Human Immune Response To Japanese Encephalitis Virus Guides Development Of Vaccines With Long Lasting Immunity
Venkatramana, D K
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Chapter 1: Role of JEV NS1 in protective immunity and in immunopathology. Previous studies from our laboratory revealed T cell immunodominance of non structural proteins NS3 and NS1 during natural JEV infections in humans where as the structural protein E, which is a good target for neutralizing antibody response is a poor inducer of T cells. Flavivirus NS1 is also known to induce humoral immune response. Several studies in different flaviviruses have indicated a role for NS1-specific immune responses in protection against flaviviruses. Paradoxically, studies also pointed to the contribution of NS1 in pathology and immune modulation. We screened serum samples from 72 convalescent JE patients for the presence of anti-NS1 antibodies by ELISA and radioimmunoprecipitation and found NS1 reactivity in 45 samples. These antibodies to NS1 are capable of inducing complement mediated cytolysis of cells expressing NS1 on the surface. Additionally, we demonstrated twenty two fold reduction in the infectious virus produced at 48h in SW-13 cells in the presence of human complement and NS1 antiserum compared to control serum, suggesting that complement mediated cytolytic activity of anti NS1 antibody helps the host in controlling the virus propagation. Chapter 2: Comparison of immune responses to JEV structural proteins Capsid and Envelope in human volunteers vaccinated with inactivated JE vaccine and naturally exposed to live JEV. We compared the CMI responses to structural proteins E and C in human volunteers vaccinated with commercially available killed JE vaccine and in humans naturally exposed to live JEV. The results revealed that structural proteins E and C are inherently poor inducers of T cells even in killed vaccine preparation, where there is no competition from immunodominant non structural proteins. Therefore inclusion of nonstructural proteins NS1 and NS3 along with neutralizing antibody inducing envelope should improve memory and efficacy of a JE vaccine. Chapter 3: Construction and testing in the mouse model of experimental recombinant poxvirus vaccines expressing prM, E, NS1, and NS3 of JEV. Guided by the information on immune responses to JEV in the JE endemic human cohort and volunteers vaccinated with killed JE vaccine, we designed experimental vaccines as recombinant vaccinia viruses expressing NS1, NS3, prM, and E proteins of JEV (vNS1NS3prME) or NS1, NS3, prM, and C-terminally truncated E (vNS1NS3prMΔE) and studied the immune responses elicited by these vaccines in mice. Our data showed that a recombinant vaccinia virus expressing prM, ΔE, NS1, and NS3 of JEV is superior to killed JE vaccine in eliciting long lived neutralizing antibodies as well as NS1 and NS3-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) in addition to NS1-specific cytolytic antibodies, resulting in long lasting and enhanced protection from lethal JEV infection in mice. Our results thus identified all B and T cell antigens whose inclusion in a live-vectored vaccine would provide a vaccine with far superior efficacy over the inactivated JE vaccine.
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