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Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences


Nucleoprotein (NP) and matrix protein 1 (M1) are highly conserved among influenza A viruses and have been attractive targets to develop vaccines to elicit cross-reactive cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). Yet, external antigens are often presented on major histocompatibility complex class II molecules and elicit humoral immune responses. In this study, we present a physical radiofrequency adjuvant (RFA) to assist recombinant NP and M1 to elicit potent CTL responses. We found recombinant NP/M1 immunization in the presence of RFA could elicit potent anti-NP CTLs and confer significant protection against homologous viral challenges, while NP/M1 immunization alone failed to elicit significant CTL responses or confer significant protection. Interestingly, RFA failed to elicit potent anti-M1 CTL responses or anti-NP or anti-M1 antibody responses. Different from RFA, AddaVax adjuvant was found to significantly increase NP-specific antibody responses but not CTLs. NP/M1 immunization in the presence of RFA or AddaVax similarly reduced body weight loss, while only the former significantly increased the survival. We further found NP/M1 immunization in the presence of RFA did not significantly increase serum IL-6 release (a systemic inflammatory mediator) and rather reduced serum IL-6 release after boost immunization. NP/M1 immunization in the presence of RFA did not induce significant local reactions or increase body temperature of mice. The high potency and safety strongly support further development of RFA-based recombinant NP/M1 vaccine to elicit cross-protective immunity.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.