Bovine Herpesvirus Type 4 (BoHV-4) Vector Delivering Nucleocapsid Protein of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus Induces Comparable Protective Immunity against Lethal Challenge in IFN?/?/?R-/- Mice Models.
ABSTRACT: Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV) is the causative agent of a tick-borne infection with a significant mortality rate of up to 40% in endemic areas, with evidence of geographical expansion. Due to a lack of effective therapeutics and control measures, the development of a protective CCHFV vaccine remains a crucial public health task. This paper describes, for the first time, a Bovine herpesvirus type 4 (BoHV-4)-based viral vector (BoHV4-?TK-CCHFV-N) and its immunogenicity in BALB/c and protection potential in IFN?/?/?R-/- mice models in comparison with two routinely used vaccine platforms, namely, Adenovirus type 5 and a DNA vector (pCDNA3.1 myc/His A), expressing the same antigen. All vaccine constructs successfully elicited significantly elevated cytokine levels and specific antibody responses in immunized BALB/c and IFN?/?/?R-/- mice. However, despite highly specific antibody responses in both animal models, the antibodies produced were unable to neutralize the virus in vitro. In the challenge experiment, only the BoHV4-?TK-CCHFV-N and Ad5-N constructs produced 100% protection against lethal doses of the CCHFV Ank-2 strain in IFN?/?/?R-/- mice. The delivery platforms could not be compared due to similar protection rates in IFN?/?/?R-/- mice. However, during the challenge experiment in the T cell and passive antibody transfer assay, BoHV4-?TK-CCHFV-N was dominant, with a protection rate of 75% compared to others. In conclusion, vector-based CCHFV N protein expression constitutes an effective approach for vaccine development and BoHV-4 emerged as a strong alternative to previously used viral vectors.
Project description:Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV) is the causative agent of a globally-spread tick-borne zoonotic infection, with an eminent risk of fatal human disease. The imminent public health threat posed by the disseminated virus activity and lack of an approved therapeutic make CCHFV an urgent target for vaccine development. We described the construction of a DNA vector expressing a nucleocapsid protein (N) of CCHFV (pV-N13), and investigated its potential to stimulate the cytokine and total/specific antibody responses in BALB/c and a challenge experiment in IFNAR-/- mice. Because of a lack of sufficient antibody stimulation towards the N protein, we have selected cluster of differentiation 24 (CD24) protein as a potential adjuvant, which has a proliferative effect on B and T cells. Overall, our N expressing construct, when administered solely or in combination with the pCD24 vector, elicited significant cellular and humoral responses in BALB/c, despite variations in the particular cytokines and total antibodies. However, the stimulated antibodies produced as a result of the N protein expression have shown no neutralizing ability in the virus neutralization assay. Furthermore, the challenge experiments revealed the protection potential of the N expressing construct in an IFNAR -/- mice model. The cytokine analysis in the IFNAR-/- mice showed an elevation in the IL-6 and TNF-alpha levels. In conclusion, we have shown that targeting the S segment of CCHFV can be considered for a practical way to develop a vaccine against this virus, because of its ability to induce an immune response, which leads to protection in the challenge assays in the interferon (IFN)-gamma defective mice models. Moreover, CD24 has a prominent immunologic effect when it co-delivers with a suitable foreign gene expressing vector.
Project description:Monkeypox virus (MPXV) is the etiological agent of human (MPX). It is an emerging orthopoxvirus zoonosis in the tropical rain forest of Africa and is endemic in the Congo-basin and sporadic in West Africa; it remains a tropical neglected disease of persons in impoverished rural areas. Interaction of the human population with wildlife increases human infection with MPX virus (MPXV), and infection from human to human is possible. Smallpox vaccination provides good cross-protection against MPX; however, the vaccination campaign ended in Africa in 1980, meaning that a large proportion of the population is currently unprotected against MPXV infection. Disease control hinges on deterring zoonotic exposure to the virus and, barring that, interrupting person-to-person spread. However, there are no FDA-approved therapies against MPX, and current vaccines are limited due to safety concerns. For this reason, new studies on pathogenesis, prophylaxis and therapeutics are still of great interest, not only for the scientific community but also for the governments concerned that MPXV could be used as a bioterror agent. In the present study, a new vaccination strategy approach based on three recombinant bovine herpesvirus 4 (BoHV-4) vectors, each expressing different MPXV glycoproteins, A29L, M1R and B6R were investigated in terms of protection from a lethal MPXV challenge in STAT1 knockout mice. BoHV-4-A-CMV-A29LgD106?TK, BoHV-4-A-EF1?-M1RgD106?TK and BoHV-4-A-EF1?-B6RgD106?TK were successfully constructed by recombineering, and their capacity to express their transgene was demonstrated. A small challenge study was performed, and all three recombinant BoHV-4 appeared safe (no weight-loss or obvious adverse events) following intraperitoneal administration. Further, BoHV-4-A-EF1?-M1RgD106?TK alone or in combination with BoHV-4-A-CMV-A29LgD106?TK and BoHV-4-A-EF1?-B6RgD106?TK, was shown to be able to protect, 100% alone and 80% in combination, STAT1(-/-) mice against mortality and morbidity. This work demonstrated the efficacy of BoHV-4 based vectors and the use of BoHV-4 as a vaccine-vector platform.
Project description:Nipah virus (NiV) is an emergent pathogen capable of causing acute respiratory illness and fatal encephalitis in pigs and humans. A high fatality rate and broad host tropism makes NiV a serious public and animal health concern. There is therefore an urgent need for a NiV vaccines to protect animals and humans. In this study we investigated the immunogenicity of bovine herpesvirus (BoHV-4) vectors expressing either NiV attachment (G) or fusion (F) glycoproteins, BoHV-4-A-CMV-NiV-G?TK or BoHV-4-A-CMV-NiV-F?TK, respectively in pigs. The vaccines were benchmarked against a canarypox (ALVAC) vector expressing NiV G, previously demonstrated to induce protective immunity in pigs. Both BoHV-4 vectors induced robust antigen-specific antibody responses. BoHV-4-A-CMV-NiV-G?TK stimulated NiV-neutralizing antibody titers comparable to ALVAC NiV G and greater than those induced by BoHV-4-A-CMV-NiV-F?TK. In contrast, only BoHV-4-A-CMV-NiV-F?TK immunized pigs had antibodies capable of significantly neutralizing NiV G and F-mediated cell fusion. All three vectored vaccines evoked antigen-specific CD4 and CD8 T cell responses, which were particularly strong in BoHV-4-A-CMV-NiV-G?TK immunized pigs and to a lesser extent BoHV-4-A-CMV-NiV-F?TK. These findings emphasize the potential of BoHV-4 vectors for inducing antibody and cell-mediated immunity in pigs and provide a solid basis for the further evaluation of these vectored NiV vaccine candidates.
Project description:Bovine herpesvirus 1 (BoHV-1) causes recurrent respiratory and genital infections in cattle and predisposes them to lethal secondary infections. While modified live and killed BoHV-1 vaccines exist, these are not without problems. Development of an effective DNA vaccine for BoHV-1 has the potential to address these issues. As a strategy to enhance DNA vaccine immunity, a plasmid encoding the bovine neutrophil beta-defensin 3 (BNBD3) as a fusion with truncated glycoprotein D (tgD) and a mix of two plasmids encoding BNBD3 and tgD were tested in mice and cattle. In mice, coadministration of BNBD3 on the separate plasmid enhanced the tgD-induced gamma interferon (IFN-?) response but not the antibody response. BNBD3 fused to tgD did not affect the antibody levels or the number of IFN-?-secreting cells but increased the induction of tgD-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). In cattle, the addition of BNBD3 as a fusion construct also modified the immune response. While the IgG and virus-neutralizing antibody levels were not affected, the number of IFN-?-secreting cells was increased after BoHV-1 challenge, specifically the CD8(+) IFN-?(+) T cells, including CD8(+) IFN-?(+) CD25(+) CTLs. While reduced virus shedding, rectal temperature, and weight loss were observed, the level of protection was comparable to that observed in pMASIA-tgD-vaccinated animals. These data show that coadministration of BNBD3 with a protective antigen as a fusion in a DNA vaccine strengthened the Th1 bias and increased cell-mediated immune responses but did not enhance protection from BoHV-1 infection.
Project description:Ebola virus (EBOV) is a Category A pathogen that is a member of Filoviridae family that causes hemorrhagic fever in humans and non-human primates. Unpredictable and devastating outbreaks of disease have recently occurred in Africa and current immunoprophylaxis and therapies are limited. The main limitation of working with pathogens like EBOV is the need for costly containment. To potentiate further and wider opportunity for EBOV prophylactics and therapies development, innovative approaches are necessary.In the present study, an antigen delivery platform based on a recombinant bovine herpesvirus 4 (BoHV-4), delivering a synthetic EBOV glycoprotein (GP) gene sequence, BoHV-4-syEBOVgD106?TK, was generated.EBOV GP was abundantly expressed by BoHV-4-syEBOVgD106?TK transduced cells without decreasing viral replication. BoHV-4-syEBOVgD106?TK immunized goats produced high titers of anti-EBOV GP antibodies and conferred a long lasting (up to 6 months), detectable antibody response. Furthermore, no evidence of BoHV-4-syEBOVgD106?TK viremia and secondary localization was detected in any of the immunized animals.The BoHV-4-based vector approach described here, represents: an alternative antigen delivery system for vaccination and a proof of principle study for anti-EBOV antibodies generation in goats for potential immunotherapy applications.
Project description:Despite marked advancements in its treatment, breast cancer is still the second leading cause of cancer death in women, due to relapses and distal metastases. Breast cancer stem cells (CSCs), are a cellular reservoir for recurrence, metastatic evolution and disease progression, making the development of novel therapeutics that target CSCs, and thereby inhibit metastases, an urgent need. We have previously demonstrated that the cystine-glutamate antiporter xCT (SLC7A11), a protein that was shown to be overexpressed in mammary CSCs and that plays a key role in the maintenance of their redox balance, self-renewal and resistance to chemotherapy, is a potential target for mammary cancer immunotherapy. This paper reports on the development of an anti-xCT viral vaccine that is based on the bovine herpesvirus 4 (BoHV-4) vector, which we have previously showed to be a safe vaccine that can transduce cells in vivo and confer immunogenicity to tumor antigens. We show that the vaccination of BALB/c mice with BoHV-4 expressing xCT (BoHV-4-mxCT), impaired lung metastases induced by syngeneic mammary CSCs both in preventive and therapeutic settings. Vaccination induced T lymphocyte activation and the production of anti-xCT antibodies that can mediate antibody-dependent cell cytotoxicity (ADCC), and directly impair CSC phenotype, self-renewal and redox balance. Our findings pave the way for the potential future use of BoHV-4-based vector targeting xCT in metastatic breast cancer treatment.
Project description:The epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2) oncogene is a major target for the immunotherapy of breast cancer. Following up to the therapeutic success achieved with Her-2-targeting monoclonal antibodies, immune-prophylactic approaches directed against Her-2 have also been investigated taking into account, and trying to overcome, Her-2 self-tolerance. Perhaps due to safety (and efficacy) concerns, the least explored anti-Her-2 active immunization strategy so far has been the one relying on viral-vectored vaccine formulations. Taking advantage of the favorable properties of bovine herpesvirus 4 (BoHV-4) in terms of safety and ease of manipulation as well as its previously documented ability to transduce and confer immunogenicity to heterologous antigens, we tested the ability of different recombinant HER-2-BoHV-4 immunogens to 8break tolerance and elicit a protective, anti-mammary tumor antibody response in HER-2 transgenic BALB-neuT mice. All the tested constructs expressed the HER-2 transgenes at high levels and elicited significant cellular immune responses in BALB/c mice upon administration via either DNA vaccination or viral infection. In BALB-neuT mice, instead, only the viral construct expressing the membrane-bound chimeric form of Her-2 protein (BoHV-4-RHuT-gD) elicited a humoral immune response that was more intense and earlier-appearing than that induced by DNA vaccination. In keeping with this observation, two administrations of BoHV-4-RHuT-gD effectively protected BALB-neuT mice from tumor formation, with 50% of vaccinated animals tumor-free after 30 weeks from immunization compared to 100% of animals exhibiting at least one palpable tumor in the case of animals vaccinated with the other BoHV-4-HER-2 constructs.
Project description:Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV) is a bunyavirus causing severe hemorrhagic fever disease in humans, with high mortality rates. The requirement of a high-containment laboratory and the lack of an animal model hampered the study of the immune response and protection of vaccine candidates. Using the recently developed interferon alpha receptor knockout (IFNAR-/-) mouse model, which replicates human disease, we investigated the immunogenicity and protection of two novel CCHFV vaccine candidates: a DNA vaccine encoding a ubiquitin-linked version of CCHFV Gc, Gn, and N and one using transcriptionally competent virus-like particles (tc-VLPs). In contrast to most studies that focus on neutralizing antibodies, we measured both humoral and cellular immune responses. We demonstrated a clear and 100% efficient preventive immunity against lethal CCHFV challenge with the DNA vaccine. Interestingly, there was no correlation with the neutralizing antibody titers alone, which were higher in the tc-VLP-vaccinated mice. However, the animals with a lower neutralizing titer, but a dominant cell-mediated Th1 response and a balanced Th2 response, resisted the CCHFV challenge. Moreover, we found that in challenged mice with a Th1 response (immunized by DNA/DNA and boosted by tc-VLPs), the immune response changed to Th2 at day 9 postchallenge. In addition, we were able to identify new linear B-cell epitope regions that are highly conserved between CCHFV strains. Altogether, our results suggest that a predominantly Th1-type immune response provides the most efficient protective immunity against CCHFV challenge. However, we cannot exclude the importance of the neutralizing antibodies as the surviving immunized mice exhibited substantial amounts of them.IMPORTANCE Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV) is responsible for hemorrhagic diseases in humans, with a high mortality rate. There is no FDA-approved vaccine, and there are still gaps in our knowledge of the immune responses to infection. The recently developed mouse models mimic human CCHF disease and are useful to study the immunogenicity and the protection by vaccine candidates. Our study shows that mice vaccinated with a specific DNA vaccine were fully protected. Importantly, we show that neutralizing antibodies are not sufficient for protection against CCHFV challenge but that an extra Th1-specific cellular response is required. Moreover, we describe the identification of five conserved B-cell epitopes, of which only one was previously known, that could be of great importance for the development of diagnostics tools and the improvement of vaccine candidates.
Project description:Recombinant KSAC and L110f are promising Leishmania vaccine candidates. Both antigens formulated in stable emulsions (SE) with the natural TLR4 agonist MPL® and L110f with the synthetic TLR4 agonist GLA in SE protected BALB/c mice against L. major infection following needle challenge. Considering the virulence of vector-transmitted Leishmania infections, we vaccinated BALB/c mice with either KSAC+GLA-SE or L110f+GLA-SE to assess protection against L. major transmitted via its vector Phlebotomus duboscqi.Mice receiving the KSAC or L110f vaccines were challenged by needle or L. major-infected sand flies. Weekly disease progression and terminal parasite loads were determined. Immunological responses to KSAC, L110f, or soluble Leishmania antigen (SLA) were assessed throughout vaccination, three and twelve weeks after immunization, and one week post-challenge.Following sand fly challenge, KSAC-vaccinated mice were protected while L110f-vaccinated animals showed partial protection. Protection correlated with the ability of SLA to induce IFN-?-producing CD4(+)CD62L(low)CCR7(low) effector memory T cells pre- and post-sand fly challenge.This study demonstrates the protective efficacy of KSAC+GLA-SE against sand fly challenge; the importance of vector-transmitted challenge in evaluating vaccine candidates against Leishmania infection; and the necessity of a rapid potent Th1 response against Leishmania to attain true protection.
Project description:Although many microbial infections elicit an adaptive immune response that can protect against reinfection, it is generally thought that Staphylococcus aureus infections fail to generate protective immunity despite detectable T and B cell responses. No vaccine is yet proven to prevent S. aureus infections in humans, and efforts to develop one have been hampered by a lack of animal models in which protective immunity occurs. Our results describe a novel mouse model of protective immunity against recurrent infection, in which S. aureus skin and soft tissue infection (SSTI) strongly protected against secondary SSTI in BALB/c mice but much less so in C57BL/6 mice. This protection was dependent on antibody, because adoptive transfer of immune BALB/c serum or purified antibody into either BALB/c or C57BL/6 mice resulted in smaller skin lesions. We also identified an antibody-independent mechanism, because B cell-deficient mice were partially protected against secondary S. aureus SSTI and adoptive transfer of T cells from immune BALB/c mice resulted in smaller lesions upon primary infection. Furthermore, neutralization of interleukin-17A (IL-17A) abolished T cell-mediated protection in BALB/c mice, whereas neutralization of gamma interferon (IFN-?) enhanced protection in C57BL/6 mice. Therefore, protective immunity against recurrent S. aureus SSTI was advanced by antibody and the Th17/IL-17A pathway and prevented by the Th1/IFN-? pathway, suggesting that targeting both cell-mediated and humoral immunity might optimally protect against secondary S. aureus SSTI. These findings also highlight the importance of the mouse genetic background in the development of protective immunity against S. aureus SSTI.