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The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic continues despite the presence of effective vaccines, and novel vaccine approaches may help to reduce viral spread and associated COVID-19 disease. Current vaccine administration modalities are based on systemic needle-administered immunisation which may be suboptimal for mucosal pathogens. Here we demonstrate in a mouse model that small-volume intranasal administration of purified spike (S) protein in the adjuvant polyethylenemine (PEI) elicits robust antibody responses with modest systemic neutralisation activity. Further, we test a heterologous intranasal immunisation regimen, priming with S and boosting with RBD-Fc. Our data identify small volume PEI adjuvantation as a novel platform with potential for protective mucosal vaccine development.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of immunological methods

Publication Date



Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, The University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3RE, UK; The Department of Chemistry, The University of Oxford, OX1 3TA, UK. Electronic address: