Development of a new oral poliovirus vaccine for the eradication end game using codon deoptimization.
ABSTRACT: Enormous progress has been made in global efforts to eradicate poliovirus, using live-attenuated Sabin oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV). However, as the incidence of disease due to wild poliovirus has declined, vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV) has emerged in areas of low-vaccine coverage. Coordinated global cessation of routine, type 2 Sabin OPV (OPV2) use has not resulted in fewer VDPV outbreaks, and continued OPV use in outbreak-response campaigns has seeded new emergences in low-coverage areas. The limitations of existing vaccines and current eradication challenges warranted development of more genetically stable OPV strains, most urgently for OPV2. Here, we report using codon deoptimization to further attenuate Sabin OPV2 by changing preferred codons across the capsid to non-preferred, synonymous codons. Additional modifications to the 5' untranslated region stabilized known virulence determinants. Testing of this codon-deoptimized new OPV2 candidate (nOPV2-CD) in cell and animal models demonstrated that nOPV2-CD is highly attenuated, grows sufficiently for vaccine manufacture, is antigenically indistinguishable from Sabin OPV2, induces neutralizing antibodies as effectively as Sabin OPV2, and unlike Sabin OPV2 is genetically stable and maintains an attenuation phenotype. In-human clinical trials of nOPV2-CD are ongoing, with potential for nOPV strains to serve as critical vaccine tools for achieving and maintaining polio eradication.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Mass campaigns with oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) have brought the world close to the eradication of wild poliovirus. However, to complete eradication, OPV must itself be withdrawn to prevent outbreaks of vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV). Synchronized global withdrawal of OPV began with serotype 2 OPV (OPV2) in April 2016, which presented the first test of the feasibility of eradicating all polioviruses. METHODS:We analyzed global surveillance data on the detection of serotype 2 Sabin vaccine (Sabin-2) poliovirus and serotype 2 vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV2, defined as vaccine strains that are at least 0.6% divergent from Sabin-2 poliovirus in the viral protein 1 genomic region) in stool samples from 495,035 children with acute flaccid paralysis in 118 countries and in 8528 sewage samples from four countries at high risk for transmission; the samples were collected from January 1, 2013, through July 11, 2018. We used Bayesian spatiotemporal smoothing and logistic regression to identify and map risk factors for persistent detection of Sabin-2 poliovirus and VDPV2. RESULTS:The prevalence of Sabin-2 poliovirus in stool samples declined from 3.9% (95% confidence interval [CI], 3.5 to 4.3) at the time of OPV2 withdrawal to 0.2% (95% CI, 0.1 to 2.7) at 2 months after withdrawal, and the detection rate in sewage samples declined from 71.0% (95% CI, 61.0 to 80.0) to 13.0% (95% CI, 8.0 to 20.0) during the same period. However, 12 months after OPV2 withdrawal, Sabin-2 poliovirus continued to be detected in stool samples (<0.1%; 95% CI, <0.1 to 0.1) and sewage samples (8.0%; 95% CI, 5.0 to 13.0) because of the use of OPV2 in response to VDPV2 outbreaks. Nine outbreaks were reported after OPV2 withdrawal and were associated with low coverage of routine immunization (odds ratio, 1.64 [95% CI, 1.14 to 2.54] per 10% absolute decrease) and low levels of population immunity (odds ratio, 2.60 [95% CI, 1.35 to 5.59] per 10% absolute decrease) within affected countries. CONCLUSIONS:High population immunity has facilitated the decline in the prevalence of Sabin-2 poliovirus after OPV2 withdrawal and restricted the circulation of VDPV2 to areas known to be at high risk for transmission. The prevention of VDPV2 outbreaks in these known areas before the accumulation of substantial cohorts of children susceptible to type 2 poliovirus remains a high priority. (Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Health Organization.).
Project description:The Sabin oral polio vaccine (OPV) may evolve into pathogenic viruses, causing sporadic cases and outbreaks of poliomyelitis. Such vaccine-derived polioviruses (VDPV) generally exhibit altered antigenicity. The current paradigm to distinguish VDPV from OPV and wild polioviruses is to characterize primarily those poliovirus isolates that demonstrate deviations from OPV in antigenic and genetic intratypic differentiation (ITD) tests. Here we report on two independent cases of poliomyelitis caused by VDPVs with "Sabin-like" properties in several ITD assays. The results suggest the existence of diverse pathways of OPV evolution and necessitate improvement of poliovirus surveillance, which currently potentially misses this class of VDPV.
Project description:Background:The Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan 2013-2018 calls for the gradual withdrawal of oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) from routine immunization. We aimed to quantify the transmission potential of Sabin strains from OPV when it is reintroduced, accidentally or deliberately, in a community vaccinated with inactivated poliovirus vaccine alone. Methods:We built an individual-based stochastic epidemiological model that allows independent spread of 3 Sabin serotypes and differential transmission rates within versus between households. Model parameters were estimated by fitting to data from a prospective cohort in Mexico. We calculated the effective reproductive number for the Mexico cohort and simulated scenarios of Sabin strain resurgence under postcessation conditions, projecting the risk of prolonged circulation, which could lead to circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV). Results:The estimated effective reproductive number for naturally infected individuals was about 1 for Sabin 2 and Sabin 3 (OPV2 and OPV3) in a postcessation setting. Most transmission events occurred between households. We estimated the probability of circulation for >9 months to be (1) <<1% for all 3 serotypes when 90% of children <5 years of age were vaccinated in a hypothetical outbreak control campaign; (2) 45% and 24% for Sabin 2 and Sabin 3, respectively, when vaccine coverage dropped to 10%; (3) 37% and 8% for Sabin 2 and Sabin 3, respectively, when a single active shedder appeared in a community. Conclusions:Critical factors determining the risk of cVDPV emergence are the scale at which OPV is reintroduced and the between-household transmission rate for poliovirus, with intermediate values posing the greatest risk.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV or Sabin) is genetically unstable and may mutate to form vaccine-derived polioviruses (VDPVs). METHODS:In 2014, two VDPVs type 2 were identified during routine surveillance of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) cases. Consequently, a retrospective VDPV survey was conducted to ensure that there was no circulating VDPV in the country. All Sabin poliovirus isolates identified in Uganda 6 months before and 6 months after were re-screened; Sabin 1 and 3 polioviruses were re-screened for Sabin 2 and Sabin 2 polioviruses were re-screened for VDPVs type 2. The Poliovirus rRT-PCR ITD/VDPV 4.0 assay and sequencing were used respectively. RESULTS:The first two VDPVs type2 were identified in Eastern Uganda and the third was identified during the survey from South-western Uganda. These regions had low OPV coverage and poor AFP surveillance indicators. CONCLUSION:The retrospective VDPV survey was a useful strategy to screen for VDPVs more exhaustively. Supplementary surveillance methods need to be encouraged.
Project description:Circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses (cVDPVs) can emerge in areas with low poliovirus immunity and cause outbreaks* of paralytic polio (1-5). Among the three types of wild poliovirus, type 2 was declared eradicated in 2015 (1,2). The use of trivalent oral poliovirus vaccine (tOPV; types 1, 2, and 3 Sabin strains) ceased in April 2016 via a 1-month-long, global synchronized switch to bivalent OPV (bOPV; types 1 and 3 Sabin strains) in immunization activities (1-4). Monovalent type 2 OPV (mOPV2; type 2 Sabin strain) is available for cVDPV type 2 (cVDPV2) outbreak response immunization (1-5). The number and geographic breadth of post-switch cVDPV2 outbreaks have exceeded forecasts that trended toward zero outbreaks 4 years after the switch and assumed rapid and effective control of any that occurred (4). New cVDPV2 outbreaks have been seeded by mOPV2 use, by both suboptimal mOPV2 coverage within response zones and recently mOPV2-vaccinated children or contacts traveling outside of response zones, where children born after the global switch are fully susceptible to poliovirus type 2 transmission (2-4). In addition, new emergences can develop by inadvertent exposure to Sabin OPV2-containing vaccine (i.e., residual response mOPV2 or tOPV) (4). This report updates the January 2018-June 2019 report with information on global cVDPV outbreaks during July 2019-February 2020 (as of March 25, 2020)† (2). Among 33 cVDPV outbreaks reported during July 2019-February 2020, 31 (94%) were cVDPV2; 18 (58%) of these followed new emergences. In mid-2020, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) plans to introduce a genetically stabilized, novel OPV type 2 (nOPV2) that has a lower risk for generating VDPV2 than does Sabin mOPV2; if nOPV2 is successful in limiting new VDPV2 emergences, GPEI foresees the replacement of Sabin mOPV2 with nOPV2 for cVDPV2 outbreak responses during 2021 (2,4,6).
Project description:From August 2011 to February 2012, an outbreak caused by type 2 circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV) occurred in Aba County, Sichuan, China. During the outbreak, four type 2 VDPVs (?0.6% nucleotide divergence in the VP1 region relative to the Sabin 2 strain) were isolated from 3 patients with acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) and one close contact. In addition, a type 2 pre-VDPV (0.3% to 0.5% divergence from Sabin 2) that was genetically related to these type 2 VDPVs was isolated from another AFP patient. These 4 patients were all unimmunized children 0.7 to 1.1 years old. Nucleotide sequencing revealed that the 4 VDPV isolates differed from Sabin 2 by 0.7% to 1.2% in nucleotides in the VP1 region and shared 5 nucleotide substitutions with the pre-VDPV. All 5 isolates were closely related, and all were S2/S3/S2/S3 recombinants sharing common recombination crossover sites. Although the two major determinants of attenuation and temperature sensitivity phenotype of Sabin 2 (A481 in the 5' untranslated region and Ile143 in the VP1 protein) had reverted in all 5 isolates, one VDPV (strain CHN16017) still retained the temperature sensitivity phenotype. Phylogenetic analysis of the third coding position of the complete P1 coding region suggested that the cVDPVs circulated locally for about 7 months following the initiating oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) dose. Our findings reinforce the point that cVDPVs can emerge and spread in isolated communities with immunity gaps and highlight the emergence risks of type 2 cVDPVs accompanying the trivalent OPV used. To solve this issue, it is recommended that type 2 OPV be removed from the trivalent OPV or that inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) be used instead.
Project description:Significantly divergent polioviruses (VDPV) derived from the oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) from Sabin strains, like wild polioviruses, are capable of prolonged transmission and neuropathology. This is mainly shown for VDPV type 2. Here we describe a molecular-epidemiological investigation of a case of VDPV type 3 circulation leading to paralytic poliomyelitis in a child in an orphanage, where OPV has not been used. Samples of feces and blood serum from the patient and 52 contacts from the same orphanage were collected twice and investigated. The complete genome sequencing was performed for five polioviruses isolated from the patient and three contact children. The level of divergence of the genomes of the isolates corresponded to approximately 9-10 months of evolution. The presence of 61 common substitutions in all isolates indicated a common intermediate progenitor. The possibility of VDPV3 transmission from the excretor to susceptible recipients (unvaccinated against polio or vaccinated with inactivated poliovirus vaccine, IPV) with subsequent circulation in a closed children's group was demonstrated. The study of the blood sera of orphanage residents at least twice vaccinated with IPV revealed the absence of neutralizing antibodies against at least two poliovirus serotypes in almost 20% of children. Therefore, a complete rejection of OPV vaccination can lead to a critical decrease in collective immunity level. The development of new poliovirus vaccines that create mucosal immunity for the adequate replacement of OPV from Sabin strains is necessary.
Project description:We determined the complete genomic sequences of nine type 1 immunodeficient vaccine-derived poliovirus (iVDPV) isolates obtained over a 337-day period from a poliomyelitis patient from Taiwan with common variable immunodeficiency. The iVDPV isolates differed from the Sabin type 1 oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) strain at 1.84% to 3.15% of total open reading frame positions and had diverged into at least five distinct lineages. Phylogenetic analysis suggested that the chronic infection was initiated by the fifth and last OPV dose, given 567 days before onset of paralysis, and that divergence of major lineages began very early in the chronic infection. Key determinants of attenuation in Sabin 1 had reverted in the iVDPV isolates, and representative isolates of each lineage showed increased neurovirulence for PVR-Tg21 transgenic mice. None of the isolates had retained the temperature-sensitive phenotype of Sabin 1. All isolates were antigenic variants of Sabin 1, having multiple amino acid substitutions within or near neutralizing antigenic sites 1, 2, and 3a. Antigenic divergence of the iVDPV variants from Sabin 1 followed two major independent evolutionary pathways. The emergence of distinct coreplicating lineages suggests that iVDPVs can replicate for many months at separate sites in the gastrointestinal tract. Some isolates had mosaic genome structures indicative of recombination across and within lineages. iVDPV excretion apparently ceased after 30 to 35 months of chronic infection. The appearance of a chronic VDPV excretor in a tropical, developing country has important implications for the strategy to stop OPV immunization after eradication of wild polioviruses.
Project description:A type 2 vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV), differing from the Sabin 2 strain at 8.6% (78/903) of VP1 nucleotide positions, was isolated from seawater collected from a seaport in São Paulo State, Brazil. The P1/capsid region is related to the Sabin 2 strain, but sequences within the 5'-untranslated region and downstream of the P1 region were derived from recombination with other members of Human Enterovirus Species C (HEV-C). The two known attenuating mutations had reverted to wild-type (A481G in the 5'-UTR and Ile143Thr in VP1). The VDPV isolate had lost the temperature sensitive phenotype and had accumulated amino acid substitutions in neutralizing antigenic (NAg) sites 3a and 3b. The date of the initiating OPV dose, estimated from the number of synonymous substitutions in the capsid region, was approximately 8.5 years before seawater sampling, a finding consistent with a long time of virus replication and possible transmission among several individuals. Although no closely related type 2 VDPVs were detected in Brazil or elsewhere, this VDPV was found in an area with a mobile population, where conditions may favor both viral infection and spread. Environmental surveillance serves as an important tool for sensitive and early detection of circulating poliovirus in the final stages of global polio eradication.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Continued emergence and spread of circulating vaccine-derived type 2 polioviruses and vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis from Sabin oral poliovirus vaccines (OPVs) has stimulated development of two novel type 2 OPV candidates (OPV2-c1 and OPV2-c2) designed to have similar immunogenicity, improved genetic stability, and less potential to reacquire neurovirulence. We aimed to assess safety and immunogenicity of the two novel OPV candidates compared with a monovalent Sabin OPV in children and infants.<h4>Methods</h4>We did two single-centre, multi-site, partly-masked, randomised trials in healthy cohorts of children (aged 1-4 years) and infants (aged 18-22 weeks) in Panama: a control phase 4 study with monovalent Sabin OPV2 before global cessation of monovalent OPV2 use, and a phase 2 study with low and high doses of two novel OPV2 candidates. All participants received one OPV2 vaccination and subsets received two doses 28 days apart. Parents reported solicited and unsolicited adverse events. Type 2 poliovirus neutralising antibodies were measured at days 0, 7, 28, and 56, and stool viral shedding was assessed up to 28 days post-vaccination. Primary objectives were to assess safety in all participants and non-inferiority of novel OPV2 day 28 seroprotection versus monovalent OPV2 in infants (non-inferiority margin 10%). These studies were registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02521974 and NCT03554798.<h4>Findings</h4>The control study took place between Oct 23, 2015, and April 29, 2016, and the subsequent phase 2 study between Sept 19, 2018, and Sept 30, 2019. 150 children (50 in the control study and 100 of 129 assessed for eligibility in the novel OPV2 study) and 684 infants (110 of 114 assessed for eligibility in the control study and 574 of 684 assessed for eligibility in the novel OPV2 study) were enrolled and received at least one study vaccination. Vaccinations were safe and well tolerated with no causally associated serious adverse events or important medical events in any group. Solicited and unsolicited adverse events were overwhelmingly mild or moderate irrespective of vaccine or dose. Nearly all children were seroprotected at baseline, indicating high baseline immunity. In children, the seroprotection rate 28 days after one dose was 100% for monovalent OPV2 and both novel OPV2 candidates. In infants at day 28, 91 (94% [95% CI 87-98]) of 97 were seroprotected after receiving monovalent OPV2, 134 (94% [88-97]) of 143 after high-dose novel OPV2-c1, 122 (93% [87-97]) of 131 after low-dose novel OPV2-c1, 138 (95% [90-98]) of 146 after high-dose novel OPV2-c2, and 115 (91% [84-95]) of 127 after low-dose novel OPV2-c2. Non-inferiority was shown for low-dose and high-dose novel OPV2-c1 and high-dose novel OPV2-c2 despite monovalent OPV2 recipients having higher baseline immunity.<h4>Interpretation</h4>Both novel OPV2 candidates were safe, well tolerated, and immunogenic in children and infants. Novel OPV2 could be an important addition to our resources against poliovirus given the current epidemiological situation.<h4>Funding</h4>Fighting Infectious Diseases in Emerging Countries and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.