1. Mucosal Immunity Research Group, The State Key Laboratory of Virology, Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430072, China 2. The State Key Laboratory of Virology and Modern Virology Research Center, College of Life Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) is a deadly infectious disease caused by SARS Coronavirus (SARS-CoV). Inactivated SARS-CoV has been explored as a vaccine against SARS-CoV. However, safe and potent adjuvants, especially with more efficient and economical needle-free vaccination are always needed more urgently in a pandemic. The development of a safe and effective mucosal adjuvant and vaccine for prevention of emergent infectious diseases such as SARS will be an important advancement. PIKA, a stabilized derivative of Poly (I:C), was previously reported to be safe and potent as adjuvant in mouse models. In the present study, we demonstrated that the intraperitoneal and intranasal co-administration of inactivated SARS-CoV vaccine together with this improved Poly (I:C) derivative induced strong anti-SARS-CoV mucosal and systemic humoral immune responses with neutralizing activity against pseudotyped virus. Although intraperitoneal immunization of inactivated SARS-CoV vaccine alone could induce a certain level of neutralizing activity in serum as well as in mucosal sites, co-administration of inactivated SARS-CoV vaccine with PIKA as adjuvant could induce a much higher neutralizing activity. When intranasal immunization was used, PIKA was obligatorily for inducing neutralizing activity in serum as well as in mucosal sites and was correlated with both mucosal IgA and mucosal IgG response. Overall, PIKA could be a good mucosal adjuvant candidate for inactivated SARS-CoV vaccine for use in possible future pandemic.