses against a highly virulent pathogen.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intranasal
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Immunity, Mucosal
  • Interleukin-17
  • Liposomes*
  • Macrophages
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Neutrophils
  • Streptococcus pyogenes*
  • Vaccines, Subunit


  • Liposomes
  • Interleukin-17
  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Vaccines, Subunit