A Yellow Fever Virus 17D Infection and Disease Mouse Model Used to Evaluate a Chimeric Binjari-Yellow Fever Virus Vaccine.
ABSTRACT: Despite the availability of an effective, live attenuated yellow fever virus (YFV) vaccine (YFV 17D), this flavivirus still causes up to ?60,000 deaths annually. A number of new approaches are seeking to address vaccine supply issues and improve safety for the immunocompromised vaccine recipients. Herein we describe an adult female IFNAR-/- mouse model of YFV 17D infection and disease that recapitulates many features of infection and disease in humans. We used this model to evaluate a new YFV vaccine that is based on a recently described chimeric Binjari virus (BinJV) vaccine technology. BinJV is an insect-specific flavivirus and the chimeric YFV vaccine (BinJ/YFV-prME) was generated by replacing the prME genes of BinJV with the prME genes of YFV 17D. Such BinJV chimeras retain their ability to replicate to high titers in C6/36 mosquito cells (allowing vaccine production), but are unable to replicate in vertebrate cells. Vaccination with adjuvanted BinJ/YFV-prME induced neutralizing antibodies and protected mice against infection, weight loss and liver pathology after YFV 17D challenge.
Project description:We recently developed a chimeric flavivirus vaccine technology based on the novel insect-specific Binjari virus (BinJV) and used this to generate a chimeric ZIKV vaccine (BinJ/ZIKA-prME) that protected IFNAR<sup>-/-</sup> dams and fetuses from infection. Herein, we show that a single vaccination of IFNAR<sup>-/-</sup> mice with unadjuvanted BinJ/ZIKA-prME generated neutralizing antibody responses that were retained for 14 months. At 15 months post vaccination, mice were also completely protected against detectable viremia and substantial body weight loss after challenge with ZIKV<sub>PRVABC59</sub>. BinJ/ZIKA-prME vaccination thus provided long-term protective immunity without the need for adjuvant or replication of the vaccine in the vaccine recipient, both attractive features for a ZIKV vaccine.
Project description:Zika virus (ZIKV) is the etiological agent of congenital Zika syndrome (CZS), a spectrum of birth defects that can lead to life-long disabilities. A range of vaccines are in development with the target population including pregnant women and women of child-bearing age. Using a recently described chimeric flavivirus vaccine technology based on the novel insect-specific Binjari virus (BinJV), we generated a ZIKV vaccine (BinJ/ZIKA-prME) and illustrate herein its ability to protect against fetal brain infection. Female IFNAR-/- mice were vaccinated once with unadjuvanted BinJ/ZIKA-prME, were mated, and at embryonic day 12.5 were challenged with ZIKVPRVABC59. No infectious ZIKV was detected in maternal blood, placenta, or fetal heads in BinJ/ZIKA-prME-vaccinated mice. A similar result was obtained when the more sensitive qRT PCR methodology was used to measure the viral RNA. BinJ/ZIKA-prME vaccination also did not result in antibody-dependent enhancement of dengue virus infection or disease. BinJ/ZIKA-prME thus emerges as a potential vaccine candidate for the prevention of CSZ.
Project description:Dengue viruses (DENV) cause an estimated 390 million infections globally. With no dengue-specific therapeutic treatment currently available, vaccination is the most promising strategy for its control. A wide range of DENV vaccines are in development, with one having already been licensed, albeit with limited distribution. We investigated the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of a chimeric virus vaccine candidate based on the insect-specific flavivirus, Binjari virus (BinJV), displaying the structural prM/E proteins of DENV (BinJ/DENV2-prME). In this study, we immunized AG129 mice with BinJ/DENV2-prME via a needle-free, high-density microarray patch (HD-MAP) delivery system. Immunization with a single, 1 µg dose of BinJ/DENV2-prME delivered via the HD-MAPs resulted in enhanced kinetics of neutralizing antibody induction when compared to needle delivery and complete protection against mortality upon virus challenge in the AG129 DENV mouse model.
Project description:Virulent strains of West Nile virus (WNV) are highly neuro-invasive and human infection is potentially lethal. However, no vaccine is currently available for human use. Here, we report the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of a vaccine derived from a chimeric virus, which was constructed using the structural proteins (prM and E) of the Kunjin strain of WNV (WNVKUN) and the genome backbone of the insect-specific flavivirus Binjari virus (BinJV). This chimeric virus (BinJ/WNVKUN-prME) exhibits an insect-specific phenotype and does not replicate in vertebrate cells. Importantly, it authentically presents the prM-E proteins of WNVKUN, which is antigenically very similar to other WNV strains and lineages. Therefore BinJ/WNVKUN-prME represents an excellent candidate to assess as a vaccine against virulent WNV strains, including the highly pathogenic WNVNY99. When CD1 mice were immunized with purified BinJ/WNVKUN-prME, they developed robust neutralizing antibody responses after a single unadjuvanted dose of 1 to 5 ?g. We further demonstrated complete protection against viremia and mortality after lethal challenge with WNVNY99, with no clinical or subclinical pathology observed in vaccinated animals. These data suggest that BinJ/WNVKUN-prME represents a safe and effective WNV vaccine candidate that warrants further investigation for use in humans or in veterinary applications.
Project description:We describe two new insect-specific flaviviruses (ISFs) isolated from mosquitoes in Australia, Binjari virus (BinJV) and Hidden Valley virus (HVV), that grow efficiently in mosquito cells but fail to replicate in a range of vertebrate cell lines. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that BinJV and HVV were closely related (90% amino acid sequence identity) and clustered with lineage II (dual-host affiliated) ISFs, including the Lammi and Nounané viruses. Using a panel of monoclonal antibodies prepared to BinJV viral proteins, we confirmed a close relationship between HVV and BinJV and revealed that they were antigenically quite divergent from other lineage II ISFs. We also constructed chimeric viruses between BinJV and the vertebrate-infecting West Nile virus (WNV) by swapping the structural genes (prM and E) to produce BinJ/WNVKUN-prME and WNVKUN/BinJV-prME. This allowed us to assess the role of different regions of the BinJV genome in vertebrate host restriction and revealed that while BinJV structural proteins facilitated entry to vertebrate cells, the process was inefficient. In contrast, the BinJV replicative components in wild-type BinJV and BinJ/WNVKUN-prME failed to initiate replication in a wide range of vertebrate cell lines at 37°C, including cells lacking components of the innate immune response. However, trace levels of replication of BinJ/WNVKUN-prME could be detected in some cultures of mouse embryo fibroblasts (MEFs) deficient in antiviral responses (IFNAR-/- MEFs or RNase L-/- MEFs) incubated at 34°C after inoculation. This suggests that BinJV replication in vertebrate cells is temperature sensitive and restricted at multiple stages of cellular infection, including inefficient cell entry and susceptibility to antiviral responses.IMPORTANCE The globally important flavivirus pathogens West Nile virus, Zika virus, dengue viruses, and yellow fever virus can infect mosquito vectors and be transmitted to humans and other vertebrate species in which they cause significant levels of disease and mortality. However, the subgroup of closely related flaviviruses, known as lineage II insect-specific flaviviruses (Lin II ISFs), only infect mosquitoes and cannot replicate in cells of vertebrate origin. Our data are the first to uncover the mechanisms that restrict the growth of Lin II ISFs in vertebrate cells and provides new insights into the evolution of these viruses and the mechanisms associated with host switching that may allow new mosquito-borne viral diseases to emerge. The new reagents generated in this study, including the first Lin II ISF-reactive monoclonal antibodies and Lin II ISF mutants and chimeric viruses, also provide new tools and approaches to enable further research advances in this field.
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: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: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:BACKGROUND:To be transmitted to vertebrate hosts via the saliva of their vectors, arthropod-borne viruses have to cross several barriers in the mosquito body, including the midgut infection and escape barriers. Yellow fever virus (YFV) belongs to the genus Flavivirus, which includes human viruses transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, such as dengue and Zika viruses. The live-attenuated YFV-17D vaccine has been used safely and efficiently on a large scale since the end of World War II. Early studies have shown, using viral titration from salivary glands of infected mosquitoes, that YFV-17D can infect Aedes aegypti midgut, but does not disseminate to other tissues. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:Here, we re-visited this issue using a panel of techniques, such as RT-qPCR, Western blot, immunofluorescence and titration assays. We showed that YFV-17D replication was not efficient in Aedes aegypti midgut, as compared to the clinical isolate YFV-Dakar. Viruses that replicated in the midgut failed to disseminate to secondary organs. When injected into the thorax of mosquitoes, viruses succeeded in replicating into midgut-associated tissues, suggesting that, during natural infection, the block for YFV-17D replication occurs at the basal membrane of the midgut. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:The two barriers associated with Ae. aegypti midgut prevent YFV-17D replication. Our study contributes to our basic understanding of vector-pathogen interactions and may also aid in the development of non-transmissible live virus vaccines.
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.