This study demonstrates the impact of adjuvant on the development of T follicular helper (Tfh) and B cells, and their influence on antibody responses in mice vaccinated with SARS-CoV-2-spike-ferritin-nanoparticle (SpFN) adjuvanted with either Army Liposome Formulation containing QS-21 (SpFN + ALFQ) or Alhydrogel® (SpFN + AH). SpFN + ALFQ increased the size and frequency of germinal center (GC) B cells in the vaccine-draining lymph nodes and increased the frequency of antigen-specific naive B cells. A single vaccination with SpFN + ALFQ resulted in a higher frequency of IL-21-producing-spike-specific Tfh and GC B cells in the draining lymph nodes and spleen, S-2P protein-specific IgM and IgG antibodies, and elicitation of robust cross-neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 variants as early as day 7, which was enhanced by a second vaccination. This was associated with the generation of high titer, high avidity binding antibodies. The third vaccination with SpFN + ALFQ elicited high levels of neutralizing antibodies against the Omicron variant. No cross-neutralizing antibodies against Omicron were induced with SpFN + AH. These findings highlight the importance of ALFQ in orchestrating early induction of antigen-specific Tfh and GC B cell responses and long-lived plasma cells in the bone marrow. The early engagement of S-2P specific naive B cells and high titer IgM antibodies shape the development of long-term neutralization breadth.

Fuente: npj Vaccines

Published: 18 March 2023