Complete protection for mice conferred by a DNA vaccine based on the Japanese encephalitis virus P3 strain used to prepare the inactivated vaccine in China

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Abstract

Background: The incidence of Japanese encephalitis (JE) has been dramatically reduced in China after sufficient vaccine coverage. The live-attenuated Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) vaccine SA14-14-2 is believed to have strongly contribute to this decrease. Another vaccine that seems to have decreased in importance is an inactivated vaccine based on the JEV P3 strain, which is considered to be modifiable, such as being transformed into a DNA vaccine to improve its immunogenicity. Methods: In this study, the protective efficacy induced by the Japanese encephalitis DNA vaccine candidate pV-JP3ME encoding the premembrane (prM) and envelope (E) proteins of the P3 strain was assessed in BALB/c mice. The prM/E genes of the JEV P3 strain were subcloned into the vector pVAX1 (pV) to construct pV-JP3ME. Results: The plasmid DNA was immunized into BALB/c mice, and high titers of IgG antibody and neutralizing antibody (nAb) against JEV were detected. The key cytokines in splenocytes were secreted upon stimulation with JEV antigens. Finally, complete protective efficacy was generated after challenge with the JEV P3 strain in the mice. Conclusions: The DNA vaccine pV-JP3ME based on the JEV P3 strain in this study can induce specific humoral immune and cytokine responses and provide complete protection against JEV in mice.

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Zheng, X., Yu, X., Wang, Y., Turtle, L., Cui, M., Wang, R., & Yin, C. (2020). Complete protection for mice conferred by a DNA vaccine based on the Japanese encephalitis virus P3 strain used to prepare the inactivated vaccine in China. Virology Journal, 17(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12985-020-01400-3

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