Gold nanoparticle-M2e conjugate coformulated with CpG induces protective immunity against influenza A virus

Wenqian Tao, Katherine S. Ziemer, Harvinder S. Gill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Scopus citations


Aim: This study aimed to develop a novel influenza A vaccine by conjugating the highly conserved extracellular region of the matrix 2 protein (M2e) of influenza A virus to gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) and to test the vaccine in a mouse influenza challenge model. Materials & methods: Citrate-reduced AuNPs (diameter: 12 nm) were synthesized, and characterized by transmission electron microscopy and dynamic light scattering. M2e was conjugated to AuNPs through thiol-gold interactions to form M2e-AuNP conjugates. Particle stability was confirmed by UV-visible spectra, and M2e conjugation was further characterized by x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Mice were immunized with M2e-AuNPs with or without CpG (cytosine-guanine rich oligonucleotide) as an adjuvant with appropriate control groups. Sera was collected and M2e-specific immunoglobulin (IgG) was measured, and immunized mice were challenged with PR8-H1N1 influenza virus. Results: M2e-capped AuNPs could be lyophilized and stably resuspended in water. Intranasal vaccination of mice with M2e-AuNP conjugates induced M2e-specific IgG serum antibodies, which significantly increased upon addition of soluble CpG as adjuvant. Upon challenge with lethal PR8, mice vaccinated with M2e-AuNP conjugates were only partially protected, while mice that received soluble CpG as adjuvant in addition to M2e-AuNP were fully protected. Conclusion: Overall, this study demonstrates the potential of using the M2e-AuNP conjugates with CpG as an adjuvant as a platform for developing an influenza A vaccine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-251
Number of pages15
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • CpG
  • Gold nanoparticle
  • Influenza vaccine
  • Influenza virus
  • M2e
  • XPS


Dive into the research topics of 'Gold nanoparticle-M2e conjugate coformulated with CpG induces protective immunity against influenza A virus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this