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Virologica Sinica, 34 (1) : 106, 2019
A Vesicular Stomatitis Virus-Based Vaccine Carrying Zika Virus Capsid Protein Protects Mice from Viral Infection
Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Infection and Immunity, The Institutes of Biology and Medical Sciences, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, China
 Correspondence: sdxiong@suda.edu.cn;chunshengdong@suda.edu.cn
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ZIKV infection can cause other severe neurological disorders, such as Guillain-Barré syndrome. Currently, more than 70 countries have reported Zika virus (ZIKV) infections, making it a global public health issue. However, there is no clinically approved vaccine available. Flaviviruses often show antigenic cross-reactivity, which can be beneficial and result in cross-protection. However, humoral cross-reactivity can also exacerbate disease via antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE). The prM-E proteins have been the primary targets of most ZIKV vaccine candidates. Therefore, to increase safety, it is necessary to investigate the use of protective ZIKV antigen for vaccine development as compared with prM-E or E protein. The capsid protein plays a crucial role in Flaviviridae biology, with a report indicating that a dengue virus vaccine engineered with a capsid protein alone produced neutralizing-antibody independent immunity and significantly reduced viral loads in the brains of challenged monkeys. In the present study, a recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV)-based vaccine carrying the ZIKV capsid protein (VSV-Capsid) was generated. VSV-capsid vaccination induced strong humoral immune response as well as cellular immune response compared with E protein based vaccine (VSV-E260-425). More importantly, the protective role was found in mice with VSV-capsid vaccination upon ZIKV infection. The viral RNA is significantly reduced in spinal cord, brain and testis of these immunized mice. Our findings demonstrated that the ZIKV capsid protein was an effective antigen in VSV vector-based delivery for ZIKV vaccine design.
Received: 17 Sep 2018  Accepted: 14 Dec 2018  Published online: 28 Feb 2019
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