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There is great interest in the development of Ab-inducing subunit vaccines targeting infections, including HIV, malaria, and Ebola. We previously reported that adenovirus vectored vaccines are potent in priming Ab responses, but uncertainty remains regarding the optimal approach for induction of humoral immune responses. In this study, using OVA as a model Ag, we assessed the magnitude of the primary and anamnestic Ag-specific IgG responses of mice to four clinically relevant vaccine formulations: replication-deficient adenovirus; modified vaccinia Ankara (a poxvirus); protein with alum; and protein in the squalene oil-in-water adjuvant Addavax. We then used flow cytometric assays capable of measuring total and Ag-specific germinal center (GC) B cell and follicular Th cell responses to compare the induction of these responses by the different formulations. We report that adenovirus vectored vaccines induce Ag insert-specific GC B cell and Ab responses of a magnitude comparable to those induced by a potent protein/squalene oil-in-water formulation whereas-despite a robust overall GC response-the insert-specific GC B cell and Ab responses induced by modified vaccinia Ankara were extremely weak. Ag-specific follicular Th cell responses to adenovirus vectored vaccines exceeded those induced by other platforms at day 7 after immunization. We found little evidence that innate immune activation by adenovirus may act as an adjuvant in such a manner that the humoral response to a recombinant protein may be enhanced by coadministering with an adenovirus lacking a transgene of interest. Overall, these studies provide further support for the use of replication-deficient adenoviruses to induce humoral responses.

Original publication




Journal article


J Immunol

Publication Date





1242 - 1251


Adenoviridae, Adjuvants, Immunologic, Animals, Antigens, B-Lymphocytes, Blotting, Western, Disease Models, Animal, Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay, Female, Flow Cytometry, Genetic Vectors, Germinal Center, Immunohistochemistry, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Ovalbumin, T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer, Viral Vaccines