Changjiao Gan, Wenbo Luo, Yunzhou Yu, Zhouguang Jiao, Sha Li, Duo Su, Junxia Feng, Xiaodong Zhao, Yefeng Qiu, Lingfei Hu, Dongsheng Zhou, Xiaolu Xiong, Jinglin Wang & Huiying Yang
Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), produced by Clostridium botulinum, is generally known to be the most poisonous of all biological toxins. In this study, we evaluate the protection conferred by intratracheal (i.t.) inoculation immunization with recombinant Hc subunit (AHc) vaccines against aerosolized BoNT/A intoxication. Three AHc vaccine formulations, i.e., conventional liquid, dry powder produced by spray freeze drying, and AHc dry powder reconstituted in water are prepared, and mice are immunized via i.t. inoculation or subcutaneous (s.c.) injection. Compared with s.c.-AHc-immunized mice, i.t.-AHc-immunized mice exhibit a slightly stronger protection against a challenge with 30,000× LD50 aerosolized BoNT/A. Of note, only i.t.-AHc induces a significantly higher level of toxin-neutralizing mucosal secretory IgA (SIgA) production in the bronchoalveolar lavage of mice. In conclusion, our study demonstrates that the immune protection conferred by the three formulations of AHc is comparable, while i.t. immunization of AHc is superior to s.c. immunization against aerosolized BoNT/A intoxication.