Hepatitis B virus core particles containing multiple epitopes confer protection against enterovirus 71 and coxsackievirus A16 infection in mice

Chunling Huo, Jie Yang, Lei Lei, Lei Qiao, Jiantao Xin, Zishu Pan
Vaccine 2017 December 19, 35 (52): 7322-7330
Human enterovirus 71 (EV71) and coxsackievirus A16 (CA16) are the two major causative agents of hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD). To investigate novel combined vaccines to prevent EV71 and CA16 infection, we constructed chimeric virus-like particles (tHBc/SPA or tHBc/SP VLPs) displaying conserved epitopes of EV71 (aa 208-222 of VP1 and aa 248-263 of VP2) and CA16 (aa271-285 of VP1) using a truncated hepatitis B virus core carrier (tHBc). Immunization with the chimeric VLPs induced epitope- or virus-specific IgG and neutralization antibodies against EV71 and CA16 in the mice. Compared with inactivated EV71, the chimeric VLPs induced significantly increased Th1 cytokine (IFN-γ, IL-2) production and decreased Th2 cytokine (IL-4, IL-10) responses. Neonatal mice born to dams immunized with the recombinant particles were completely protected from lethal EV71 and partially protected from CA16 infection. Co-expression of the conserved human MHC class I CD4+ T cell epitope (aa248-263 of VP2) did not improve the antiviral immunity of the chimeric VLP vaccine in mice. Our results demonstrate that experimental combination vaccines comprised of EV71 and CA16 epitopes induce both humoral and cellular immune responses and therefore support further preclinical and clinical development of a bivalent VLP vaccine targeting both CA16 and EV71.

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