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Type: Journal article
Title: Intranasal and epicutaneous administration of Toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7) agonists provides protection against influenza A virus-induced morbidity in mice
Author: To, E.E.
Erlich, J.
Liong, F.
Luong, R.
Liong, S.
Bozinovski, S.
Seow, H.J.
O Leary, J.J.
Brooks, D.A.
Vlahos, R.
Selemidis, S.
Citation: Scientific Reports, 2019; 9(1):2366-1-2366-15
Publisher: Springer Nature
Issue Date: 2019
ISSN: 2045-2322
Statement of
Eunice E. To, Jonathan Erlich, Felicia Liong, Raymond Luong, Stella Liong, Steven Bozinovski, Huei Jiunn Seow, John J. O’Leary, Doug A. Brooks, Ross Vlahos, Stavros Selemidis
Abstract: Toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7) is a pattern recognition receptor that recognizes viral RNA following endocytosis of the virus and initiates a powerful immune response characterized by Type I IFN production and pro-inflammatory cytokine production. Despite this immune response, the virus causes very significant pathology, which may be inflammation-dependent. In the present study, we examined the effect of intranasal delivery of the TLR7 agonist, imiquimod or its topical formulation Aldara, on the inflammation and pathogenesis caused by IAV infection. In mice, daily intranasal delivery of imiquimod prevented peak viral replication, bodyweight loss, airway and pulmonary inflammation, and lung neutrophils. Imiquimod treatment also resulted in a significant reduction in pro-inflammatory neutrophil chemotactic cytokines and prevented the increase in viral-induced lung dysfunction. Various antibody isotypes (IgG1, IgG2a, total IgG, IgE and IgM), which were increased in the BALF following influenza A virus infection, were further increased with imiquimod. While epicutaneous application of Aldara had a significant effect on body weight, it did not reduce neutrophil and eosinophil airway infiltration; indicating less effective drug delivery for this formulation. We concluded that intranasal imiquimod facilitates a more effective immune response, which can limit the pathology associated with influenza A virus infection.
Keywords: Lung
Mice, Inbred C57BL
Influenza A virus
Orthomyxoviridae Infections
Membrane Glycoproteins
Administration, Intranasal
Virus Replication
Toll-Like Receptor 7
Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype
Rights: © The Author(s) 2019. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-38864-5
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