The 17D-204 Vaccine Strain-Induced Protection against Virulent Yellow Fever Virus Is Mediated by Humoral Immunity and CD4+ but not CD8+ T Cells.
ABSTRACT: A gold standard of antiviral vaccination has been the safe and effective live-attenuated 17D-based yellow fever virus (YFV) vaccines. Among more than 500 million vaccinees, only a handful of cases have been reported in which vaccinees developed a virulent wild type YFV infection. This efficacy is presumed to be the result of both neutralizing antibodies and a robust T cell response. However, the particular immune components required for protection against YFV have never been evaluated. An understanding of the immune mechanisms that underlie 17D-based vaccine efficacy is critical to the development of next-generation vaccines against flaviviruses and other pathogens. Here we have addressed this question for the first time using a murine model of disease. Similar to humans, vaccination elicited long-term protection against challenge, characterized by high neutralizing antibody titers and a robust T cell response that formed long-lived memory. Both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells were polyfunctional and cytolytic. Adoptive transfer of immune sera or CD4+ T cells provided partial protection against YFV, but complete protection was achieved by transfer of both immune sera and CD4+ T cells. Thus, robust CD4+ T cell activity may be a critical contributor to protective immunity elicited by highly effective live attenuated vaccines.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Currently existing yellow fever (YF) vaccines are based on the live attenuated yellow fever virus 17D strain (YFV-17D). Although, a good safety profile was historically attributed to the 17D vaccine, serious adverse events have been reported, making the development of a safer, more modern vaccine desirable. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A gene encoding the precursor of the membrane and envelope (prME) protein of the YFV-17D strain was inserted into the non-replicating modified vaccinia virus Ankara and into the D4R-defective vaccinia virus. Candidate vaccines based on the recombinant vaccinia viruses were assessed for immunogenicity and protection in a mouse model and compared to the commercial YFV-17D vaccine. The recombinant live vaccines induced γ-interferon-secreting CD4- and functionally active CD8-T cells, and conferred full protection against lethal challenge already after a single low immunization dose of 10(5) TCID(50). Surprisingly, pre-existing immunity against wild-type vaccinia virus did not negatively influence protection. Unlike the classical 17D vaccine, the vaccinia virus-based vaccines did not cause mortality following intracerebral administration in mice, demonstrating better safety profiles. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The non-replicating recombinant YF candidate live vaccines induced a broad immune response after single dose administration, were effective even in the presence of a pre-existing immunity against vaccinia virus and demonstrated an excellent safety profile in mice.
Project description:The recent Zika virus (ZIKV) epidemic in the Americas, followed by the yellow fever virus (YFV) outbreaks in Angola and Brazil highlight the urgent need for safe and efficient vaccines against the ZIKV as well as much greater production capacity for the YFV-17D vaccine. Given that the ZIKV and the YFV are largely prevalent in the same geographical areas, vaccines that would provide dual protection against both pathogens may obviously offer a significant benefit. We have recently engineered a chimeric vaccine candidate (YF-ZIKprM/E) by swapping the sequences encoding the YFV-17D surface glycoproteins prM/E by the corresponding sequences of the ZIKV. A single vaccine dose of YF-ZIKprM/E conferred complete protection against a lethal challenge with wild-type ZIKV strains. Surprisingly, this vaccine candidate also efficiently protected against lethal YFV challenge in various mouse models. We demonstrate that CD8<sup>+</sup> but not CD4<sup>+</sup> T cells, nor ZIKV neutralizing antibodies are required to confer protection against YFV. The chimeric YF-ZIKprM/E vaccine may thus be considered as a dual vaccine candidate efficiently protecting mice against both the ZIKV and the YFV, and this following a single dose immunization. Our finding may be particularly important in the rational design of vaccination strategies against flaviviruses, in particular in areas where YFV and ZIKV co-circulate.
Project description:Recent outbreaks of yellow fever virus (YFV) in West Africa and Brazil resulted in rapid depletion of global vaccine emergency stockpiles and raised concerns about being unprepared against future YFV epidemics. Here we report that a live attenuated virus similar to the Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) vaccine JE-CVax/Imojev that consists of YFV-17D vaccine from which the structural (prM/E) genes have been replaced with those of the JEV SA14-14-2 vaccine strain confers full protection in mice against lethal YFV challenge. In contrast to the YFV-17D-mediated protection against YFV, this protection is not mediated by neutralizing antibodies but correlates with YFV-specific nonneutralizing antibodies and T cell responses against cell-associated YFV NS1 and other YFV nonstructural (NS) proteins. Our findings reveal the potential of YFV NS proteins to mediate protection and demonstrate that chimeric flavivirus vaccines, such as Imojev, could confer protection against two flaviviruses. This dual protection may have implications for the possible off-label use of JE-CVax in case of emergency and vaccine shortage during YFV outbreaks. In addition, populations in Asia that have been vaccinated with Imojev may already be protected against YFV should outbreaks ever occur on that continent, as several countries/regions in the Asia-Pacific are vulnerable to international spread of the YFV.IMPORTANCE Efficient and safe vaccines against yellow fever (e.g., YFV-17D) that provide long-lasting protection by rapidly inducing neutralizing antibody responses exist. However, the vaccine supply cannot cope with an increasing demand posed by urban outbreaks in recent years. Here we report that JE-CVax/Imojev, a YFV-17D-based chimeric Japanese encephalitis vaccine, also efficiently protects against YFV infection in mice. In case of shortage of the YFV vaccine during yellow fever outbreaks, (off-label) use of JE-CVax/Imojev may be considered. Moreover, wider use of JE-CVax/Imojev in Asia may lower the risk of the much-feared YFV spillover to the continent. More generally, chimeric vaccines that combine surface antigens and replication machineries of two distinct flaviviruses may be considered dual vaccines for the latter pathogen without induction of surface-specific antibodies. Following this rationale, novel flavivirus vaccines that do not hold a risk for antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) of infection (inherent to current dengue vaccines and dengue vaccine candidates) could be designed.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The once-in-a-lifetime recommendation for vaccination against yellow fever virus (YFV) has been controversial, leading to increased scrutiny of the durability of immunity after 17D vaccination.<h4>Methods</h4>This is a cross-sectional analysis of 17D vaccinees living in nonendemic Portland, Oregon. Neutralization assays were used to determine YFV immunity. The relationships between 17D immunity and vaccination history, demographics, and travel were evaluated using nominal logistic regression.<h4>Results</h4>Seventy-one of 92 (77.2%) subjects were YFV seropositive (90 percent plaque reduction neutralization test ≥1:10) at all timepoints, and 24 of 38 (63.8%) were YFV seropositive at ≥10 years after single-dose vaccination. No relationship was found between YFV immunity and time in endemic countries, other flavivirus immunity, or demographics. Subjects were most likely to become seronegative between 3 and 12 years postvaccination (logistic regression, odds ratio [OR] = 1.75; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.12-2.73). A comparison of our results and 4 previous studies of YFV nonendemic vaccinees found that overall, 79% (95% CI, 70%-86%) of vaccinees are likely to be seropositive ≥10 years postvaccination.<h4>Conclusions</h4>These results suggest that 1 in 5 17D vaccinees will lack neutralizing antibodies at ~10 years postvaccination, and a booster vaccination should be considered for nonendemic vaccinees before travel to regions where there is a high risk of YFV transmission.
Project description:Mice engrafted with components of a human immune system have become widely-used models for studying aspects of human immunity and disease. However, a defined methodology to objectively measure and compare the quality of the human immune response in different models is lacking. Here, by taking advantage of the highly immunogenic live-attenuated yellow fever virus vaccine YFV-17D, we provide an in-depth comparison of immune responses in human vaccinees, conventional humanized mice, and second generation humanized mice. We demonstrate that selective expansion of human myeloid and natural killer cells promotes transcriptomic responses akin to those of human vaccinees. These enhanced transcriptomic profiles correlate with the development of an antigen-specific cellular and humoral response to YFV-17D. Altogether, our approach provides a robust scoring of the quality of the human immune response in humanized mice and highlights a rational path towards developing better pre-clinical models for studying the human immune response and disease.
Project description:Yellow fever virus (YFV) is a mosquito-borne member of the genus flavivirus, including other important human-pathogenic viruses, such as dengue, Japanese encephalitis, and Zika. Herein, we report identifying 129 YFV Class II epitopes in donors vaccinated with the live attenuated YFV vaccine (YFV-17D). A total of 1156 peptides predicted to bind 17 different common HLA-DRB1 allelic variants were tested using IFN? ELISPOT assays in vitro re-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells from twenty-six vaccinees. Overall, we detected responses against 215 YFV epitopes. We found that the capsid and envelope proteins, as well as the non-structural (NS) proteins NS3 and NS5, were the most targeted proteins by CD4<sup>+</sup> T cells from YF-VAX vaccinated donors. In addition, we designed and validated by flow cytometry a CD4<sup>+</sup> mega pool (MP) composed of structural and non-structural epitopes in an independent cohort of vaccinated donors. Overall, this study provides a comprehensive prediction and validation of YFV epitopes in a cohort of YF-17D vaccinated individuals. With the design of a CD4 epitope MP, we further provide a useful tool to detect ex vivo responses of YFV-specific CD4 T cells in small sample volumes.
Project description:Yellow fever virus (YFV)-17D is an empirically developed, highly effective live-attenuated vaccine that has been administered to human beings for almost a century. YFV-17D has stood as a paradigm for a successful viral vaccine, and has been exploited as a potential virus vector for the development of recombinant vaccines against other diseases. In this study, a DNA-launched YFV-17D construct (pBeloBAC-FLYF) was explored as a new modality to the standard vaccine to combine the commendable features of both DNA vaccine and live-attenuated viral vaccine. The DNA-launched YFV-17D construct was characterized extensively both in cell culture and in mice. High titres of YFV-17D were generated upon transfection of the DNA into cells, whereas a mutant with deletion in the capsid-coding region (pBeloBAC-YF/?C) was restricted to a single round of infection, with no release of progeny virus. Homologous prime-boost immunization of AAD mice with both pBeloBAC-FLYF and pBeloBAC-YF/?C elicited specific dose-dependent cellular immune response against YFV-17D. Vaccination of A129 mice with pBeloBAC-FLYF resulted in the induction of YFV-specific neutralizing antibodies in all vaccinated subjects. These promising results underlined the potential of the DNA-launched YFV both as an alternative to standard YFV-17D vaccination and as a vaccine platform for the development of DNA-based recombinant YFV vaccines.
Project description:Yellow fever virus (YFV) is an arthropod-borne flavivirus, infecting ~200,000 people worldwide annually and causing about 30,000 deaths. The live attenuated vaccine strain, YFV-17D, has significantly contributed in controlling the global burden of yellow fever worldwide. However, the viral and host contributions to YFV-17D attenuation remain elusive. Type I interferon (IFN-α/β) signaling and type II interferon (IFN-γ) signaling have been shown to be mutually supportive in controlling YFV-17D infection despite distinct mechanisms of action in viral infection. However, it remains unclear how type III IFN (IFN-λ) integrates into this antiviral system. Here, we report that while wild-type (WT) and IFN-λ receptor knockout (λR-/-) mice were largely resistant to YFV-17D, deficiency in type I IFN signaling resulted in robust infection. Although IFN-α/β receptor knockout (α/βR-/-) mice survived the infection, mice with combined deficiencies in both type I signaling and type III IFN signaling were hypersusceptible to YFV-17D and succumbed to the infection. Mortality was associated with viral neuroinvasion and increased permeability of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). α/βR-/- λR-/- mice also exhibited distinct changes in the frequencies of multiple immune cell lineages, impaired T-cell activation, and severe perturbation of the proinflammatory cytokine balance. Taken together, our data highlight that type III IFN has critical immunomodulatory and neuroprotective functions that prevent viral neuroinvasion during active YFV-17D replication. Type III IFN thus likely represents a safeguard mechanism crucial for controlling YFV-17D infection and contributing to shaping vaccine immunogenicity.IMPORTANCE YFV-17D is a live attenuated flavivirus vaccine strain recognized as one of the most effective vaccines ever developed. However, the host and viral determinants governing YFV-17D attenuation and its potent immunogenicity are still unknown. Here, we analyzed the role of type III interferon (IFN)-mediated signaling, a host immune defense mechanism, in controlling YFV-17D infection and attenuation in different mouse models. We uncovered a critical role of type III IFN-mediated signaling in preserving the integrity of the blood-brain barrier and preventing viral brain invasion. Type III IFN also played a major role in regulating the induction of a potent but balanced immune response that prevented viral evasion of the host immune system. An improved understanding of the complex mechanisms regulating YFV-17D attenuation will provide insights into the key virus-host interactions that regulate host immune responses and infection outcomes as well as open novel avenues for the development of innovative vaccine strategies.
Project description:Humans infected with yellow fever virus (YFV), a mosquito-borne flavivirus, can develop illness ranging from a mild febrile disease to hemorrhagic fever and death. The 17D vaccine strain of YFV was developed in the 1930s, has been used continuously since development and has proven very effective. Genetic differences between vaccine and wild-type viruses are few, yet viral or host mechanisms associated with protection or disease are not fully understood. Over the past 20 years, a number of cases of vaccine-associated disease have been identified following vaccination with 17D; these cases have been correlated with reduced immune status at the time of vaccination. Recently, several studies have evaluated T cell responses to vaccination in both humans and non-human primates, but none have evaluated the response to wild-type virus infection. In the studies described here, monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM) and dendritic cells (MoDC) from both humans and rhesus macaques were evaluated for their ability to support infection with either wild-type Asibi virus or the 17D vaccine strain and the host cytokine and chemokine response characterized. Human MoDC and MDM were also evaluated for their ability to stimulate CD4+ T cells. It was found that MoDC and MDM supported viral replication and that there were differential cytokine responses to infection with either wild-type or vaccine viruses. Additionally, MoDCs infected with live 17D virus were able to stimulate IFN-? and IL-2 production in CD4+ T cells, while cells infected with Asibi virus were not. These data demonstrate that wild-type and vaccine YFV stimulate different responses in target antigen presenting cells and that wild-type YFV can inhibit MoDC activation of CD4+ T cells, a critical component in development of protective immunity. These data provide initial, but critical insight into regulatory capabilities of wild-type YFV in development of disease.
Project description:<h4>Unlabelled</h4>The live attenuated yellow fever virus (YFV) vaccine 17D stands as a "gold standard" for a successful vaccine. 17D was developed empirically by passaging the wild-type Asibi strain in mouse and chicken embryo tissues. Despite its immense success, the molecular determinants for virulence attenuation and immunogenicity of the 17D vaccine are poorly understood. 17D evolved several mutations in its genome, most of which lie within the envelope (E) protein. Given the major role played by the YFV E protein during virus entry, it has been hypothesized that the residues that diverge between the Asibi and 17D E proteins may be key determinants of attenuation. In this study, we define the process of YFV entry into target cells and investigate its implication in the activation of the antiviral cytokine response. We found that Asibi infects host cells exclusively via the classical clathrin-mediated endocytosis, while 17D exploits a clathrin-independent pathway for infectious entry. We demonstrate that the mutations in the 17D E protein acquired during the attenuation process are sufficient to explain the differential entry of Asibi versus 17D. Interestingly, we show that 17D binds to and infects host cells more efficiently than Asibi, which culminates in increased delivery of viral RNA into the cytosol and robust activation of the cytokine-mediated antiviral response. Overall, our study reveals that 17D vaccine and Asibi enter target cells through distinct mechanisms and highlights a link between 17D attenuation, virus entry, and immune activation.<h4>Importance</h4>The yellow fever virus (YFV) vaccine 17D is one of the safest and most effective live virus vaccines ever developed. The molecular determinants for virulence attenuation and immunogenicity of 17D are poorly understood. 17D was generated by serially passaging the virulent Asibi strain in vertebrate tissues. Here we examined the entry mechanisms engaged by YFV Asibi and the 17D vaccine. We found the two viruses use different entry pathways. We show that the mutations differentiating the Asibi envelope (E) protein from the 17D E protein, which arose during attenuation, are key determinants for the use of these distinct entry routes. Finally, we demonstrate that 17D binds and enters host cells more efficiently than Asibi. This results in a higher uptake of viral RNA into the cytoplasm and consequently a greater cytokine-mediated antiviral response. Overall, our data provide new insights into the biology of YFV infection and the mechanisms of viral attenuation.