Growing evidence is now associating the development of auto-immune disease with poor chronic viral control, including:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis: associated with increased EBV viral load and expanded viral-specific T cells;
  • Multiple sclerosis: high prevalence of EBV at disease onset, cross-reactive pathogenic antibodies identified;
  • Sjogren’s syndrome: high EBV and CMV viral load, viral-specific T cells.

Vaccination against viruses such as EBV and CMV in the early stages of disease could intercept progression of, or potentially cure, a range of autoimmune diseases.  Eliciting an appropriate immune response is key, with the goal to manage viral control as opposed to viral elimination.

Researchers at The University of Queensland (UQ) have developed a technology: liposome nanoparticle targeted to human CD141+ DC-1 cross-presenting dendritic cells that selectively express clec9a through a novel clec9a-targeting peptide.  Targeted liposomes effectively deliver tailorable payloads and induce specific cytotoxic T-lymphocytes without requiring adjuvant.

Proof of concept

Data for clec9a-targeted delivery with prototype nanoparticles (nanoemulsions) demonstrates successful delivery of payloads to human CD141+ DC1 populations.

Key features

  • Novel approach to deliver bespoke, tailorable payloads to dendritic cells
  • Self-adjuvanting liposomes generate robust CD4+ and CD8+ responses to payloads
  • Proposed to prevent progression of viral-associated autoimmune diseases.

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