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Previous studies compared uptake by dendritic cells (DC) of 20, 40, 100, 200, 500, 1000, and 2000 nm beads in vivo. When beads were used as antigen carriers, bead size influenced antibody responses and induction of IFN-gamma-producing CD4 and CD8 T cells. Beads of 40-50 nm were taken up preferentially by DC and induced particularly strong immunity. Herein, we examine immunity induced by minute differences in nanobead size, specifically within a narrow viral-sized range (20, 40, 49, 67, 93, 101, and 123 nm), to see if bead carrier size influenced the induction of type 1 or type 2 cells as demonstrated by the production of IFN-gamma or IL-4. In vivo uptake by DC was assessed for selected sizes in this range. Responses to whole ovalbumin (OVA) or the OVA-derived CD8 T cell peptide epitope (SIINFEKL) were tested. After one immunization with beads-OVA, IFN-gamma responses to both OVA and SIINFEKL were significantly better with 40 and 49 nm beads than other sizes, while, in contrast, IL-4 responses to OVA were higher after immunization with OVA conjugated to larger beads (93, 101, and 123 nm). Thus IFN-gamma induction from CD8 T cells was limited to 40-49 nm beads, while CD4 T cell activation and IL-4 were induced by 93-123 nm beads-OVA. After two immunizations, there were comparable high levels of IFN-gamma produced with 40 and 49 beads and IL-4 reactivity was still higher for larger beads (93, 101, 123 nm). Production of IgG1 was seen across the full range of bead sizes, increasing after two immunizations. Since protection against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) depends on strong IFN responses, while IL-4 responses are reported to cause asthma-like symptoms, immunization with RSV antigens on the 49 nm carrier beads could provide the basis for a suitable vaccine. When the 49 nm beads were conjugated to RSV proteins G88 (surface) or M2.1 (internal capsid), one immunization with G88 induced high levels of IFN-gamma and low levels of IL-4. IL-4 increased with two immunizations. Beads-M2.1 induced only moderate levels of IFN-gamma and low titer antibody after two immunizations. Mice vaccinated once with G88-conjugated 49 nm beads and challenged intranasally with RSV strain A2 subtype showed reduced viral titers and recovered from weight loss more rapidly than mice immunized with M2.1-conjugated 49 nm beads or naive control mice. These results show that precise selection of nanobead size for vaccination can influence the type 1/type 2 cytokine balance after one immunization, and this will be useful in the development of effective vaccines against common human pathogens such as RSV.