Protective immunity by an engineered DNA vaccine for Mayaro virus

Hyeree Choi, Sagar B. Kudchodkar, Emma L. Reuschel, Kanika Asija, Piyush Borole, Michelle Ho, Krzysztof Wojtak, Charles Reed, Stephanie Ramos, Nathen E. Bopp, Patricia Aguilar, Scott Weaver, J. Joseph Kim, Laurent Humeau, Pablo Tebas, David B. Weiner, Kar Muthumani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


Mayaro virus (MAYV) of the genus alphavirus is a mosquito-transmitted emerging infectious disease that causes an acute febrile illness, rash, headaches, and nausea that may turn into incapacitating, persistent arthralgias in some victims. Since its discovery in Trinidad in 1954, cases of MAYV infection have largely been confined there and to the northern countries of South America, but recently, MAYV cases have been reported in some island nations in the Caribbean Sea. Accompanying these reports is evidence that new vectors, including Aedes spp. mosquitos, recently implicated in the global spread of Zika and chikungunya viruses, are competent for MAYV transmission, which, if true, could facilitate the spread of MAYV beyond its current range. Despite its status as an emerging virus, there are no licensed vaccines to prevent MAYV infection nor therapeutics to treat it. Here, we describe the development and testing of a novel DNA vaccine, scMAYV-E, that encodes a synthetically-designed consensus MAYV envelope sequence. In vivo electroporation-enhanced immunization of mice with this vaccine induced potent humoral responses including neutralizing antibodies as well as robust T-cell responses to multiple epitopes in the MAYV envelope. Importantly, these scMAYV-E-induced immune responses protected susceptible mice from morbidity and mortality following a MAYV challenge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e0007042
JournalPLoS neglected tropical diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this

Choi, H., Kudchodkar, S. B., Reuschel, E. L., Asija, K., Borole, P., Ho, M., Wojtak, K., Reed, C., Ramos, S., Bopp, N. E., Aguilar, P., Weaver, S., Kim, J. J., Humeau, L., Tebas, P., Weiner, D. B., & Muthumani, K. (2019). Protective immunity by an engineered DNA vaccine for Mayaro virus. PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 13(2), e0007042.