A Recombinant Subunit Vaccine With Enhanced Immunity Against Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV)

Since its emergence in the United States in 2013, porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) has devastated the U.S. swine industry causing immense economic losses. This invention report the creation of a subunit vaccine that can also enhance T cell immunity against PEDV, and thus such a vaccine will have significant commerical value to the swine industry in the United States and other parts of the world. We developed a recombinant protein subunit vaccine based on spike protein of PEDV which was directly targeted to porcine dendritic cells expressing langerin. We used an approach known as "dendritic cell targeting" to greatly enhance the PEDV antigen-specific T cell immune responses in pigs as early as 7 days after vaccination through skin. When the vaccine protein was targeted to langerin^pos dendritic cells in systemic sites through intramuscular inoculation, the vaccine also induced higher serum IgG and IgA responses as well as T cell responses. Therefore, the PEDV spike domains targeted to langerin-expressing dendritic cells significantly increased CD4 T cell immune responses in pigs, and thus will serve as an excellent subunit vaccine against this deadly virus.

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Rob Whitehead
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Sakthivel Subramaniam
Yao-Wei Huang
Xiang-Jin Meng