It’s been almost a century since immunologists started using adjuvants as tools to develop more effective vaccines. Despite the rising number of adjuvanted vaccines in the last decades, we still lack knowledge of the adjuvants’ effects on antibody response. This study was aimed to test the effect of immunizing mice with the human Inactivated Influenza vaccine (IIV), either alone or combined with different widely used adjuvants on the specific antibody response induced. Differential levels of IgM and IgG subclasses were found with the different adjuvants tested. Higher levels of antibodies did not always correspond with a higher efficacy to interfere with the virus infectivity. Differences in neutralization properties are possibly mediated by the specificity of the repertoire of antibodies induced. The repertoire was studied using a phage display 7-mer peptide library to screen for epitopes/mimotopes recognized by serum pools from vaccinated mice. The selected phage clones included peptides that corresponded to conformational mimotopes since they have no homology with lineal sequences of the Influenza strains’ proteins. Five peptides were identified as recognized by sera from mice immunized with the IIV vaccine alone, including peptides from the hemagglutinin stalk domain, and by sera from mice immunized with the vaccine plus the different adjuvants employed. Adjuvants elicited a more diverse repertoire of epitope-recognizing antibodies that recognized epitopes of the HA recombinant globular head. Mimotopes were theoretically located at the neutralizing antigenic sites of the globular head of Influenza A H1N1pdm09, Influenza A H3N2, and Influenza B hemagglutinin. This study illustrates how different adjuvants can modify the extent and quality of humoral immunity against the IIV vaccine and the effectiveness of vaccination.
Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Ltd.