Viremia and immunogenicity in nonhuman primates of a tetravalent yellow fever-dengue chimeric vaccine: genetic reconstructions, dose adjustment, and antibody responses against wild-type dengue virus isolates

F Guirakhoo, K Pugachev, J Arroyo, C Miller, Z-X Zhang, R Weltzin, K Georgakopoulos, J Catalan, S Ocran, K Draper, T P Monath
Virology 2002 June 20, 298 (1): 146-59
Chimeric yellow fever (YF)-dengue (DEN) viruses (ChimeriVax-DEN) were reconstructed to correct amino acid substitutions within the envelope genes of original constructs described by Guirakhoo et al. (2001, J. Virol. 75, 7290-7304). Viruses were analyzed and compared to the previous constructs containing mutations in terms of their growth kinetics in Vero cells, neurovirulence in mice, and immunogenicity in monkeys as monovalent or tetravalent formulations. All chimeras grew to high titers [ approximately 7 to 8 log(10), plaque-forming units (PFU)/ml] in Vero cells and were less neurovirulent than YF 17D vaccine in mice. For monkey experiments, the dose of DEN2 chimera was lowered to 3 log(10) PFU in the tetravalent mixture in an effort to reduce its dominant immunogenicity. The magnitude of viremia in ChimeriVax-DEN immunized monkeys was similar to that of YF-VAX, but significantly lower than those induced by wild-type DEN viruses. All monkeys developed high levels of neutralizing antibodies against homologous (chimeras) or heterologous (wild-type DEN viruses isolated from different geographical regions) viruses after a single dose of monovalent or tetravalent vaccine. Administration of a second dose of tetravalent vaccine 2 months later increased titers to both homologous and heterologous viruses. A dose adjustment for dengue 2 chimera resulted in a more balanced response against dengue 1, 2, and 3 viruses, but a somewhat higher response against chimeric dengue 4 virus. This indicates that further formulations for dose adjustments need to be tested in monkeys to identify an optimal formulation for humans.

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