ResearchPad - recombinant-vaccines https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Evidence of recombination of vaccine strains of lumpy skin disease virus with field strains, causing disease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14489 Vaccination against lumpy skin disease (LSD) is crucial for maintaining the health of animals and the economic sustainability of farming. Either homologous vaccines consisting of live attenuated LSD virus (LSDV) or heterologous vaccines consisting of live attenuated sheeppox or goatpox virus (SPPV/GPPV) can be used for control of LSDV. Although SPPV/GTPV-based vaccines exhibit slightly lower efficacy than live attenuated LSDV vaccines, they do not cause vaccine-induced viremia, fever, and clinical symptoms of the disease following vaccination, caused by the replication capacity of live attenuated LSDVs. Recombination of capripoxviruses in the field was a long-standing hypothesis until a naturally occurring recombinant LSDV vaccine isolate was detected in Russia, where the sheeppox vaccine alone is used. This occurred after the initiation of vaccination campaigns using LSDV vaccines in the neighboring countries in 2017, when the first cases of presumed vaccine-like isolate circulation were documented with concurrent detection of a recombinant vaccine isolate in the field. The follow-up findings presented herein show that during the period from 2015 to 2018, the molecular epidemiology of LSDV in Russia split into two independent waves. The 2015–2016 epidemic was attributable to the field isolate. Whereas the 2017 epidemic and, in particular, the 2018 epidemic represented novel disease importations that were not genetically linked to the 2015–2016 field-type incursions. This demonstrated a new emergence rather than the continuation of the field-type epidemic. Since recombinant vaccine-like LSDV isolates appear to have entrenched across the country’s border, the policy of using certain live vaccines requires revision in the context of the biosafety threat it presents.

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<![CDATA[Comparative genome analysis of Korean field strains of infectious laryngotracheitis virus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c65dceed5eed0c484dec5f0

Attenuated live infectious laryngotracheitis (ILT) virus (ILTV) vaccines have been used to prevent and control the outbreak of ILT worldwide. Recent studies using high-throughput sequencing technology have increased the number of complete genome sequences of ILTVs, enabling comparative genome analysis. Although 37 complete genome sequences of ILTV, including vaccine strains, have been reported, the complete genome sequence of any field strain of ILTV in South Korea is yet to be published. In this study, we determined and analyzed the complete genome sequences of three virulent Korean field strains of ILTV (40798/10/Ko, 0206/14/Ko, and 30678/14/Ko). Two of the Korean field strains (40798/10/Ko and 0206/14/Ko) displayed fewer non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms than those of the Serva vaccine strain, indicating that these Korean field strains of ILTV most likely originated from the vaccine strain. The third ILTV strain, 307678/14/Ko, had two regions in the genome showing recombination between the Serva vaccine-like strain and the Australian A20 vaccine-like strain. Comparative genome analysis of ILTV using the Korean field strains with variable virulence can shed light on the recent trend of the emergence of virulent ILTV strains in the field. A few amino acid changes in the genome of ILTV vaccines could enhance the virulence in the vaccine strain, and natural recombination should be considered one of the major risks for the generation of revertant strains of ILTV under field conditions.

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<![CDATA[A therapeutic preconceptional vaccine against Chagas disease: A novel indication that could reduce congenital transmission and accelerate vaccine development]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5ca2c5d5eed0c48441eaa0 ]]> <![CDATA[Analysis and insights into recombination signals in lumpy skin disease virus recovered in the field]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1ab812d5eed0c4840268a0

Wide spread incidences of vaccine-like strains of lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV) have recently been reported in a Russian region with a neighboring country that actively vaccinate with a live attenuated LSD vaccine. The use of live-attenuated viruses (LAVs) as vaccines during an active outbreak, creates potential ground for coinfection of hosts and emergence of a strain combining genetic fragments of both parental vaccine and field strains. In this study, we analyse the vaccine-like strain LSDV RUSSIA/Saratov/2017 detected in Saratovskaya oblast, a region sharing border with Kazakhstan. To gain insight into possible recombination signals, a full-genome next-generation sequencing of the viral genome was performed using the Illumina platform. The genome contains the backbone of a live-attenuated vaccine with a patchwork of wild-type field virus DNA fragments located throughout. A total of 27 recombination events were identified. The average distance between the recombination sites was 3400 base pairs (bp). The impact of the recombination events on the virulence and transmission capacity of the identified virus remains to be clarified. These findings provide evidence for the first time of genetic exchanges between closely related strains of capripoxviruses in the field and a vaccine strain, and prompt a revisiting of the vaccination issue for a safe and efficacious prevention and control strategy of LSD.

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<![CDATA[The March towards a Vaccine for Congenital CMV: Rationale and Models]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9ebab0ee8fa60b6c844 ]]> <![CDATA[Fighting Ebola: A Window for Vaccine Re-evaluation?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db54ab0ee8fa60bdd146 ]]> <![CDATA[A Rapid and Improved Method to Generate Recombinant Dengue Virus Vaccine Candidates]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da49ab0ee8fa60b8c87c

Dengue is one of the most important mosquito-borne infections accounting for severe morbidity and mortality worldwide. Recently, the tetravalent chimeric live attenuated Dengue vaccine Dengvaxia® was approved for use in several dengue endemic countries. In general, live attenuated vaccines (LAV) are very efficacious and offer long-lasting immunity against virus-induced disease. Rationally designed LAVs can be generated through reverse genetics technology, a method of generating infectious recombinant viruses from full length cDNA contained in bacterial plasmids. In vitro transcribed (IVT) viral RNA from these infectious clones is transfected into susceptible cells to generate recombinant virus. However, the generation of full-length dengue virus cDNA clones can be difficult due to the genetic instability of viral sequences in bacterial plasmids. To circumvent the need for a single plasmid containing a full length cDNA, in vitro ligation of two or three cDNA fragments contained in separate plasmids can be used to generate a full-length dengue viral cDNA template. However, in vitro ligation of multiple fragments often yields low quality template for IVT reactions, resulting in inconsistent low yield RNA. These technical difficulties make recombinant virus recovery less efficient. In this study, we describe a simple, rapid and efficient method of using LONG-PCR to recover recombinant chimeric Yellow fever dengue (CYD) viruses as potential dengue vaccine candidates. Using this method, we were able to efficiently generate several viable recombinant viruses without introducing any artificial mutations into the viral genomes. We believe that the techniques reported here will enable rapid and efficient recovery of recombinant flaviviruses for evaluation as vaccine candidates and, be applicable to the recovery of other RNA viruses.

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<![CDATA[Avidity of Anti-Circumsporozoite Antibodies following Vaccination with RTS,S/AS01E in Young Children]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da21ab0ee8fa60b7edf8

Background

The nature of protective immune responses elicited by immunization with the candidate malaria vaccine RTS,S is still incompletely understood. Antibody levels correlate with protection against malaria infection, but considerable variation in outcome is unexplained (e.g., children may experience malaria despite high anti-circumsporozoite [CS] titers).

Methods and Findings

We measured the avidity index (AI) of the anti-CS antibodies raised in subgroup of 5–17 month old children in Kenya who were vaccinated with three doses of RTS,S/AS01E between March and August 2007. We evaluated the association between the AI and the subsequent risk of clinical malaria. We selected 19 cases (i.e., with clinical malaria) and 42 controls (i.e., without clinical malaria), matching for anti-CS antibody levels and malaria exposure. We assessed their sera collected 1 month after the third dose of the vaccine, in March 2008 (range 4–10 months after the third vaccine), and at 12 months after the third vaccine dose. The mean AI was 45.2 (95% CI: 42.4 to 48.1), 45.3 (95% CI: 41.4 to 49.1) and 46.2 (95% CI; 43.2 to 49.3) at 1 month, in March 2008 (4–10 months), and at 12 months after the third vaccination, respectively (p = 0.9 by ANOVA test for variation over time). The AI was not associated with protection from clinical malaria (OR = 0.90; 95% CI: 0.49 to 1.66; p = 0.74). The AI was higher in children with high malaria exposure, as measured using the weighted local prevalence of malaria, compared to those with low malaria exposure at 1 month post dose 3 (p = 0.035).

Conclusion

Our data suggest that in RTS,S/AS01E-vaccinated children residing in malaria endemic countries, the avidity of anti-circumsporozoite antibodies, as measured using an elution ELISA method, was not associated with protection from clinical malaria. Prior natural malaria exposure might have primed the response to RTS,S/AS01E vaccination.

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<![CDATA[Safety evaluation of a vaccine: Effect in maternal reproductive outcome and fetal anomaly frequency in rats using a leishmanial vaccine as a model]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdbc02

While the immunogenic potential of the vaccination against infectious diseases was extensively shown, data on the safety assessment of recombinant proteins in vaccine formulations administered during pregnancy are still scarce. In the current study, the antigenicity of a vaccine against leishmaniasis (based on Leishmania braziliensis recombinant protein peroxidoxin) during pregnancy and possible maternal reproductive outcomes and fetal anomalies after immunization with a leishmanial vaccine or adjuvant alone (Bordetella pertussis derived MPLA adjuvant) were assessed. Rats were mated and allocated in three groups: Control—rats received saline; Adjuvant—rats received the adjuvant MPLA, and Vaccine—rats received the combination of MPLA and peroxidoxin. The administration was subcutaneously at the dorsal region, three times (days 0, 7, 14 of pregnancy). On day 21 of pregnancy, all rats were bled for biochemical and immunological measurements. The gravid uterus was weighed with its contents, and the fetuses were analyzed. The immunization with peroxidoxin induced a significant production of circulating IgG levels compared to other groups but caused a significant in post-implantation loss (14.7%) when compared to Control (5.0%) and Adjuvant (4.4%) groups. Furthermore, a significantly high rate of fetal visceral anomalies, such as hydronephrosis and convoluted ureter, was also observed in animals that received vaccine when compared to Control or Adjuvant groups. These data indicate the importance of safety evaluation of vaccines during pregnancy and the limited use of peroxidoxin administration during pregnancy. More importantly, the safety monitoring of immunization with MPLA derived from Bordetella pertussis demonstrated no reproductive outcomes associated with adjuvant administration, suggesting its safe use during pregnancy.

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<![CDATA[Design and Development of a Novel Vaccine for Protection against Lyme Borreliosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4aab0ee8fa60bd9ed8

There is currently no Lyme borreliosis vaccine available for humans, although it has been shown that the disease can be prevented by immunization with an OspA-based vaccine (LYMErix). Outer surface protein A (OspA) is one of the dominant antigens expressed by the spirochetes when present in a tick. The Borrelia species causing Lyme borreliosis in Europe express different OspA serotypes on their surface, B. burgdorferi (serotype 1), B. afzelii (serotype 2), B. garinii (serotypes, 3, 5 and 6) and B. bavariensis (serotype 4), while only B. burgdorferi is present in the US. In order to target all these pathogenic Borrelia species, we have designed a multivalent OspA-based vaccine. The vaccine includes three proteins, each containing the C-terminal half of two OspA serotypes linked to form a heterodimer. In order to stabilize the C-terminal fragment and thus preserve important structural epitopes at physiological temperature, disulfide bonds were introduced. The immunogenicity was increased by introduction of a lipidation signal which ensures the addition of an N-terminal lipid moiety. Three immunizations with 3.0 µg adjuvanted vaccine protected mice from a challenge with spirochetes expressing either OspA serotype 1, 2 or 5. Mice were protected against both challenge with infected ticks and in vitro grown spirochetes. Immunological analyses (ELISA, surface binding and growth inhibition) indicated that the vaccine can provide protection against the majority of Borrelia species pathogenic for humans. This article presents the approach which allows for the generation of a hexavalent vaccine that can potentially protect against a broad range of globally distributed Borrelia species causing Lyme borreliosis.

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<![CDATA[Advances in neglected tropical disease vaccines: Developing relative potency and functional assays for the Na-GST-1/Alhydrogel hookworm vaccine]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db54ab0ee8fa60bdd029

A new generation of vaccines for the neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) have now advanced into clinical development, with the Na-GST-1/Alhydrogel Hookworm Vaccine already being tested in Phase 1 studies in healthy adults. The current manuscript focuses on the often overlooked critical aspects of NTD vaccine product development, more specifically, vaccine stability testing programs. A key measure of vaccine stability testing is "relative potency" or the immunogenicity of the vaccine during storage. As with most NTD vaccines, the Na-GST-1/Alhydrogel Hookworm Vaccine was not developed by attenuation or inactivation of the pathogen (Necator americanus), so conventional methods for measuring relative potency are not relevant for this investigational product. Herein, we describe a novel relative potency testing program and report for the first time on the clinical lot of this NTD vaccine during its first 60 months of storage at 2–8°C. We also describe the development of a complementary functional assay that measures the ability of IgG from animals or humans immunized with Na-GST-1/Alhydrogel to neutralize this important hookworm enzyme. While 90% inhibition of the catalytic activity of Na-GST-1 was achieved in animals immunized with Na-GST-1/Alhydrogel, lower levels of inhibition were observed in immunized humans. Moreover, anti-Na-GST-1 antibodies from volunteers in non-hookworm endemic areas were better able to inhibit catalytic activity than anti-Na-GST-1 antibodies from volunteers resident in hookworm endemic areas. The results described herein provide the critical tools for the product development of NTD vaccines.

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<![CDATA[Revisiting Recombination Signal in the Tick-Borne Encephalitis Virus: A Simulation Approach]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da99ab0ee8fa60ba3283

The hypothesis of wide spread reticulate evolution in Tick-Borne Encephalitis virus (TBEV) has recently gained momentum with several publications describing past recombination events involving various TBEV clades. Despite a large body of work, no consensus has yet emerged on TBEV evolutionary dynamics. Understanding the occurrence and frequency of recombination in TBEV bears significant impact on epidemiology, evolution, and vaccination with live vaccines. In this study, we investigated the possibility of detecting recombination events in TBEV by simulating recombinations at several locations on the virus’ phylogenetic tree and for different lengths of recombining fragments. We derived estimations of rates of true and false positive for the detection of past recombination events for seven recombination detection algorithms. Our analytical framework can be applied to any investigation dealing with the difficult task of distinguishing genuine recombination signal from background noise. Our results suggest that the problem of false positives associated with low detection P-values in TBEV, is more insidious than generally acknowledged. We reappraised the recombination signals present in the empirical data, and showed that reliable signals could only be obtained in a few cases when highly genetically divergent strains were involved, whereas false positives were common among genetically similar strains. We thus conclude that recombination among wild-type TBEV strains may occur, which has potential implications for vaccination with live vaccines, but that these events are surprisingly rare.

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<![CDATA[Vaccination of Gerbils with Bm-103 and Bm-RAL-2 Concurrently or as a Fusion Protein Confers Consistent and Improved Protection against Brugia malayi Infection]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da97ab0ee8fa60ba2296

Background

The Brugia malayi Bm-103 and Bm-RAL-2 proteins are orthologous to Onchocerca volvulus Ov-103 and Ov-RAL-2, and which were selected as the best candidates for the development of an O. volvulus vaccine. The B. malayi gerbil model was used to confirm the efficacy of these Ov vaccine candidates on adult worms and to determine whether their combination is more efficacious.

Methodology and Principle Findings

Vaccine efficacy of recombinant Bm-103 and Bm-RAL-2 administered individually, concurrently or as a fusion protein were tested in gerbils using alum as adjuvant. Vaccination with Bm-103 resulted in worm reductions of 39%, 34% and 22% on 42, 120 and 150 days post infection (dpi), respectively, and vaccination with Bm-RAL-2 resulted in worm reductions of 42%, 22% and 46% on 42, 120 and 150 dpi, respectively. Vaccination with a fusion protein comprised of Bm-103 and Bm-RAL-2 resulted in improved efficacy with significant reduction of worm burden of 51% and 49% at 90 dpi, as did the concurrent vaccination with Bm-103 and Bm-RAL-2, with worm reduction of 61% and 56% at 90 dpi. Vaccination with Bm-103 and Bm-RAL-2 as a fusion protein or concurrently not only induced a significant worm reduction of 61% and 42%, respectively, at 150 dpi, but also significantly reduced the fecundity of female worms as determined by embryograms. Elevated levels of antigen-specific IgG were observed in all vaccinated gerbils. Serum from gerbils vaccinated with Bm-103 and Bm-RAL-2 individually, concurrently or as a fusion protein killed third stage larvae in vitro when combined with peritoneal exudate cells.

Conclusion

Although vaccination with Bm-103 and Bm-RAL-2 individually conferred protection against B. malayi infection in gerbils, a more consistent and enhanced protection was induced by vaccination with Bm-103 and Bm-RAL-2 fusion protein and when they were used concurrently. Further characterization and optimization of these filarial vaccines are warranted.

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<![CDATA[The Long-Term Safety, Public Health Impact, and Cost-Effectiveness of Routine Vaccination with a Recombinant, Live-Attenuated Dengue Vaccine (Dengvaxia): A Model Comparison Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9eeab0ee8fa60b6d696

Background

Large Phase III trials across Asia and Latin America have recently demonstrated the efficacy of a recombinant, live-attenuated dengue vaccine (Dengvaxia) over the first 25 mo following vaccination. Subsequent data collected in the longer-term follow-up phase, however, have raised concerns about a potential increase in hospitalization risk of subsequent dengue infections, in particular among young, dengue-naïve vaccinees. We here report predictions from eight independent modelling groups on the long-term safety, public health impact, and cost-effectiveness of routine vaccination with Dengvaxia in a range of transmission settings, as characterised by seroprevalence levels among 9-y-olds (SP9). These predictions were conducted for the World Health Organization to inform their recommendations on optimal use of this vaccine.

Methods and Findings

The models adopted, with small variations, a parsimonious vaccine mode of action that was able to reproduce quantitative features of the observed trial data. The adopted mode of action assumed that vaccination, similarly to natural infection, induces transient, heterologous protection and, further, establishes a long-lasting immunogenic memory, which determines disease severity of subsequent infections. The default vaccination policy considered was routine vaccination of 9-y-old children in a three-dose schedule at 80% coverage. The outcomes examined were the impact of vaccination on infections, symptomatic dengue, hospitalised dengue, deaths, and cost-effectiveness over a 30-y postvaccination period. Case definitions were chosen in accordance with the Phase III trials.

All models predicted that in settings with moderate to high dengue endemicity (SP9 ≥ 50%), the default vaccination policy would reduce the burden of dengue disease for the population by 6%–25% (all simulations: –3%–34%) and in high-transmission settings (SP9 ≥ 70%) by 13%–25% (all simulations: 10%– 34%). These endemicity levels are representative of the participating sites in both Phase III trials. In contrast, in settings with low transmission intensity (SP9 ≤ 30%), the models predicted that vaccination could lead to a substantial increase in hospitalisation because of dengue. Modelling reduced vaccine coverage or the addition of catch-up campaigns showed that the impact of vaccination scaled approximately linearly with the number of people vaccinated. In assessing the optimal age of vaccination, we found that targeting older children could increase the net benefit of vaccination in settings with moderate transmission intensity (SP9 = 50%). Overall, vaccination was predicted to be potentially cost-effective in most endemic settings if priced competitively.

The results are based on the assumption that the vaccine acts similarly to natural infection. This assumption is consistent with the available trial results but cannot be directly validated in the absence of additional data. Furthermore, uncertainties remain regarding the level of protection provided against disease versus infection and the rate at which vaccine-induced protection declines.

Conclusions

Dengvaxia has the potential to reduce the burden of dengue disease in areas of moderate to high dengue endemicity. However, the potential risks of vaccination in areas with limited exposure to dengue as well as the local costs and benefits of routine vaccination are important considerations for the inclusion of Dengvaxia into existing immunisation programmes. These results were important inputs into WHO global policy for use of this licensed dengue vaccine.

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<![CDATA[Long-Term Central and Effector SHIV-Specific Memory T Cell Responses Elicited after a Single Immunization with a Novel Lentivector DNA Vaccine]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da80ab0ee8fa60b9a5cc

Prevention of HIV acquisition and replication requires long lasting and effective immunity. Given the state of HIV vaccine development, innovative vectors and immunization strategies are urgently needed to generate safe and efficacious HIV vaccines. Here, we developed a novel lentivirus-based DNA vector that does not integrate in the host genome and undergoes a single-cycle of replication. Viral proteins are constitutively expressed under the control of Tat-independent LTR promoter from goat lentivirus. We immunized six macaques once only with CAL-SHIV-IN DNA using combined intramuscular and intradermal injections plus electroporation. Antigen-specific T cell responses were monitored for 47 weeks post-immunization (PI). PBMCs were assessed directly ex vivo or after 6 and 12 days of in vitro culture using antigenic and/or homeostatic proliferation. IFN-γ ELISPOT was used to measure immediate cytokine secretion from antigen specific effector cells and from memory precursors with high proliferative capacity (PHPC). The memory phenotype and functions (proliferation, cytokine expression, lytic content) of specific T cells were tested using multiparametric FACS-based assays. All immunized macaques developed lasting peripheral CD8+ and CD4+ T cell responses mainly against Gag and Nef antigens. During the primary expansion phase, immediate effector cells as well as increasing numbers of proliferating cells with limited effector functions were detected which expressed markers of effector (EM) and central (CM) memory phenotypes. These responses contracted but then reemerged later in absence of antigen boost. Strong PHPC responses comprising vaccine-specific CM and EM T cells that readily expanded and acquired immediate effector functions were detected at 40/47 weeks PI. Altogether, our study demonstrated that a single immunization with a replication-limited DNA vaccine elicited persistent vaccine-specific CM and EM CD8+ and CD4+ T cells with immediate and readily inducible effector functions, in the absence of ongoing antigen expression.

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<![CDATA[Immunization with Hypoallergens of Shrimp Allergen Tropomyosin Inhibits Shrimp Tropomyosin Specific IgE Reactivity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da7fab0ee8fa60b99d7f

Designer proteins deprived of its IgE-binding reactivity are being sought as a regimen for allergen-specific immunotherapy. Although shrimp tropomyosin (Met e 1) has long been identified as the major shellfish allergen, no immunotherapy is currently available. In this study, we aim at identifying the Met e 1 IgE epitopes for construction of hypoallergens and to determine the IgE inhibitory capacity of the hypoallergens. IgE-binding epitopes were defined by three online computational models, ELISA and dot-blot using sera from shrimp allergy patients. Based on the epitope data, two hypoallergenic derivatives were constructed by site-directed mutagenesis (MEM49) and epitope deletion (MED171). Nine regions on Met e 1 were defined as the major IgE-binding epitopes. Both hypoallergens MEM49 and MED171 showed marked reduction in their in vitro reactivity towards IgE from shrimp allergy patients and Met e 1-sensitized mice, as well as considerable decrease in induction of mast cell degranulation as demonstrated in passive cutaneous anaphylaxis assay. Both hypoallergens were able to induce Met e 1-recognizing IgG antibodies in mice, specifically IgG2a antibodies, that strongly inhibited IgE from shrimp allergy subjects and Met e 1-sensitized mice from binding to Met e 1. These results indicate that the two designer hypoallergenic molecules MEM49 and MED171 exhibit desirable preclinical characteristics, including marked reduction in IgE reactivity and allergenicity, as well as ability to induce blocking IgG antibodies. This approach therefore offers promises for development of immunotherapeutic regimen for shrimp tropomyosin allergy.

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<![CDATA[4-1BBL Enhances CD8+ T Cell Responses Induced by Vectored Vaccines in Mice but Fails to Improve Immunogenicity in Rhesus Macaques]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da03ab0ee8fa60b74ee9

T cells play a central role in the immune response to many of the world’s major infectious diseases. In this study we investigated the tumour necrosis factor receptor superfamily costimulatory molecule, 4-1BBL (CD137L, TNFSF9), for its ability to increase T cell immunogenicity induced by a variety of recombinant vectored vaccines. To efficiently test this hypothesis, we assessed a number of promoters and developed a stable bi-cistronic vector expressing both the antigen and adjuvant. Co-expression of 4-1BBL, together with our model antigen TIP, was shown to increase the frequency of murine antigen-specific IFN-γ secreting CD8+ T cells in three vector platforms examined. Enhancement of the response was not limited by co-expression with the antigen, as an increase in CD8+ immunogenicity was also observed by co-administration of two vectors each expressing only the antigen or adjuvant. However, when this regimen was tested in non-human primates using a clinical malaria vaccine candidate, no adjuvant effect of 4-1BBL was observed limiting its potential use as a single adjuvant for translation into a clinical vaccine.

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<![CDATA[Combined IL-12 Plasmid and Recombinant SjGST Enhance the Protective and Anti-pathology Effect of SjGST DNA Vaccine Against Schistosoma japonicum]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da67ab0ee8fa60b9209e

Schistosomiasis is listed as one of most important tropical diseases and more than 200 million people are estimated to be infected. Development of a vaccine is thought to be the most effective way to control this disease. Recombinant 26-kDa glutathione S-transferase (rSjGST) has previously been reported to achieve a worm reduction rate of 42–44%. To improve the efficiency of the vaccine against Schistosoma japonicum, we immunized mice with a combination of pcDNA vector-encoded 26-kDa SjGST (pcDNA/SjGST), IL-12 expressing-plasmid (pIL-12), and rSjGST. Co-vaccination with pcDNA/SjGST, pIL-12, and rSjGST led to a reduction in worm burden, hepatic egg burden, and the size of liver tissue granulomas than that in the untreated infection controls. In addition, we detected high levels of specific IgG, IgG1, and IgG2a against the rSjGST antigen in infected mice vaccinated with this combination of pcDNA/SjGST, pIL-12, and rSjGST. Moreover, high expression levels of Th2 cytokines, including IL-4 and IL-10, were also detected in this group, without diminished levels of IL-12, INF-γ, and TNF-α cytokines that are related to parasite killing. In conclusion, we have developed a new vaccination regimen against S. japonicum infection and shown that co-immunization with pcDNA/SjGST vaccine, pIL-12, and rSjGST has significant anti-parasite, anti-hepatic egg and anti-pathology effects in mice. The efficacy of this vaccination method should be further validated in large animals such as water buffalo. This method may help to reduce the transmission of zoonotic schistosomiasis japonica.

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<![CDATA[Progress toward a Universal H5N1 Vaccine: A Recombinant Modified Vaccinia Virus Ankara-Expressing Trivalent Hemagglutinin Vaccine]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da16ab0ee8fa60b7b49c

Background

The rapid evolution of new sublineages of H5N1 influenza poses the greatest challenge in control of H5N1 infection by currently existing vaccines. To overcome this, an MVAtor vector expressing three H5HA antigens A/Vietnam/1203/04, A/Indonesia/669/06 and A/Anhui/01/05 (MVAtor-tri-HA vector) was developed to elicit broad cross-protection against diverse clades by covering amino acid variations in the major neutralizing epitopes of HA among H5N1 subtypes.

Methods

BALB/c mice and guinea pigs were immunized i.m. with 8×107 TCID50/animal of MVAtor-tri-HA vector. The immunogenicity and cross-protective immunity of the MVAtor-tri-HA vector was evaluated against diverse clades of H5N1 strains.

Results

The results showed that mice immunized with MVAtor-tri-HA vector induced robust cross-neutralizing immunity to diverse H5N1 clades. In addition, the MVAtor-tri-HA vector completely protected against 10 MLD50 of a divergent clade of H5N1 infection (clade 7). Importantly, the serological surveillance of post-vaccinated guinea pig sera demonstrated that MVAtor-tri-HA vector was able to elicit strong cross-clade neutralizing immunity against twenty different H5N1 strains from six clades that emerged between 1997 and 2012.

Conclusions

The present findings revealed that incorporation of carefully selected HA genes from divergent H5N1 strains within a single vector could be an effective approach in developing a vaccine with broad coverage to prevent infection during a pandemic situation.

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<![CDATA[Overexpression of a Mycobacterium ulcerans Ag85B-EsxH Fusion Protein in Recombinant BCG Improves Experimental Buruli Ulcer Vaccine Efficacy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daabab0ee8fa60ba95ee

Buruli ulcer (BU) vaccine design faces similar challenges to those observed during development of prophylactic tuberculosis treatments. Multiple BU vaccine candidates, based upon Mycobacterium bovis BCG, altered Mycobacterium ulcerans (MU) cells, recombinant MU DNA, or MU protein prime-boosts, have shown promise by conferring transient protection to mice against the pathology of MU challenge. Recently, we have shown that a recombinant BCG vaccine expressing MU-Ag85A (BCG MU-Ag85A) displayed the highest level of protection to date, by significantly extending the survival time of MU challenged mice compared to BCG vaccination alone. Here we describe the generation, immunogenicity testing, and evaluation of protection conferred by a recombinant BCG strain which overexpresses a fusion of two alternative MU antigens, Ag85B and the MU ortholog of tuberculosis TB10.4, EsxH. Vaccination with BCG MU-Ag85B-EsxH induces proliferation of Ag85 specific CD4+ T cells in greater numbers than BCG or BCG MU-Ag85A and produces IFNγ+ splenocytes responsive to whole MU and recombinant antigens. In addition, anti-Ag85A and Ag85B IgG humoral responses are significantly enhanced after administration of the fusion vaccine compared to BCG or BCG MU-Ag85A. Finally, mice challenged with MU following a single subcutaneous vaccination with BCG MU-Ag85B-EsxH display significantly less bacterial burden at 6 and 12 weeks post-infection, reduced histopathological tissue damage, and significantly longer survival times compared to vaccination with either BCG or BCG MU-Ag85A. These results further support the potential of BCG as a foundation for BU vaccine design, whereby discovery and recombinant expression of novel immunogenic antigens could lead to greater anti-MU efficacy using this highly safe and ubiquitous vaccine.

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