[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, with its cohort of life-threatening complications, affects more than 200 million persons worldwide and has a prevalence of more than 10% in certain countries. Preventive and therapeutic vaccines against HCV are thus much needed. Neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) are the foundation for successful disease prevention for most established vaccines. However, for viruses that cause chronic infection such as HIV or HCV, induction of broad NAbs from recombinant vaccines has remained elusive. We developed a vaccine platform specifically aimed at inducing NAbs based on pseudotyped virus-like particles (VLPs) made with retroviral Gag. We report that VLPs pseudotyped with E2 and/or E1 HCV envelope glycoproteins induced high-titer anti-E2 and/or anti-E1 antibodies, as well as NAbs, in both mouse and macaque. The NAbs, which were raised against HCV 1a, cross-neutralized the five other genotypes tested (1b, 2a, 2b, 4, and 5). Thus, the described VLP platform, which can be pseudotyped with a vast array of virus envelope glycoproteins, represents a new approach to viral vaccine development.
Science translational medicine 08/2011; 3(94):94ra71. · 10.76 Impact Factor