Evaluations of rationally designed rift valley fever vaccine candidate RVax-1 in mosquito and rodent models

Tetsuro Ikegami, Eduardo Jurado-Cobena, Cigdem Alkan, Jennifer K. Smith, Lihong Zhang, Birte Kalveram, Terry L. Juelich, Allen T. Esterly, Jahnavi R. Bhaskar, Saravanan Thangamani, Alexander N. Freiberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a mosquito-borne zoonosis endemic to Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, which causes large outbreaks among humans and ruminants. Single dose vaccinations using live-attenuated RVF virus (RVFV) support effective prevention of viral spread in endemic countries. Due to the segmented nature of RVFV genomic RNA, segments of vaccine strain-derived genomic RNA could be incorporated into wild-type RVFV within co-infected mosquitoes or animals. Rationally designed vaccine candidate RVax-1 displays protective epitopes fully identical to the previously characterized MP-12 vaccine. Additionally, all genome segments of RVax-1 contribute to the attenuation phenotype, which prevents the formation of pathogenic reassortant strains. This study demonstrated that RVax-1 cannot replicate efficiently in orally fed Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, while retaining strong immunogenicity and protective efficacy in an inbred mouse model, which were indistinguishable from the MP-12 vaccine. These findings support further development of RVax-1 as the next generation MP-12-based vaccine for prevention of Rift Valley fever in humans and animals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number109
Journalnpj Vaccines
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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