The emergence of ZIKV infection has prompted a global effort to develop safe and effective vaccines. We engineered a lipid nanoparticle (LNP) encapsulated modified mRNA vaccine encoding wild-type or variant ZIKV structural genes and tested immunogenicity and protection in mice. Two doses of modified mRNA LNPs encoding prM-E genes that produced virus-like particles resulted in high neutralizing antibody titers (∼1/100,000) that protected against ZIKV infection and conferred sterilizing immunity. To offset a theoretical concern of ZIKV vaccines inducing antibodies that cross-react with the related dengue virus (DENV), we designed modified prM-E RNA encoding mutations destroying the conserved fusion-loop epitope in the E protein. This variant protected against ZIKV and diminished production of antibodies enhancing DENV infection in cells or mice. A modified mRNA vaccine can prevent ZIKV disease and be adapted to reduce the risk of sensitizing individuals to subsequent exposure to DENV, should this become a clinically relevant concern.
Pubmed ID: 28222903 RIS Download
Mesh terms: Animals | Epitopes | Female | Lipids | Mice | Mice, 129 Strain | Mice, Inbred BALB C | Mice, Inbred C57BL | Nanoparticles | RNA, Messenger | Viral Vaccines | Zika Virus | Zika Virus Infection
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