Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Experimental hantavirus vaccine elicits strong antibody response in primates

24.10.2003


For the first time, scientists have demonstrated that an experimental vaccine to hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS), a highly lethal disease, elicits a strong neutralizing antibody response in laboratory animals - a response that is key to preventing the virus from causing infection.

In addition, the antibodies, produced in nonhuman primates that received the vaccine, protected hamsters from disease even when administered 5 days after exposure.

These findings provide proof of concept in nonhuman primates for a vaccine against HPS, as well as for post exposure prophylactic treatment of HPS and a related disease known as hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS).



In an article published in last month’s Journal of Virology, investigators at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) describe using a naked DNA approach to develop a hantavirus vaccine. The technique involves vaccination with plasmid DNA that encodes a specific hantavirus gene. When the plasmid DNA is introduced into the cells of a vaccine recipient, using a harmless device called a "gene gun," the cloned gene is expressed and presented to the immune system.

According to senior author Jay W. Hooper, Ph.D., the USAMRIID team constructed an expression plasmid containing the full-length M genome segment of Andes virus, a South American hantavirus. Vaccination with the plasmid elicited a potent neutralizing antibody response in rhesus macaques that were vaccinated a total of four times at three-week intervals.

To look at the duration of that response, the team collected serum samples for about six months. The monkeys who received the Andes vaccine displayed robust antibody levels as long as 25 weeks after the last vaccination.

Hantaviruses are carried by rodents and have caused epidemics in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Some cause HPS, while others are responsible for the more common HFRS. The viruses are pathogens of known military importance in endemic areas.

Currently there are no vaccines or antiviral drugs to protect against or treat HPS. The disease affects previously healthy individuals in all age groups, disease progression is rapid, and the case fatality rate is one of the highest for any acute viral disease known. In addition, there have been reports of person-to-person transmission of Andes virus in southern Argentina and Chile.

Having successfully vaccinated rhesus macaques with a hantavirus vaccine candidate, the USAMRIID scientists next asked whether the neutralizing antibody response elicited by the vaccine could protect hamsters from lethal hantavirus infection. The team had already developed a lethal-disease model of Andes virus in Syrian hamsters. To further explore this question, they tested serum from a monkey that had received the Andes vaccine for protective efficacy when administered to hamsters following challenge with the virus.

In these post-challenge experiments, 15 of 16 animals that received the antibody on day 3, 4, or 5 after challenge survived. The level of protection dropped significantly when the antibody was administered on day 6 or later. While all but one of the post-challenge survivors were infected with Andes virus, no deaths were observed.

"Aside from the immunogenicity of the vaccine in nonhuman primates, the most exciting thing about this was the indication that post-exposure prophylaxis might work--even five days out from exposure," Hooper commented. "When we administered antibody after challenge, we got nearly complete protection."

While the immediate need is for a vaccine against HFRS, the USAMRIID team believes the DNA vaccine approach could one day be used to develop a multivalent vaccine for hantaviruses that would be broadly protective against HPS and other forms of the disease.

"This work is an example of the many medical products that USAMRIID offers the Nation and the Department of Defense," said Colonel Erik A. Henchal, Ph.D., commander of the Institute. "This success is the product of years of dedicated basic and applied research by USAMRIID scientists."

Hooper’s co-authors were David M. Custer, Elizabeth G. Thompson, and Connie S. Schmaljohn, Ph.D., of USAMRIID, and Thomas G. Ksiazek, D.V.M., Ph.D., of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Caree Vander Linden | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.usamriid.army.mil

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht PET imaging tracks Zika virus infection, disease progression in mouse model
20.09.2017 | US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases

nachricht 'Exciting' discovery on path to develop new type of vaccine to treat global viruses
18.09.2017 | University of Southampton

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular Force Sensors

20.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Producing electricity during flight

20.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

20.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>