Open Access Short report

Comparison of polystyrene nanoparticles and UV-inactivated antigen-displaying adenovirus for vaccine delivery in mice

Lena Johrden1, Matthias Tenbusch1, Ruth Lietz1, Michael Storcksdieck genannt Bonsmann1, Thomas Niezold1, Oliver Wildner13 and Wibke Bayer12*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Molecular and Medical Virology, Ruhr-University Bochum, Bochum, Germany

2 Institute for Virology, University Hospital Essen, University Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany

3 Current address: Paul-Ehrlich-Institute, Langen, Germany

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Virology Journal 2013, 10:108  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-10-108

Published: 5 April 2013



Inert nanoparticles are attracting attention as carriers for protein-based vaccines. Here we evaluate the immunogenicity of the model antigen ovalbumin delivered on polystyrene particles and directly compare particulate delivery with adenovirus-based immunization.


Mice were vaccinated with soluble ovalbumin, ovalbumin-coated polystyrene particles of different sizes, or an adenovirus-based expression-display vector that encodes and displays a pIX-ovalbumin fusion protein. Antibody responses were clearly higher when ovalbumin was administered on polystyrene particles compared to soluble protein administration, regardless of the particle size. Compared to adenovirus-based immunization, antibody levels were lower if an equivalent amount of protein was delivered, and no cellular immune response was detectable.


We demonstrate in a side-by-side comparison that inert nanoparticles allow for the reduction of the administered antigen amount compared to immunization with soluble protein and induce strongly enhanced antibody responses, but responses are lower compared to adenovirus-based immunization.

Nanoparticles; Polystyrene; Adenovirus; Ovalbumin; Vaccination