A bivalent influenza VLP vaccine confers complete inhibition of virus replication in lungs.
ABSTRACT: The conventional egg-grown influenza vaccines are trivalent. To test the feasibility of using multivalent influenza virus-like particles (VLPs) as an alternative influenza vaccine, we developed cell-derived influenza VLPs containing the hemagglutinin (HA) of the H1 subtype virus A/PR/8/34 or the H3 subtype virus A/Aichi/2/68 (X31). Mice immunized intramuscularly with bivalent influenza VLPs containing H1 and H3 HAs induced neutralizing activities against the homologous and closely related H1N1 strains A/PR/8/34 and A/WSN/33 as well as the H3N2 strains A/Aichi/2/68 (X31) and A/Hong Kong/68, but not the A/Philippines/2/82 strain isolated 14 years later. HA sequence and structure analysis indicated that antigenic distance could be a major factor in predicting cross-protection by VLP vaccines. The bivalent influenza VLP vaccine demonstrated advantages in broadening the protective immunity after lethal challenge infections when compared to a monovalent influenza VLP vaccine. High levels of the inflammatory cytokine IL-6 were observed in naïve or unprotected immunized mice but not in protected mice upon lethal challenge. These results indicate that multivalent influenza VLP vaccines can be an effective antigen for developing safe and alternative vaccine to control the spread of influenza viruses.
Project description:Noroviruses, a major cause of acute gastroenteritis worldwide, present antigenic diversity that must be considered for the development of an effective vaccine. In this study, we explored approaches to increase the broad reactivity of virus-like particle (VLP) norovirus vaccine candidates. The immunogenicity of a GII.4 "Consensus" VLP that was engineered from sequences of three genetically distinct naturally occurring GII.4 strains was examined for its ability to induce cross-reactive immune responses against different clusters of GII.4 noroviruses. Rabbits immunized with GII.4 Consensus VLPs developed high serum antibody titers against VLPs derived from a number of distinct wild-type GII.4 viruses, including some that had been circulating over 30 years ago. Because the sera exhibited low cross-reactivity with antigenically distinct GI norovirus strains, we investigated the serum antibody response to a bivalent vaccine formulation containing GI.1 (Norwalk virus) and GII.4 Consensus VLPs that was administered to animals under varying conditions. In these studies, the highest homologous and heterologous antibody titers to the bivalent vaccine were elicited following immunization of animals by the intramuscular route using Alhydrogel (Al(OH)(3)) as adjuvant. Our data indicate that the use of both genetically engineered norovirus VLPs that incorporate relevant epitopes from multiple strains and multivalent vaccine formulations increase the breadth of the immune response to diverse variants within a genotype and, thus, prove helpful in the rational design of VLP-based vaccines against human noroviruses.
Project description:The influenza virus is a human pathogen that causes epidemics every year, as well as potential pandemic outbreaks, as occurred in 2009. Vaccination has proven to be sufficient in the prevention and containment of viral spreading. In addition to the current egg-based vaccines, new and promising vaccine platforms, such as cell culture-derived vaccines that include virus-like particles (VLPs), have been developed. VLPs have been shown to be both safe and immunogenic against influenza infections. Although antibody persistence has been studied in traditional egg-based influenza vaccines, studies on antibody response durations induced by VLP influenza vaccines in humans are scarce. Here, we show that subjects vaccinated with an insect cell-derived VLP vaccine, in the midst of the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic outbreak in Mexico City, showed antibody persistence up to 24 months post-vaccination. Additionally, we found that subjects that reported being revaccinated with a subsequent inactivated influenza virus vaccine showed higher antibody titres to the pandemic influenza virus than those who were not revaccinated. These findings provide insights into the duration of the antibody responses elicited by an insect cell-derived pandemic influenza VLP vaccine and the possible effects of subsequent influenza vaccination on antibody persistence induced by this VLP vaccine in humans.
Project description:Enterovirus 71 (EV71) and coxsackievirus A16 (CA16) are the two most common etiological agents responsible for the epidemics of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD), a childhood illness with occasional severe neurological complications. A number of vaccine candidates against EV71 or CA16 have been reported; however, no vaccine is currently available for clinical use. Here, we generated a secreted version of EV71 and CA16 virus-like particles (VLPs) using a baculovirus-insect cell expression system and reconstructed the three-dimensional (3D) structures of both VLPs by cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) single-particle analysis at 5.2-Å and 5.5-Å resolutions, respectively. The reconstruction results showed that the cryo-EM structures of EV71 and CA16 VLPs highly resemble the recently published crystal structures for EV71 natural empty particles and CA16 135S-like expanded particles, respectively. Our cryo-EM analysis also revealed that the majority of previously identified linear neutralizing epitopes are well preserved on the surface of EV71 and CA16 VLPs. In addition, both VLPs were able to induce efficiently neutralizing antibodies against various strains of EV71 and CA16 viruses in mouse immunization. These studies provide a structural basis for the development of insect cell-expressed VLP vaccines and for a potential bivalent VLP vaccine against both EV71- and CA16-associated HFMD.The recent outbreaks of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) in the Asia Pacific region spurred the search for effective vaccines against EV71 and CA16 viruses, the two most common etiological agents responsible for HFMD. In this paper, we show that secreted versions of EV71 and CA16 VLPs generated in the baculovirus-insect cell expression system highly resemble the crystal structures of their viral conterparts and that the majority of previously identified linear neutralizing epitopes are well preserved on the VLP surfaces. In addition, the generated VLPs can efficiently induce neutralizing antibodies against various strains of EV71 and CA16 viruses in mouse immunization. These studies provide a structural basis for the development of insect cell-expressed VLP vaccines and for a potential bivalent VLP vaccine against both EV71- and CA16-associated HFMD.
Project description:Mosquito borne viral diseases are an emerging threat as evident from the recent outbreak of Zika virus (ZIKV) as well as repeated outbreaks of Chikungunya (CHIKV), Yellow fever (YFV) and Japanese encephalitis (JEV) virus in different geographical regions. These four arboviruses are endemic in overlapping regions due to the co-prevalence of the transmitting mosquito vector species Aedes and Culex. Thus, a multivalent vaccine that targets all four viruses would be of benefit to regions of the world where these diseases are endemic. We developed a potential Virus Like Particle (VLP) based multivalent vaccine candidate to target these diseases by using stable cell lines that continuously secrete VLPs in the culture supernatants. Moreover, inclusion of Capsid in the VLPs provides an additional viral protein leading to an enhanced immune response as evident from our previous studies with ZIKV. Immunization of Balb/c mice with different combinations of Capsid protein containing VLPs either as monovalent, bivalent or tetravalent formulation resulted in generation of high levels of neutralizing antibodies. Interestingly, the potential tetravalent VLP vaccine candidate provided strong neutralizing antibody titers against all four viruses. The 293?T stable cell lines secreting VLPs were adapted to grow in suspension cultures to facilitate vaccine scale up. Our stable cell lines secreting individual VLPs provide a flexible yet scalable platform conveniently adaptable to different geographical regions as per the need. Further studies in appropriate animal models will be needed to define the efficacy of the multivalent vaccine candidate to protect against lethal virus challenge.
Project description:Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are the most common sexually transmitted infections worldwide. Ninety percent of infected individuals clear the infection within two years; however, in the remaining 10% of infected individuals, the infection(s) persists and ultimately leads to cancers (anogenital cancers and head and neck cancers) and genital warts. Fortunately, three prophylactic vaccines have been approved to protect against HPV infections. The most recent HPV vaccine, Gardasil-9 (a nonavalent vaccine), protects against seven HPV types associated with ~90% of cervical cancer and against two HPV types associated with ~90% genital warts with little cross-protection against non-vaccine HPV types. The current vaccines are based on virus-like particles (VLPs) derived from the major capsid protein, L1. The L1 protein is not conserved among HPV types. The minor capsid protein, L2, on the other hand, is highly conserved among HPV types and has been an alternative target antigen, for over two decades, to develop a broadly protective HPV vaccine. The L2 protein, unlike the L1, cannot form VLPs and as such, it is less immunogenic. This review summarizes current studies aimed at developing HPV L2 vaccines by multivalently displaying L2 peptides on VLPs derived from bacteriophages and eukaryotic viruses. Recent data show that a monovalent HPV L1 VLP as well as bivalent MS2 VLPs displaying HPV L2 peptides (representing amino acids 17-36 and/or consensus amino acids 69-86) elicit robust broadly protective antibodies against diverse HPV types (6/11/16/18/26/31/33/34/35/39/43/44/45/51/52/53/56/58/59/66/68/73) associated with cancers and genital warts. Thus, VLP-based L2 vaccines look promising and may be favorable, in the near future, over current L1-based HPV vaccines and should be explored further.
Project description:In this study, we developed Newcastle disease virus (NDV) virus-like particles (VLPs) expressing NDV fusion (F) protein along with influenza virus matrix 1 (M1) protein using the insect cell expression system. Specific-pathogen-free chickens were immunized with oil emulsion NDV VLP vaccines containing increasing dosages of VLPs (0.4, 2, 10, or 50 ?g of VLPs/0.5-ml dose). Three weeks after immunization, the immunogenicity of the NDV VLP vaccines was determined using a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kit, and a lethal challenge using a highly virulent NDV strain was performed to evaluate the protective efficacy of the NDV VLP vaccines. NDV VLP vaccines elicited anti-NDV antibodies and provided protection against a lethal challenge in a dose-dependent manner. Although the VLP vaccines containing 0.4 and 2 ?g of VLPs failed to achieve high levels of protection, a single immunization with NDV VLP vaccine containing 10 or 50 ?g could fully protect chickens from a lethal challenge and greatly reduced challenge virus shedding. Furthermore, we could easily differentiate infected from vaccinated animals (DIVA) using the hemagglutination inhibition (HI) test. These results strongly suggest that utilization of NDV VLP vaccine in poultry species may be a promising strategy for the better control of NDV.
Project description:Broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) isolated from HIV-infected individuals delineate vulnerable sites on the HIV envelope glycoprotein that are potential vaccine targets. A linear epitope within the N-terminal region of the HIV-1 fusion peptide (FP8) is the primary target of VRC34.01, a bnAb that neutralizes ~50% of primary HIV isolates. FP8 has attracted attention as a potential HIV vaccine target because it is a simple linear epitope. Here, platform technologies based on RNA bacteriophage virus-like particles (VLPs) were used to develop multivalent vaccines targeting the FP8 epitope. Both recombinant MS2 VLPs displaying the FP8 peptide and Q? VLPs displaying chemically conjugated FP8 peptide induced high titers of FP8-specific antibodies in mice. Moreover, a heterologous prime-boost-boost regimen employing the two FP8-VLP vaccines and native envelope trimer was the most effective approach for eliciting HIV-1 neutralizing antibodies. Given the potent immunogenicity of VLP-based vaccines, this vaccination strategy-inspired by bnAb-guided epitope mapping, VLP bioengineering, and prime-boost immunization approaches-may be a useful strategy for eliciting bnAb responses against HIV.
Project description:Avian influenza viruses represent a growing threat of an influenza pandemic. The co-circulation of multiple H9N2 genotypes over the past decade has been replaced by one predominant genotype-G57 genotype, which displays a changed antigenicity and improved adaptability in chickens. Effective H9N2 subtype avian influenza virus vaccines for poultry are urgently needed.In this study, we constructed H9N2 subtype avian influenza virus-like particle (VLP) and evaluated its protective efficacy in specific pathogen-free (SPF) chickens to lay the foundation for developing an effective vaccine against influenza viruses.Expression of influenza proteins in VLPs was confirmed by Western blot, hemagglutination inhibition (HI), and neuraminidase inhibition (NI). The morphology was observed by electron microscopy. A group of 15 three-week-old SPF chickens was divided into three subgroups of five chickens immunized with VLP, commercial vaccine, and PBS. Challenge study was performed to evaluate efficacy of VLP vaccine.The hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) proteins were co-expressed in the infected cells, self-assembled, and were released into the culture medium in the form of VLPs of diameter ~80 nm. The VLPs exhibited some functional characteristics of a full influenza virus, including hemagglutination and neuraminidase activity. In SPF chickens, the VLPs elicited serum antibodies specific for H9N2 and induced a higher HI titer (as detected by a homologous antigen) than did a commercial H9N2 vaccine (A/chicken/Shanghai/F/1998). Viral shedding from VLP vaccine subgroup was reduced compared with commercial vaccine subgroup and control subgroup.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Virus-like particle (VLP) vaccines have recently emerged as a safe and effective alternative to conventional vaccine technologies. The strong immunogenic effects of VLPs can be harnessed for making vaccines against any pathogen by decorating VLPs with antigens from the pathogen. Producing the antigenic pathogen fragments and the VLP platform separately makes vaccine development rapid and convenient. Here we decorated the norovirus-like particle with two conserved influenza antigens and tested for the immunogenicity of the vaccine candidates in BALB/c mice.<h4>Results</h4>SpyTagged noro-VLP was expressed with high efficiency in insect cells and purified using industrially scalable methods. Like the native noro-VLP, SpyTagged noro-VLP is stable for months when refrigerated in a physiological buffer. The conserved influenza antigens were produced separately as SpyCatcher fusions in E. coli before covalent conjugation on the surface of noro-VLP. The noro-VLP had a high adjuvant effect, inducing high titers of antibody production against the antigens presented on its surface.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The modular noro-VLP vaccine platform presented here offers a rapid, convenient and safe method to present various soluble protein antigens to the immune system for vaccination and antibody production purposes.
Project description:In March 2013, diagnosis of the first reported case of human infection with a novel avian-origin influenza A(H7N9) virus occurred in eastern China. Most human cases have resulted in severe respiratory illness and, in some instances, death. Currently there are no licensed vaccines against H7N9 virus, which continues to cause sporadic human infections. Recombinant virus-like particles (VLPs) have been previously shown to be safe and effective vaccines for influenza. In this study, we evaluated the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of a H7N9 VLP vaccine in the ferret challenge model. Purified recombinant H7N9 VLPs morphologically resembled influenza virions and elicited high-titer serum hemagglutination inhibition (HI) and neutralizing antibodies specific for A/Anhui/1/2013 (H7N9) virus. H7N9 VLP-immunized ferrets subsequently challenged with homologous virus displayed reductions in fever, weight loss, and virus shedding compared to these parameters in unimmunized control ferrets. H7N9 VLP was also effective in protecting against lung and tracheal infection. The addition of either ISCOMATRIX or Matrix-M1 adjuvant improved immunogenicity and protection of the VLP vaccine against H7N9 virus. These results provide support for the development of a safe and effective human VLP vaccine with potent adjuvants against avian influenza H7N9 virus with pandemic potential.