Antibody and cellular immune responses following DNA vaccination and EHV-1 infection of ponies.
ABSTRACT Equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) is the cause of serious disease with high economic impact on the horse industry, as outbreaks of EHV-1 disease occur every year despite the frequent use of vaccines. Cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (CTLs) are important for protection from primary and reactivating latent EHV-1 infection. DNA vaccination is a powerful technique for stimulating CTLs, and the aim of this study was to assess antibody and cellular immune responses and protection resulting from DNA vaccination of ponies with combinations of EHV-1 genes. Fifteen ponies were divided into three groups of five ponies each. Two vaccination groups were DNA vaccinated on four different occasions with combinations of plasmids encoding the gB, gC, and gD glycoproteins or plasmids encoding the immediate early (IE) and early proteins (UL5) of EHV-1, using the PowderJect XR research device. Total dose of DNA/plasmid/vaccination were 25 microg. A third group comprised unvaccinated control ponies. All ponies were challenge infected with EHV-1 6 weeks after the last vaccination, and protection from clinical disease, viral shedding, and viremia was determined. Virus neutralizing antibodies and isotype specific antibody responses against whole EHV-1 did not increase in either vaccination group in response to vaccination. However, glycoprotein gene vaccinated ponies showed gD and gC specific antibody responses. Vaccination did not affect EHV-1 specific lymphoproliferative or CTL responses. Following challenge infection with EHV-1, ponies in all three groups showed clinical signs of disease. EHV-1 specific CTLs, proliferative responses, and antibody responses increased significantly in all three groups following challenge infection. In summary, particle-mediated EHV-1 DNA vaccination induced limited immune responses and protection. Future vaccination strategies must focus on generating stronger CTL responses.
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ABSTRACT: Equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) continues to cause both sporadic and epidemic abortions despite extensive vaccination. Lack of progress in the development of protective vaccines may be hindered by the lack of equine abortion models that employ contemporary EHV-1 strains. The objective of our experiments was to compare a contemporary EHV-1 strain with a previously described challenge strain, and to quantify EHV-1 loads in various maternal and fetal tissues. Infection experiments were performed in two groups of 7 pregnant pony mares at 270-290 days of gestation with a contemporary EHV-1 strain (University of Findlay 2003 isolate - OH03) or an EHV-1 strain isolated over 30 years ago, and previously described in abortion models (Ab4). All mares in both groups exhibited nasal viral shedding and viremia. Infection with OH03 resulted in 1/7 abortion and infection with Ab4 resulted in 5/7 abortions. In the OH03 challenge, placentas of foals delivered at term showed little detectable virus, while the aborted fetus expressed high levels of virus infection in the spleen and liver, lower levels in the lung and thymus, and lowest levels in the chorioallantois. After Ab4 challenge, high viral loads were detected in fetal and placental tissues in abortions. In the two normal deliveries, the chorioallantois contained virus levels comparable with the chorioallantois of aborted foals and both foals shed EHV-1 starting on day 4 of life, but were clinically healthy. Our results demonstrate the continued importance of strain selection for abortion models, and this study is the first report of viral load quantification using contemporary methods. Extremely high EHV-1 loads in decidua from abortions illustrate the infection risk posed to other horses.Vaccine 08/2012; 30(46):6564-72. DOI:10.1016/j.vaccine.2012.08.046 · 3.49 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The control of EHV-1 infection by cytotoxic T-cell responses (CTL) via a reduction in cell associated viremia remains an important goal in horses. Unfortunately, current vaccines are inefficient at inducing these responses. We have identified the immediate early (IE) gene of EHV-1 as a potent stimulator of virus-specific CTL responses in ponies expressing a specific MHC class I serological haplotype (A3/B2). This study was designed to determine if vaccination of A3/B2 MHC I positive ponies with the IE gene could induce protection and immune responses associated with cell mediated immunity. Ponies expressing the MHC-I A3/B2 haplotype (A3/B2 vaccinates) and ponies with a different MHC I haplotype (either non-A3 vaccinates or A3-non-B2 vaccinates) were vaccinated with a recombinant modified vaccinia Ankara (rMVA) vector expressing the IE gene on 3 occasions and vaccinates and unvaccinated controls were challenge infected 8 weeks after the last vaccination. Interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) mRNA and antibody titers were determined throughout the study and clinical signs, nasal virus shedding and viremia were determined following challenge infection. Vaccination of A3/B2 vaccinates conferred significant clinical protection and a significant reduction in EHV-1 viremia. IFN-gamma mRNA increased significantly following vaccination in the A3/B2 vaccinates. Antibody titers remained low until after challenge infection, indicating that no accidental field acquired or recrudescent EHV-1 infection had occurred. In summary, this is an important study showing that vaccination of ponies with the EHV-1 IE protein provides not only reduction in clinical disease but also reduction of cell associated viremia, which is a prerequisite for the prevention of abortion and neurological disease.Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 11/2009; 135(1-2):108-17. DOI:10.1016/j.vetimm.2009.11.009 · 1.75 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to determine viral loads, strain (neuropathogenic versus non-neuropathogenic) and state (lytic, non-replicating, latent) of equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in the blood and nasopharyngeal secretions of adult horses following natural exposure. The index case, a 4-year-old Thoroughbred gelding with confirmed EHV-1 myeloencephalopathy, as well as potentially exposed horses, were sampled over a period of 3 weeks. The study population comprised of 39 adult Thoroughbred horses and 35 adult "pony" and outrider horses of various breeds housed at a racetrack in Northern California. Blood samples and nasopharyngeal secretions (NPS) from all horses were tested on several occasions for EHV-1 DNA viral loads, targeting the glycoprotein B (gB) gene, viral strain, targeting the ORF 30 gene, and transcriptional activity of EHV-1, targeting the gB gene and latency-associated transcripts (LATs). Viral loads and transcriptional activity of the gB gene declined rapidly in the index case following antiviral treatment. The prevalence of EHV-1 infection in NPS determined by PCR slowly decreased over the 22 day study period from 25% to 14%. The initial surveillance showed multiple clusters of exposure, one associated with the index case and two related to horses that had recently returned from a different racetrack. Viral strain differentiation showed that only two horses (the index case and a neighboring horse) were infected with only a neuropathogenic strain, while all other horses were infected with either a non-neuropathogenic strain or were dually infected with both neuropathogenic and non-neuropathogenic strains. In most cases, the virus was present in either a lytic or a non-replicating form, while latent virus was found in blood and NPS much less frequently. The molecular approach used in this study showed promise for assessing the risk of exposing other horses to EHV-1 and for studying viral kinetics in infected horses.The Veterinary Journal 12/2007; 179(2):230-9. DOI:10.1016/j.tvjl.2007.09.018 · 2.17 Impact Factor