Ebola virus (EBOV) causes outbreaks of a highly lethal hemorrhagic fever in humans. The virus can be transmitted by direct contact as well as by aerosol and is considered a potential bioweapon. Because direct immunization of the respiratory tract should be particularly effective against infection of mucosal surfaces, we previously developed an intranasal vaccine based on replication-competent human parainfluenza virus type 3 (HPIV3) expressing EBOV glycoprotein GP (HPIV3/EboGP) and showed that it is immunogenic and protective against a high dose parenteral EBOV challenge. However, because the adult human population has considerable immunity to HPIV3, which is a common human pathogen, replication and immunogenicity of the vaccine in this population might be greatly restricted. Indeed, in the present study, replication of the vaccine in the respiratory tract of HPIV3-immune guinea pigs was found to be restricted to undetectable levels. This restriction appeared to be based on both neutralizing antibodies and cellular or other components of the immunity to HPIV3. Surprisingly, even though replication of HPIV3/EboGP was highly restricted in HPIV3-immune animals, it induced a high level of EBOV-specific antibodies that nearly equaled that obtained in HPIV3-naive animals. We also show that the previously demonstrated presence of functional GP in the vector particle was not associated with increased replication in the respiratory tract nor with spread beyond the respiratory tract of HPIV3-naive guinea pigs, indicating that expression and functional incorporation of the attachment/penetration glycoprotein of this systemic virus did not mediate a change in tissue tropism.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases