Adjuvant effects of invariant NKT cell ligand potentiates the innate and adaptive immunity to an inactivated H1N1 swine influenza virus vaccine in pigs

Varun Dwivedi, Cordelia Manickam, Santosh Dhakal, Basavaraj Binjawadagi, Kang Ouyang, Jagadish Hiremath, Mahesh Khatri, Jacquelyn Gervay-Hague, Chang Won Lee, Gourapura J. Renukaradhya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


Pigs are considered as the source of some of the emerging human flu viruses. Inactivated swine influenza virus (SwIV) vaccine has been in use in the US swine herds, but it failed to control the flu outbreaks. The main reason has been attributed to lack of induction of strong local mucosal immunity in the respiratory tract. Invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cell is a unique T cell subset, and activation of iNKT cell using its ligand α-Galactosylceramide (α-GalCer) has been shown to potentiate the cross-protective immunity to inactivated influenza virus vaccine candidates in mice. Recently, we discovered iNKT cell in pig and demonstrated its activation using α-GalCer. In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of an inactivated H1N1 SwIV coadministered with α-GalCer intranasally against a homologous viral challenge. Our results demonstrated the potent adjuvant effects of α-GalCer in potentiating both innate and adaptive immune responses to SwIV Ags in the lungs of pigs, which resulted in reduction in the lung viral load by 3 logs compared to without adjuvant. Immunologically, in the lungs of pigs vaccinated with α-GalCer an increased virus specific IgA response, IFN-α secretion and NK cell-cytotoxicity was observed. In addition, iNKT cell-stimulation enhanced the secretion of Th1 cytokines (IFN-γ and IL-12) and reduced the production of immunosuppressive cytokines (IL-10 and TGF-β) in the lungs of pigs⋅ In conclusion, we demonstrated for the first time iNKT cell adjuvant effects in pigs to SwIV Ags through augmenting the innate and adaptive immune responses in the respiratory tract.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-163
Number of pages7
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
StatePublished - Apr 15 2016



  • Adjuvant
  • INKT cell
  • Intranasal vaccine
  • Pigs
  • Swine influenza virus
  • α-GalCer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • veterinary(all)

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