While a new generation of vaccine vectors has been developed for eliciting cellular immune responses, little is known about the optimal routes for their administration or about the ramifications of the kinetics of in vivo vaccine antigen expression for immunogenicity. We evaluated the kinetics of vaccine antigen expression by real-time in vivo photon imaging and showed dramatic differences in these kinetics using different vectors and different routes of administration. Further, using a gamma interferon enzyme-linked immunospot assay to measure T-lymphocyte immune responses, we observed an association between the kinetics of vaccine antigen expression in vivo and the magnitude of vaccine-elicited memory T-lymphocyte responses. These results highlight the utility of the real-time in vivo photon-imaging technology in evaluating novel immunization strategies and suggest an association between the kinetics of vaccine antigen clearance and the magnitude of vaccine-elicited T-lymphocyte memory immune responses
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