Hepatitis A caused by hepatitis A virus (HAV) transmitted by the fecal-oral route, results in considerable morbidity and economic loss. Mucosal immunization can be more effective than conventional injection at inducing both local and systemic immunity to HAV. Here we show that co-administration of killed HAV with synthetic oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) containing CpG sequences, and a novel polycationic sphingolipid (CCS)/cholesterol liposomal delivery system, markedly enhances the HAV-specific antibody response at the intestinal interface, particularly when delivered intrarectally or intranasally, to Balb/c mice at low HAV doses. A mucosally delivered, antigen-sparing HAV vaccine that is easily administered without specialized equipment or personnel, is an attractive alternative for facilitating mass immunization in hepatitis A outbreaks. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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