The purpose of this study was to prepare and characterize virosomes and ISCOMs containing envelope proteins of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) and to evaluate their immunogenicity in target animals (chickens). Virosomes were prepared by solubilization of virus with either Triton X-100 or octyl glucoside (OG) followed by detergent removal. Biochemical analysis revealed that these virosomes contained both the haemagglutinin-neuraminidase protein (HN) and the fusion protein (F), with preserved biological activity. Acidic environment triggered the fusion between virosomes and chicken erythrocyte ghosts. Formation of ISCOMs was achieved by solubilizing phospholipids, cholesterol, envelope protein antigen and Quil A in Triton X-100. The ISCOM particles were formed by removal of the detergent. In each formulation the relative HN content correlated with the capability to agglutinate red blood cells. The immunogenicity of these lipid-based subunit vaccines was determined in chickens after subcutaneous immunization. The relative HN content of the subunit vaccines correlated with the haemagglutination-inhibition (HI) antibody titres. Virosomes prepared with Triton X-100 and ISCOMs offered high clinical protection (> 80%) upon challenge with virulent NDV. Virosomes prepared with OG yielded lower clinical protection despite high HI antibody titres. Virosomes with reduced antigen density showed poor immunogenicity and protection. In conclusion, ND virosomes and ISCOMs were found to be immunogenic and provided good protection.
- influenza virosomes