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Molecularly engineered live-attenuated chimeric West Nile/dengue virus vaccines protect rhesus monkeys from West Nile virus


Molecularly engineered live-attenuated chimeric West Nile/dengue virus vaccines protect rhesus monkeys from West Nile virus



Virology 314(1): 190-195



ISSN/ISBN: 0042-6822

PMID: 14517072

DOI: 10.1016/s0042-6822(03)00450-1

Two molecularly engineered, live-attenuated West Nile virus (WN) vaccine candidates were highly attenuated and protective in rhesus monkeys. The vaccine candidates are chimeric viruses (designated WN/DEN4) bearing the membrane precursor and envelope protein genes of WN on a backbone of dengue 4 virus (DEN4) with or without a deletion of 30 nucleotides (Delta 30) in the 3' noncoding region of DEN4. Viremia in WN/DEN4- infected monkeys was reduced 100-fold compared to that in WN- or DEN4-infected monkeys. WN/DEN4-3'Delta 30 did not cause detectable viremia, indicating that it is even more attenuated for monkeys. These findings indicate that chimerization itself and the presence of the Delta 30 mutation independently contribute to the attenuation phenotype for nonhuman primates. Despite their high level of attenuation in monkeys, the chimeras induced a moderate-to-high titer of neutralizing antibodies and prevented viremia in monkeys challenged with WN. The more attenuated vaccine candidate, WN/DEN4-3'Delta 30, will be evaluated first in our initial clinical studies.

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Accession: 003852769

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