Plant-made polio type 3 stabilized VLPs-a candidate synthetic polio vaccine.
ABSTRACT: Poliovirus (PV) is the causative agent of poliomyelitis, a crippling human disease known since antiquity. PV occurs in two distinct antigenic forms, D and C, of which only the D form elicits a robust neutralizing response. Developing a synthetically produced stabilized virus-like particle (sVLP)-based vaccine with D antigenicity, without the drawbacks of current vaccines, will be a major step towards the final eradication of poliovirus. Such a sVLP would retain the native antigenic conformation and the repetitive structure of the original virus particle, but lack infectious genomic material. In this study, we report the production of synthetically stabilized PV VLPs in plants. Mice carrying the gene for the human PV receptor are protected from wild-type PV when immunized with the plant-made PV sVLPs. Structural analysis of the stabilized mutant at 3.6?Å resolution by cryo-electron microscopy and single-particle reconstruction reveals a structure almost indistinguishable from wild-type PV3.Despite the success of current vaccination against poliomyelitis, safe, cheap and effective vaccines remain sought for continuing eradication effort. Here the authors use plants to express stabilized virus-like particles of type 3 poliovirus that can induce a protective immune response in mice transgenic for the human poliovirus receptor.
Project description:Global vaccination programs using live-attenuated oral and inactivated polio vaccine (OPV and IPV) have almost eradicated poliovirus (PV) but these vaccines or their production pose significant risk in a polio-free world. Recombinant PV virus-like particles (VLPs), lacking the viral genome, represent safe next-generation vaccines, however their production requires optimisation. Here we present an efficient mammalian expression strategy producing good yields of wild-type PV VLPs for all three serotypes and a thermostabilised variant for PV3. Whilst the wild-type VLPs were predominantly in the non-native C-antigenic form, the thermostabilised PV3 VLPs adopted the native D-antigenic conformation eliciting neutralising antibody titres equivalent to the current IPV and were indistinguishable from natural empty particles by cryo-electron microscopy with a similar stabilising lipidic pocket-factor in the VP1 ?-barrel. This factor may not be available in alternative expression systems, which may require synthetic pocket-binding factors. VLPs equivalent to these mammalian expressed thermostabilized particles, represent safer non-infectious vaccine candidates for the post-eradication era.
Project description:Poliomyelitis is a highly infectious disease caused by poliovirus (PV). It can result in paralysis and may be fatal. Integrated global immunization programs using live-attenuated oral (OPV) and/or inactivated (IPV) PV vaccines have systematically reduced its spread and paved the way for eradication. Immunization will continue posteradication to ensure against reintroduction of the disease, but there are biosafety concerns for both OPV and IPV. They could be addressed by the production and use of virus-free virus-like particle (VLP) vaccines that mimic the "empty" capsids (ECs) normally produced in viral infection. Although ECs are antigenically indistinguishable from mature virus particles, they are less stable and readily convert into an alternative conformation unsuitable for vaccine purposes. Stabilized ECs, expressed recombinantly as VLPs, could be ideal candidate vaccines for a polio-free world. However, although genome-free PV ECs have been expressed as VLPs in a variety of systems, their inherent antigenic instability has proved a barrier to further development. In this study, we selected thermally stable ECs of type 1 PV (PV-1). The ECs are antigenically stable at temperatures above the conversion temperature of wild-type (wt) virions. We have identified mutations on the capsid surface and in internal networks that are responsible for EC stability. With reference to the capsid structure, we speculate on the roles of these residues in capsid stability and postulate that such stabilized VLPs could be used as novel vaccines. IMPORTANCE:Poliomyelitis is a highly infectious disease caused by PV and is on the verge of eradication. There are biosafety concerns about reintroduction of the disease from current vaccines that require live virus for production. Recombinantly expressed virus-like particles (VLPs) could address these inherent problems. However, the genome-free capsids (ECs) of wt PV are unstable and readily change antigenicity to a form not suitable as a vaccine. Here, we demonstrate that the ECs of type 1 PV can be stabilized by selecting heat-resistant viruses. Our data show that some capsid mutations stabilize the ECs and could be applied as candidates to synthesize stable VLPs as future genome-free poliovirus vaccines.
Project description:Global eradication of poliovirus (PV) has previously relied on the live attenuated oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV). However, in order to eliminate the risk of vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis, the use of OPV will soon be discontinued. Thailand has introduced inactivated polio vaccine since December 2015 and replaced trivalent with bivalent OPV since April 2016. To provide crucial surveillance data during this polio vaccine transition period, poliovirus shedding in stool was performed. A total of 7446 stool samples between 2010 and September 2018 were tested for poliovirus using reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction. Approximately 0.44% (33/7446) of the samples tested were positive for PV. All positive specimens had more than 99% homology with the Sabin vaccine strain, based on complete VP1 nucleotide sequences. Although trivalent OPV use has been discontinued in Thailand since April 2016, PV type 2 could be detected in stool samples collected in May 2016 but has not been found afterwards. The use of bivalent OPV was able to reduce PV type 2 shedding in stools and could contribute to the reduction of vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis in Thai children.
Project description:Since the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) was established in 1988, two of the three wild poliovirus (WPV) serotypes (types 2 and 3) have been eradicated.* Transmission of WPV type 1 (WPV1) remains uninterrupted only in Afghanistan and Pakistan. This report summarizes progress toward global polio eradication during January 1, 2018-March 31, 2020 and updates previous reports (1,2). In 2019, Afghanistan and Pakistan reported the highest number of WPV1 cases (176) since 2014. During January 1-March 31, 2020 (as of June 19), 54 WPV1 cases were reported, an approximate fourfold increase from 12 cases during the corresponding period in 2019. Paralytic poliomyelitis can also be caused by circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV), which emerges when attenuated oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) virus reverts to neurovirulence following prolonged circulation in underimmunized populations (3). Since the global withdrawal of type 2-containing OPV (OPV2) in April 2016, cVDPV type 2 (cVDPV2) outbreaks have increased in number and geographic extent (4). During January 2018-March 2020, 21 countries reported 547 cVDPV2 cases. Complicating increased poliovirus transmission during 2020, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and mitigation efforts have resulted in suspension of immunization activities and disruptions to poliovirus surveillance. When the COVID-19 emergency subsides, enhanced support will be needed to resume polio eradication field activities.
Project description:Although rare, adverse events may associate with anti-poliovirus vaccination thus possibly hampering global polio eradication worldwide.To design peptide-based anti-polio vaccines exempt from potential cross-reactivity risks and possibly able to reduce rare potential adverse events such as the postvaccine paralytic poliomyelitis due to the tendency of the poliovirus genome to mutate.Proteins from poliovirus type 1, strain Mahoney, were analyzed for amino acid sequence identity to the human proteome at the pentapeptide level, searching for sequences that (1) have zero percent of identity to human proteins, (2) are potentially endowed with an immunologic potential, and (3) are highly conserved among poliovirus strains.Sequence analyses produced a set of consensus epitopic peptides potentially able to generate specific anti-polio immune responses exempt from cross-reactivity with the human host.Peptide sequences unique to poliovirus proteins and conserved among polio strains might help formulate a specific and universal anti-polio vaccine able to react with multiple viral strains and exempt from the burden of possible cross-reactions with human proteins. As an additional advantage, using a peptide-based vaccine instead of current anti-polio DNA vaccines would eliminate the rare post-polio poliomyelitis cases and other disabling symptoms that may appear following vaccination.
Project description:There are currently huge efforts by the World Health Organization and partners to complete global polio eradication. With the significant decline in poliomyelitis cases due to wild poliovirus in recent years, rare cases related to the use of live-attenuated oral polio vaccine assume greater importance. Poliovirus strains in the oral vaccine are known to quickly revert to neurovirulent phenotype following replication in humans after immunisation. These strains can transmit from person to person leading to poliomyelitis outbreaks and can replicate for long periods of time in immunodeficient individuals leading to paralysis or chronic infection, with currently no effective treatment to stop excretion from these patients. Here, we describe an individual who has been excreting type 2 vaccine-derived poliovirus for twenty eight years as estimated by the molecular clock established with VP1 capsid gene nucleotide sequences of serial isolates. This represents by far the longest period of excretion described from such a patient who is the only identified individual known to be excreting highly evolved vaccine-derived poliovirus at present. Using a range of in vivo and in vitro assays we show that the viruses are very virulent, antigenically drifted and excreted at high titre suggesting that such chronic excreters pose an obvious risk to the eradication programme. Our results in virus neutralization assays with human sera and immunisation-challenge experiments using transgenic mice expressing the human poliovirus receptor indicate that while maintaining high immunisation coverage will likely confer protection against paralytic disease caused by these viruses, significant changes in immunisation strategies might be required to effectively stop their occurrence and potential widespread transmission. Eventually, new stable live-attenuated polio vaccines with no risk of reversion might be required to respond to any poliovirus isolation in the post-eradication era.
Project description:Poliomyelitis, caused by poliovirus, is on the verge of eradication, and the world is preparing to shift from live to inactivated polio vaccine. In view of the requirement of non-infectious reagents, especially protein antigens, for surveillance during the final phase of poliovirus eradication, we have attempted to generate reagents that may be of use for the development of diagnostic tests. Polioviral proteins VP0, VP3, VP1, and 3AB were expressed in Escherichia coli using the autoinduction system, purified, and the proteins were used to raise antisera in rabbits. All antisera detected all three serotypes of PV from infected cell lysates in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, immunofluorescence and western blotting.
Project description:As we approach the global eradication of circulating wild-type polioviruses (PV), vaccination with oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) has led to the emergence of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV) and vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis (VAPP). Complete cessation of all poliovirus infections may require stopping use of OPV and formulating improved vaccines and new antiviral drugs. Currently, no licensed drugs are available to treat chronically infected poliovirus excretors. Here, we created a modified PV expressing Gaussia Luciferase (Sb-Gluc) and developed a cell-based high-throughput screening (HTS) antiviral assay. Using the validated HTS assay, we screened the FDA-approved drug library of compounds and identified candidate agents capable of inhibiting PV replication. We then characterized antipoliovirus activity for the best hit, gemcitabine, a nucleoside analogue used in tumor chemotherapy. We found that gemcitabine inhibited PV Mahoney replication with an IC50 of 0.3 ?M. It completely protected HeLa cells from PV-induced cytopathic effects at 25 ?M, without detectable toxicity for cell viability. Furthermore, a gemcitabine metabolite directly inhibited the ability of PV RNA polymerase to synthesize or elongate PV RNA. Because PV RNA polymerase is somehow conserved among species in the Picornaviridae family, gemcitabine may be further developed as an attractive broad-spectrum antiviral for PV and others.
Project description:The oral polio vaccine (OPV) contains live-attenuated polioviruses that induce immunity by causing low virulence infections in vaccine recipients and their close contacts. Widespread immunization with OPV has reduced the annual global burden of paralytic poliomyelitis by a factor of 10,000 or more and has driven wild poliovirus (WPV) to the brink of eradication. However, in instances that have so far been rare, OPV can paralyze vaccine recipients and generate vaccine-derived polio outbreaks. To complete polio eradication, OPV use should eventually cease, but doing so will leave a growing population fully susceptible to infection. If poliovirus is reintroduced after OPV cessation, under what conditions will OPV vaccination be required to interrupt transmission? Can conditions exist in which OPV and WPV reintroduction present similar risks of transmission? To answer these questions, we built a multi-scale mathematical model of infection and transmission calibrated to data from clinical trials and field epidemiology studies. At the within-host level, the model describes the effects of vaccination and waning immunity on shedding and oral susceptibility to infection. At the between-host level, the model emulates the interaction of shedding and oral susceptibility with sanitation and person-to-person contact patterns to determine the transmission rate in communities. Our results show that inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) is sufficient to prevent outbreaks in low transmission rate settings and that OPV can be reintroduced and withdrawn as needed in moderate transmission rate settings. However, in high transmission rate settings, the conditions that support vaccine-derived outbreaks have only been rare because population immunity has been high. Absent population immunity, the Sabin strains from OPV will be nearly as capable of causing outbreaks as WPV. If post-cessation outbreak responses are followed by new vaccine-derived outbreaks, strategies to restore population immunity will be required to ensure the stability of polio eradication.
Project description:Since the introduction of polio vaccines in the 1950's and 60's, eradication of poliovirus from the world has been technically feasible. Progress towards this goal, however, has been uneven and influenced by social and political factors that challenge the implementation of robust immunization programs. While violence and insecurity are often cited as barriers to eradication, current global risk models are largely based on virologic and immunologic indicators measured at national levels. In this manuscript, we quantify the relevance of indicators of violence and insecurity on the risk of polio spread.Using logistic regression models and public data sources, we evaluate the relationship between measures of violence and instability and the location of poliomyelitis cases between 2006 and 2015 at the country-level, both individually and after controlling for more proximal determinants of disease, such as nearby circulating poliovirus and vaccination rates. We found that increases in a country's Fragile States Index (FSI) and Global Peace Index (GPI), aggregate indicators of violence and instability, were associated with the occurrence of poliovirus cases in the subsequent year (p< 0.01), even after controlling for established risk factors. These effects of violence and insecurity must be mediated through immunity and exposure to poliovirus, coarse measures of which are included in our model. This also implies that in our study, and in risk models in general, the interpretation depends on the quality and granularity of available data.National virologic and immunologic indicators understate the risk of poliovirus spread in areas with violence and insecurity, and the inclusion of such factors improves precision. In addition, the link between violence and incidence of disease highlights the broader challenge of implementing health interventions in conflict areas. We discuss practical implications of this work in understanding and measuring the risks to polio eradication and other global health initiatives, and the policy implications of the need to reach vulnerable populations in conflict zones.