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

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17 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

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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    Li, A., Yu, J., Lu, M., Ma, Y., Attia, Z., Shan, C., Xue, M., Liang, X., Craig, K., Makadiya, N., He, J. J., Jennings, R., Shi, P-Y., Peeples, M. E., Liu, S. L., Boyaka, P. N., & Li, J. (2018). A Zika virus vaccine expressing premembrane-envelope-NS1 polyprotein. Nature Communications, 9(1), [3067]. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-05276-4