Glycoconjugate Journal

, Volume 35, Issue 5, pp 451–459 | Cite as

Conjugation of chitosan oligosaccharides via a carrier protein markedly improves immunogenicity of porcine circovirus vaccine

  • Guiqiang Zhang
  • Peiyuan Jia
  • Hongtao LiuEmail author
  • Tao HuEmail author
  • Yuguang DuEmail author
Original Article


Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2)-associated diseases have led to huge economic losses in pig industry. Our laboratory previously found that conjugation of chitosan oligosaccharides (COS) enhanced the immunogenicity of PCV2 vaccine against infectious pathogens. In this study, an effective adjuvant system was developed by covalent conjugation of COS via a carrier protein (Ovalbumin, OVA) to further increase the immunogenicity of vaccine. Its effect on dendritic cells maturation was assessed in vitro and its immunogenicity was investigated in mice. The results indicated that, as compared to the PCV2 and COS-PCV2, COS-OVA-PCV2 stimulated dendritic cells to express higher maturation markers (CD80, CD86, CD40 and MHC class II) and remarkably promoted both humoral and cellular immunity against PCV2 by enhancing the lymphocyte proliferation and inducing a mixed Th1/Th2 response, including the increased production of PCV2-specific antibodies and raised levels of inflammatory cytokines. Furthermore, it displayed better immune-stimulating effects than the physical mixture of vaccine and ISA206 (a commercialized adjuvant). In conclusion, conjugation of COS via a carrier protein might be a promising strategy to enhance the immunogenicity of vaccines.


Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) Chitosan oligosaccharide Conjugation Adjuvant system Carrier protein 



We are grateful for the support by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFD0502303), and by National Natural Science Fund, China (NO. 31500747, NO. 31570801 and NO. U160820020).


Yuguang Du and Tao Hu designed the study. Guiqiang Zhang and Peiyuan Jia were responsible for the acquisition of data. Hongtao Liu and Guiqiang Zhang interpreted the experimental data. Guiqiang Zhang and Hongtao Liu were the major contributors in drafting and revising the manuscript. Hongtao Liu was final approval of the version to be submitted. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

This article contains animal studies, and all animal experiment procedures were approved by the Animal Ethical Experimentation Committee of Institute of Process Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Beijing, China).

Supplementary material

10719_2018_9830_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (353 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 353 kb)


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Biopharmaceutical Production & Formulation Engineering, PLA and State Key Laboratory of Biochemical Engineering, Institute of Process EngineeringChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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