A Zika virus vaccine expressing premembrane-envelope-NS1 polyprotein

Anzhong Li, Jingyou Yu, Mijia Lu, Yuanmei Ma, Zayed Attia, Chao Shan, Miaoge Xue, Xueya Liang, Kelsey Craig, Nirajkumar Makadiya, Jennifer J. He, Ryan Jennings, Pei Yong Shi, Mark E. Peeples, Shan Lu Liu, Prosper N. Boyaka, Jianrong Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Current efforts to develop Zika virus (ZIKV) subunit vaccines have been focused on pre-membrane (prM) and envelope (E) proteins, but the role of NS1 in ZIKV-specific immune response and protection is poorly understood. Here, we develop an attenuated recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (rVSV)-based vaccine expressing ZIKV prM-E-NS1 as a polyprotein. This vectored vaccine candidate is attenuated in mice, where a single immunization induces ZIKV-specific antibody and T cell immune responses that provide protection against ZIKV challenge. Co-expression of prM, E, and NS1 induces significantly higher levels of Th2 and Th17 cytokine responses than prM-E. In addition, NS1 alone is capable of conferring partial protection against ZIKV infection in mice even though it does not induce neutralizing antibodies. These results demonstrate that attenuated rVSV co-expressing prM, E, and NS1 is a promising vaccine candidate for protection against ZIKV infection and highlights an important role for NS1 in ZIKV-specific cellular immune responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3067
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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