Multiple vaccines exist to control Japanese encephalitis (JE), but all suffer from problems. We have developed a new type of flavivirus vaccine, a pseudoinfectious virus (RepliVAX WN) that prevents West Nile virus (WNV)-induced disease. Here, we describe production of a chimeric RepliVAX (RepliVAX JE) that expresses the JE virus (JEV) prM and E proteins. Our prototype RepliVAX JE replicated poorly in cells, but blind passage produced a better-growing derivative, and analyses of this derivative allowed us to engineer a second-generation RepliVAX (RepliVAX JE.2) that grew to high titers. RepliVAX JE.2 elicited neutralizing antibodies in both mice and hamsters and provided 100% protection from a lethal challenge with JEV or WNV, respectively. These results demonstrate the utility our RepliVAX platform for producing a JE vaccine.
- Encephalitis virus
- Subviral particle
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health