Campus Units

Chemical and Biological Engineering, Veterinary Microbiology and Preventive Medicine, Microbiology, Nanovaccine Institute

Document Type


Research Focus Area

Advanced and Nanostructured Materials

Publication Version

Accepted Manuscript

Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

Acta Biomaterialia




Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of pneumonic plague, induces a highly lethal infection if left untreated. Currently, there is no FDA-approved vaccine against this pathogen; however, USAMRIID has developed a recombinant fusion protein, F1-V, that has been shown to induce protection against pneumonic plague. Many F1-V-based vaccine formulations require prime-boost immunization to achieve protective immunity, and there are limited reports of rapid induction of protective immunity (≤ 14 days post-immunization (DPI)). The STimulator of INterferon Genes agonists cyclic dinucleotides (CDNs) have been shown to be promising vaccine adjuvants. Polyanhydride nanoparticle-based vaccines (i.e., nanovaccines) have also shown to enhance immune responses due to their dual functionality as adjuvants and delivery vehicles. In this work, a combination nanovaccine was designed that comprised F1-V-loaded nanoparticles combined with the CDN, dithio-RP,RP-cyclic di-guanosine monophosphate, to induce rapid and long-lived protective immunity against pneumonic plague. All mice immunized with a single dose combination nanovaccine were protected from Y. pestis lethal challenge within 14 DPI and demonstrated enhanced protection over F1-V adjuvanted with CDNs alone at challenge doses ≥7,000 CFU Y. pestis CO92. In addition, 75 percent of mice receiving the single dose of the combination nanovaccine were protected from challenge at 182 DPI, while maintaining high levels of antigen-specific serum IgG. ELISPOT analysis of vaccinated animals at 218 DPI revealed F1-V-specific long-lived plasma cells in bone marrow in mice vaccinated with CDN adjuvanted F1-V or the combination nanovaccine. Microarray analysis of serum from these vaccinated mice revealed the presence of serum antibody that bound to a broad range of F1 and V linear epitopes. These results demonstrate that combining the adjuvanticity of CDNs with a nanovaccine delivery system enables induction of both rapid and long-lived protective immunity against Y. pestis.


This is a manuscript of an article published as Wagner-Muñiz, Danielle A., Sean M. Kelly, Andrew C. Petersen, Nathan Peroutka-Bigus, Ross J. Darling, Brian H. Bellaire, Michael J. Wannemuehler, and Balaji Narasimhan. "Single-Dose Combination Nanovaccine Induces Both Rapid and Long-Lived Protection Against Pneumonic Plague." Acta Biomaterialia (2019). DOI: 10.1016/j.actbio.2019.10.016. Posted with permission.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Copyright Owner

Acta Materialia Inc.



File Format


Available for download on Monday, October 11, 2021

Published Version