A DNA vaccine for Ebola virus is safe and immunogenic in a phase I clinical trial.

Vaccine Research Center, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes, Bethesda, MD 20892-3017, USA.
Clinical and Vaccine Immunology (Impact Factor: 2.47). 12/2006; 13(11):1267-77. DOI: 10.1128/CVI.00162-06
Source: PubMed


Ebola viruses represent a class of filoviruses that causes severe hemorrhagic fever with high mortality. Recognized first in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, outbreaks continue to occur in equatorial Africa. A safe and effective Ebola virus vaccine is needed because of its continued emergence and its potential for use for biodefense. We report the safety and immunogenicity of an Ebola virus vaccine in its first phase I human study. A three-plasmid DNA vaccine encoding the envelope glycoproteins (GP) from the Zaire and Sudan/Gulu species as well as the nucleoprotein was evaluated in a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded, dose escalation study. Healthy adults, ages 18 to 44 years, were randomized to receive three injections of vaccine at 2 mg (n = 5), 4 mg (n = 8), or 8 mg (n = 8) or placebo (n = 6). Immunogenicity was assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), immunoprecipitation-Western blotting, intracellular cytokine staining (ICS), and enzyme-linked immunospot assay. The vaccine was well-tolerated, with no significant adverse events or coagulation abnormalities. Specific antibody responses to at least one of the three antigens encoded by the vaccine as assessed by ELISA and CD4(+) T-cell GP-specific responses as assessed by ICS were detected in 20/20 vaccinees. CD8(+) T-cell GP-specific responses were detected by ICS assay in 6/20 vaccinees. This Ebola virus DNA vaccine was safe and immunogenic in humans. Further assessment of the DNA platform alone and in combination with replication-defective adenoviral vector vaccines, in concert with challenge and immune data from nonhuman primates, will facilitate evaluation and potential licensure of an Ebola virus vaccine under the Animal Rule.

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    • "It is well known that protein vaccines elicit strong humoral responses by inducing antigen-specific antibodies. DNA vaccines though induce cellular immune responses [33] and priming of antigen-specific memory B-cells [34], are still suffering from low efficacy in immunogenicity. Therefore, protein vaccines should be emphasised in attempting to develop a vaccine against toxoplasmosis. "
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    ABSTRACT: Toxoplasma gondii is a ubiquitous protozoan parasite that can infect all warm-blooded animals, including both mammals and birds. Protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) localises to the surface of T. gondii tachyzoites and modulates the interactions between parasite and host cells. In this study, the protective efficacy of recombinant T. gondii PDI (rTgPDI) as a vaccine candidate against T. gondii infection in BALB/c mice was evaluated. rTgPDI was expressed and purified from Escherichia coli. Five groups of animals (10 animals/group) were immunised with 10, 20, 30, 40 μg of rTgPDI per mouse or with PBS as a control group. All immunisations were performed via the nasal route at 1, 14 and 21 days. Two weeks after the last immunisation, the immune responses were evaluated by lymphoproliferative assays and by cytokine and antibody measurements. The immunised mice were challenged with tachyzoites of the virulent T. gondii RH strain on the 14th day after the last immunisation. Following the challenge, the tachyzoite loads in tissues were assessed, and animal survival time was recorded. Our results showed that the group immunised with 30 μg rTgPDI showed significantly higher levels of specific antibodies against the recombinant protein, a strong lymphoproliferative response and significantly higher levels of IgG2a, IFN-gamma (IFN-γ), IL-2 and IL-4 production compared with other doses and control groups. While no changes in IL-10 levels were detected. After being challenged with T. gondii tachyzoites, the numbers of tachyzoites in brain and liver tissues from the rTgPDI group were significantly reduced compared with those of the control group, and the survival time of the mice in the rTgPDI group was longer than that of mice in the control group. Our results showed that immunisation with rTgPDI elicited a protective immune reaction and suggested that rTgPDI might represent a promising vaccine candidate for combating toxoplasmosis.
    PLoS ONE 08/2013; 8(8):e70884. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0070884 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "To combine the advantages of VLP and DNA-based vaccines, several studies have used a new vaccination strategy, whereby the DNA used for immunization encodes proteins allowing for formation of VLPs in vivo. Such DNA vaccines alone or as part of DNA prime-VLP boost vaccination strategies have been tested and shown to induce protective immune responses for various viruses, for example, hepatitis C virus [26-31], but this strategy has not been tested for ebolavirus [32-38]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The genus Ebolavirus includes five distinct viruses. Four of these viruses cause hemorrhagic fever in humans. Currently there are no licensed vaccines for any of them; however, several vaccines are under development. Ebola virus envelope glycoprotein (GP1,2) is highly immunogenic, but antibodies frequently arise against its least conserved mucin-like domain (MLD). We hypothesized that immunization with MLD-deleted GP1,2 (GPΔMLD) would induce cross-species immunity by making more conserved regions accessible to the immune system. To test this hypothesis, mice were immunized with retrovirus-like particles (retroVLPs) bearing Ebola virus GPΔMLD, DNA plasmids (plasmo-retroVLP) that can produce such retroVLPs in vivo, or plasmo-retroVLP followed by retroVLPs. Cross-species neutralizing antibody and GP1,2-specific cellular immune responses were successfully induced. Our findings suggest that GPΔMLD presented through retroVLPs may provide a strategy for development of a vaccine against multiple ebolaviruses. Similar vaccination strategies may be adopted for other viruses whose envelope proteins contain highly variable regions that may mask more conserved domains from the immune system.
    Virology Journal 01/2012; 9:32. DOI:10.1186/1743-422X-9-32 · 2.18 Impact Factor
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    • "Studies have also demonstrated a less important role for CD4 + T cells in protection by filovirus vaccines [86] and, unfortunately, the role of CD4 + T cells was not assessed in the aforementioned mechanistic studies in nonhuman primates by Sullivan et al. [91] Existing efforts are focused on the identification of CD4 + T cell responses and their role in EBOV and MARV infection, especially given their dominance in responses in vaccinated humans [103] [104] "
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    ABSTRACT: Infection with many emerging viruses, such as the hemorrhagic fever disease caused by the filoviruses, Marburg (MARV), and Ebola virus (EBOV), leaves the host with a short timeframe in which to mouse a protective immune response. In lethal cases, uncontrolled viral replication and virus-induced immune dysregulation are too severe to overcome, and mortality is generally associated with a lack of notable immune responses. Vaccination studies in animals have demonstrated an association of IgG and neutralizing antibody responses against the protective glycoprotein antigen with survival from lethal challenge. More recently, studies in animal models of filovirus hemorrhagic fever have established that induction of a strong filovirus-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response can facilitate complete viral clearance. In this review, we describe assays used to discover CTL responses after vaccination or live filovirus infection in both animal models and human clinical trials. Unfortunately, little data regarding CTL responses have been collected from infected human survivors, primarily due to the low frequency of disease and the inability to perform these studies in the field. Advancements in assays and technologies may allow these studies to occur during future outbreaks.
    BioMed Research International 12/2011; 2011:984241. DOI:10.1155/2011/984241 · 2.71 Impact Factor
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