A Recombinant Rift Valley Fever Virus Glycoprotein Subunit Vaccine Confers Full Protection against Rift Valley Fever Challenge in Sheep

Faburay, B.; Wilson, W.C.; Gaudreault, N.N.; Davis, A.Sally.; Shivanna, V.; Bawa, B.; Sunwoo, S.Young.; Ma, W.; Drolet, B.S.; Morozov, I.; McVey, D.Scott.; Richt, J.A.

Scientific Reports 6: 27719

2016


ISSN/ISBN: 2045-2322
PMID: 27296136
DOI: 10.1038/srep27719
Accession: 071140131

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Abstract
Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) is a mosquito-borne zoonotic pathogen causing disease outbreaks in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. The virus has great potential for transboundary spread due to the presence of competent vectors in non-endemic areas. There is currently no fully licensed vaccine suitable for use in livestock or humans outside endemic areas. Here we report the evaluation of the efficacy of a recombinant subunit vaccine based on the RVFV Gn and Gc glycoproteins. In a previous study, the vaccine elicited strong virus neutralizing antibody responses in sheep and was DIVA (differentiating naturally infected from vaccinated animals) compatible. In the current efficacy study, a group of sheep (n = 5) was vaccinated subcutaneously with the glycoprotein-based subunit vaccine candidate and then subjected to heterologous challenge with the virulent Kenya-128B-15 RVFV strain. The vaccine elicited high virus neutralizing antibody titers and conferred complete protection in all vaccinated sheep, as evidenced by prevention of viremia, fever and absence of RVFV-associated histopathological lesions. We conclude that the subunit vaccine platform represents a promising strategy for the prevention and control of RVFV infections in susceptible hosts.