Durability of a vesicular stomatitis virus-based marburg virus vaccine in nonhuman primates.
ABSTRACT: The filoviruses, Marburg virus (MARV) and Ebola virus, causes severe hemorrhagic fever with high mortality in humans and nonhuman primates. A promising filovirus vaccine under development is based on a recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (rVSV) that expresses individual filovirus glycoproteins (GPs) in place of the VSV glycoprotein (G). These vaccines have shown 100% efficacy against filovirus infection in nonhuman primates when challenge occurs 28-35 days after a single injection immunization. Here, we examined the ability of a rVSV MARV-GP vaccine to provide protection when challenge occurs more than a year after vaccination. Cynomolgus macaques were immunized with rVSV-MARV-GP and challenged with MARV approximately 14 months after vaccination. Immunization resulted in the vaccine cohort of six animals having anti-MARV GP IgG throughout the pre-challenge period. Following MARV challenge none of the vaccinated animals showed any signs of clinical disease or viremia and all were completely protected from MARV infection. Two unvaccinated control animals exhibited signs consistent with MARV infection and both succumbed. Importantly, these data are the first to show 100% protective efficacy against any high dose filovirus challenge beyond 8 weeks after final vaccination. These findings demonstrate the durability of VSV-based filovirus vaccines.
Project description:The filoviruses Marburg virus and Ebola virus cause severe hemorrhagic fever with high mortality in humans and nonhuman primates. Among the most promising filovirus vaccines under development is a system based on recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) that expresses a single filovirus glycoprotein (GP) in place of the VSV glycoprotein (G). Here, we performed a proof-of-concept study in order to determine the potential of having one single-injection vaccine capable of protecting nonhuman primates against Sudan ebolavirus (SEBOV), Zaire ebolavirus (ZEBOV), Cote d'Ivoire ebolavirus (CIEBOV), and Marburgvirus (MARV). In this study, 11 cynomolgus monkeys were vaccinated with a blended vaccine consisting of equal parts of the vaccine vectors VSVDeltaG/SEBOVGP, VSVDeltaG/ZEBOVGP, and VSVDeltaG/MARVGP. Four weeks later, three of these animals were challenged with MARV, three with CIEBOV, three with ZEBOV, and two with SEBOV. Three control animals were vaccinated with VSV vectors encoding a nonfilovirus GP and challenged with SEBOV, ZEBOV, and MARV, respectively, and five unvaccinated control animals were challenged with CIEBOV. Importantly, none of the macaques vaccinated with the blended vaccine succumbed to a filovirus challenge. As expected, an experimental control animal vaccinated with VSVDeltaG/ZEBOVGP and challenged with SEBOV succumbed, as did the positive controls challenged with SEBOV, ZEBOV, and MARV, respectively. All five control animals challenged with CIEBOV became severely ill, and three of the animals succumbed on days 12, 12, and 14, respectively. The two animals that survived CIEBOV infection were protected from subsequent challenge with either SEBOV or ZEBOV, suggesting that immunity to CIEBOV may be protective against other species of Ebola virus. In conclusion, we developed an immunization scheme based on a single-injection vaccine that protects nonhuman primates against lethal challenge with representative strains of all human pathogenic filovirus species.
Project description:Previous studies demonstrated that a single intramuscular (i.m.) dose of an attenuated recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (rVSV) vector (VesiculoVax vector platform; rVSV-N4CT1) expressing the glycoprotein (GP) from the Mayinga strain of Zaire ebolavirus (EBOV) protected nonhuman primates (NHPs) from lethal challenge with EBOV strains Kikwit and Makona. Here, we studied the immunogenicities of an expanded range of attenuated rVSV vectors expressing filovirus GP in mice. Based on data from those studies, an optimal attenuated trivalent rVSV vector formulation was identified that included rVSV vectors expressing EBOV, Sudan ebolavirus (SUDV), and the Angola strain of Marburg marburgvirus (MARV) GPs. NHPs were vaccinated with a single dose of the trivalent formulation, followed by lethal challenge 28 days later with each of the three corresponding filoviruses. At day 14 postvaccination, a serum IgG response specific for all three GPs was detected in all the vaccinated macaques. A modest and balanced cell-mediated immune response specific for each GP was also detected in a majority of the vaccinated macaques. No matter the level of total GP-specific immune response detected postvaccination, all the vaccinated macaques were protected from disease and death following lethal challenge with each of the three filoviruses. These findings indicate that vaccination with a single dose of attenuated rVSV-N4CT1 vectors each expressing a single filovirus GP may provide protection against the filoviruses most commonly responsible for outbreaks of hemorrhagic fever in sub-Saharan Africa.IMPORTANCE The West African Ebola virus Zaire outbreak in 2013 showed that the disease was not only a regional concern, but a worldwide problem, and highlighted the need for a safe and efficacious vaccine to be administered to the populace. However, other endemic pathogens, like Ebola virus Sudan and Marburg, also pose an important health risk to the public and therefore require development of a vaccine prior to the occurrence of an outbreak. The significance of our research was the development of a blended trivalent filovirus vaccine that elicited a balanced immune response when administered as a single dose and provided complete protection against a lethal challenge with all three filovirus pathogens.
Project description:Filoviruses, including Ebola virus (EBOV) and Marburg virus (MARV), cause severe hemorrhagic fever in humans and nonhuman primates with high mortality rates. There is no approved therapy against these deadly viruses. Antiviral drug development has been hampered by the requirement of a biosafety level (BSL)-4 facility to handle infectious EBOV and MARV because of their high pathogenicity to humans. In this study, we aimed to establish a surrogate animal model that can be used for anti-EBOV and -MARV drug screening under BSL-2 conditions by focusing on the replication-competent recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (rVSV) pseudotyped with the envelope glycoprotein (GP) of EBOV (rVSV/EBOV) and MARV (rVSV/MARV), which has been investigated as vaccine candidates and thus widely used in BSL-2 laboratories. We first inoculated mice, rats, and hamsters intraperitoneally with rVSV/EBOV and found that only hamsters showed disease signs and succumbed within 4 days post-infection. Infection with rVSV/MARV also caused lethal infection in hamsters. Both rVSV/EBOV and rVSV/MARV were detected at high titers in multiple organs including the liver, spleen, kidney, and lungs of infected hamsters, indicating acute and systemic infection resulting in fatal outcomes. Therapeutic effects of passive immunization with an anti-EBOV neutralizing antibody were specifically observed in rVSV/EBOV-infected hamsters. Thus, this animal model is expected to be a useful tool to facilitate in vivo screening of anti-filovirus drugs targeting the GP molecule.
Project description:Ebola viruses cause hemorrhagic disease in humans and nonhuman primates with high fatality rates. These viruses pose a significant health concern worldwide due to the lack of approved therapeutics and vaccines as well as their potential misuse as bioterrorism agents. Although not licensed for human use, recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (rVSV) expressing the filovirus glycoprotein (GP) has been shown to protect macaques from Ebola virus and Marburg virus infections, both prophylactically and postexposure in a homologous challenge setting. However, the immune mechanisms of protection conferred by this vaccine platform remain poorly understood. In this study, we set out to investigate the role of humoral versus cellular immunity in rVSV vaccine-mediated protection against lethal Zaire ebolavirus (ZEBOV) challenge. Groups of cynomolgus macaques were depleted of CD4+ T, CD8+ T, or CD20+ B cells before and during vaccination with rVSV/ZEBOV-GP. Unfortunately, CD20-depleted animals generated a robust IgG response. Therefore, an additional group of vaccinated animals were depleted of CD4+ T cells during challenge. All animals were subsequently challenged with a lethal dose of ZEBOV. Animals depleted of CD8+ T cells survived, suggesting a minimal role for CD8+ T cells in vaccine-mediated protection. Depletion of CD4+ T cells during vaccination caused a complete loss of glycoprotein-specific antibodies and abrogated vaccine protection. In contrast, depletion of CD4+ T cells during challenge resulted in survival of the animals, indicating a minimal role for CD4+ T-cell immunity in rVSV-mediated protection. Our results suggest that antibodies play a critical role in rVSV-mediated protection against ZEBOV.
Project description:The search for a universal filovirus vaccine that provides protection against multiple filovirus species has been prompted by sporadic but highly lethal outbreaks of Ebolavirus and Marburgvirus infections. A good prophylactic vaccine should be able to provide protection to all known filovirus species and as an upside potentially protect from newly emerging virus strains. We investigated the immunogenicity and protection elicited by multivalent vaccines expressing glycoproteins (GP) from Ebola virus (EBOV), Sudan virus (SUDV), Taï Forest virus (TAFV) and Marburg virus (MARV). Immune responses against filovirus GP have been associated with protection from disease. The GP antigens were expressed by adenovirus serotypes 26 and 35 (Ad26 and Ad35) and modified Vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) vectors, all selected for their strong immunogenicity and good safety profile. Using fully lethal NHP intramuscular challenge models, we assessed different vaccination regimens for immunogenicity and protection from filovirus disease. Heterologous multivalent Ad26-Ad35 prime-boost vaccination regimens could give full protection against MARV (range 75%-100% protection) and EBOV (range 50% to 100%) challenge, and partial protection (75%) against SUDV challenge. Heterologous multivalent Ad26-MVA prime-boost immunization gave full protection against EBOV challenge in a small cohort study. The use of such multivalent vaccines did not show overt immune interference in comparison with monovalent vaccines. Multivalent vaccines induced GP-specific antibody responses and cellular IFN? responses to each GP expressed by the vaccine, and cross-reactivity to TAFV GP was detected in a trivalent vaccine expressing GP from EBOV, SUDV and MARV. In the EBOV challenge studies, higher humoral EBOV GP-specific immune responses (p = 0.0004) were associated with survival from EBOV challenge and less so for cellular immune responses (p = 0.0320). These results demonstrate that it is feasible to generate a multivalent filovirus vaccine that can protect against lethal infection by multiple members of the filovirus family.
Project description:Marburg virus (MARV) is the causative agent of hemorrhagic fever outbreaks with high case fatality rates. Closely related to Ebola virus, MARV is a filamentous virus with a negative-sense, single-stranded RNA genome. Although extensive studies on filovirus countermeasures have been conducted, there are no licensed treatments against MARV infections. An experimental vaccine based on the recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) expressing the MARV-Musoke glycoprotein demonstrated complete protection when a single dose was administered 28 days and up to 14 months prior to MARV challenge. Here, we analyzed the protective efficacy of an updated vaccine expressing the MARV-Angola glycoprotein (VSV-MARV). A single dose of VSV-MARV given 5 weeks before challenge provided uniform protection with no detectable viremia. The vaccine induced B and T cell proliferation and, importantly, antigen-specific IgG production. Transcriptomic signatures confirm these findings and suggest innate immunity engendered by VSV-MARV may direct the development of protective humoral immunity.
Project description:Ebola virus (EBOV) and Marburg virus (MARV) belong to the family Filoviridae and cause severe hemorrhagic fever in humans and nonhuman primates. Despite the discovery of EBOV (Reston virus) in nonhuman primates and domestic pigs in the Philippines and the serological evidence for its infection of humans and fruit bats, information on the reservoirs and potential amplifying hosts for filoviruses in Asia is lacking. In this study, serum samples collected from 353 healthy Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) in Kalimantan Island, Indonesia, during the period from December 2005 to December 2006 were screened for filovirus-specific IgG antibodies using a highly sensitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) with recombinant viral surface glycoprotein (GP) antigens derived from multiple species of filoviruses (5 EBOV and 1 MARV species). Here we show that 18.4% (65/353) and 1.7% (6/353) of the samples were seropositive for EBOV and MARV, respectively, with little cross-reactivity among EBOV and MARV antigens. In these positive samples, IgG antibodies to viral internal proteins were also detected by immunoblotting. Interestingly, while the specificity for Reston virus, which has been recognized as an Asian filovirus, was the highest in only 1.4% (5/353) of the serum samples, the majority of EBOV-positive sera showed specificity to Zaire, Sudan, Cote d'Ivoire, or Bundibugyo viruses, all of which have been found so far only in Africa. These results suggest the existence of multiple species of filoviruses or unknown filovirus-related viruses in Indonesia, some of which are serologically similar to African EBOVs, and transmission of the viruses from yet unidentified reservoir hosts into the orangutan populations. Our findings point to the need for risk assessment and continued surveillance of filovirus infection of human and nonhuman primates, as well as wild and domestic animals, in Asia.
Project description:Ebola virus (EBOV) poses a significant threat to human health as highlighted by the recent epidemic in West Africa. Data from animal studies and a ring vaccination clinical trial conducted in Guinea during the recent epidemic demonstrated that a recombinant VSV where G protein is replaced with EBOV GP (rVSV-EBOV) is safe and highly efficacious. We previously established that antibodies are essential for rVSV-EBOV mediated protection against EBOV; however, the mechanisms by which this vaccine induces a humoral response and the role of T-cells in rVSV-EBOV mediated protection remain poorly understood. Since this is the only vaccine platform that has completed Phase III clinical studies, it is imperative to gain a better understanding of its mechanisms of protection. Therefore, we performed a longitudinal gene expression analysis of samples collected from controls and T-cell-depleted macaques after rVSV-EBOV vaccination and EBOV challenge. We show that rVSV-EBOV vaccination induces gene expression changes consistent with anti-viral immunity and B-cell proliferation. We also report a previously unappreciated role for CD8+ T-cells in mediating rVSV-EBOV protection. Finally, limited viral transcription in surviving animals may boost protective responses after EBOV challenge by maintaining transcriptional changes. This study presents a novel approach in determining mechanisms of vaccine efficacy.
Project description:Filoviruses cause hemorrhagic fever resulting in significant morbidity and mortality in humans. Several vaccine platforms that include multiple virus-vectored approaches and virus-like particles (VLPs) have shown efficacy in nonhuman primates. Previous studies have shown protection of cynomolgus macaques against homologous infection for Ebola virus (EBOV) and Marburg virus (MARV) following a three-dose vaccine regimen of EBOV or MARV VLPs, as well as heterologous protection against Ravn Virus (RAVV) following vaccination with MARV VLPs. The objectives of the current studies were to determine the minimum number of vaccine doses required for protection (using EBOV as the test system) and then demonstrate protection against Sudan virus (SUDV) and Taï Forest virus (TAFV). Using the EBOV nonhuman primate model, we show that one or two doses of VLP vaccine can confer protection from lethal infection. VLPs containing the SUDV glycoprotein, nucleoprotein and VP40 matrix protein provide complete protection against lethal SUDV infection in macaques. Finally, we demonstrate protective efficacy mediated by EBOV, but not SUDV, VLPs against TAFV; this is the first demonstration of complete cross-filovirus protection using a single component heterologous vaccine within the Ebolavirus genus. Along with our previous results, this observation provides strong evidence that it will be possible to develop and administer a broad-spectrum VLP-based vaccine that will protect against multiple filoviruses by combining only three EBOV, SUDV and MARV components.
Project description:Zaire Ebola virus (EBOV) is a member of the Filoviridae family of negative sense, single-stranded RNA viruses. EBOV infection causes Ebola virus disease (EVD), characterized by coagulopathy, lymphopenia, and multi-organ failure, which can culminate in death. In 2019, the FDA approved the first vaccine against EBOV, a recombinant live-attenuated viral vector wherein the G protein of vesicular stomatitis virus is replaced with the glycoprotein (GP) of EBOV (rVSV-EBOV-GP, Ervebo® by Merck). This vaccine demonstrates high efficacy in nonhuman primates by providing prophylactic, rapid, and post-exposure protection. In humans, rVSV-EBOV-GP demonstrated 100% protection in several phase III clinical trials in over 10,000 individuals during the 2013-2016 West Africa epidemic. As of 2020, over 218,000 doses of rVSV-EBOV-GP have been administered to individuals with high risk of EBOV exposure. Despite licensure and robust preclinical studies, the mechanisms of rVSV-EBOV-GP-mediated protection are not fully understood. Such knowledge is crucial for understanding vaccine-mediated correlates of protection from EVD and to aid the further design and development of therapeutics against filoviruses. Here, we summarize the current literature regarding the host response to vaccination and EBOV exposure, and evidence regarding innate and adaptive immune mechanisms involved in rVSV-EBOV-GP-mediated protection, with a focus on the host transcriptional response. Current data strongly suggest a protective synergy between rapid innate and humoral immunity.