Induction of antigen-specific immune responses in mice by recombinant baculovirus expressing premembrane and envelope proteins of West Nile virus
Fu, Zhen F
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AbstractBackgroundWest Nile Virus (WNV) is an emerging arthropod-born flavivirus with increasing distribution worldwide that is responsible for a large proportion of viral encephalitis in humans and horses. Given that there are no effective antiviral drugs available for treatment of the disease, efforts have been directed to develop vaccines to prevent WNV infection. Recently baculovirus has emerged as a novel and attractive gene delivery vehicle for mammalian cells.ResultsIn the present study, recombinant baculoviruses expressing WNV premembrane (prM) and envelope (E) proteins under the cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoter with or without vesicular stomatitis virus glycoprotein (VSV/G) were constructed. The recombinant baculoviruses designated Bac-G-prM/E and Bac-prM/E, efficiently express E protein in mammalian cells. Intramuscular injection of the two recombinant baculoviruses (at doses of 108 or 109 PFU/mouse) induced the production of WNV-specific antibodies, neutralizing antibodies as well as gamma interferon (IFN-γ) in a dose-dependent pattern. Interestingly, the recombinant baculovirus Bac-G-prM/E was found to be a more efficient immunogen than Bac-prM/E to elicit a robust immune response upon intramuscular injection. In addition, inoculation of baculovirus resulted in the secretion of inflammatory cytokines, such as TNF-α, IL-2 and IL-6.ConclusionsThese recombinant baculoviruses are capable of eliciting robust humoral and cellular immune responses in mice, and may be considered as novel vaccine candidates for West Nile Virus.