IRES-Containing VEEV Vaccine Protects Cynomolgus Macaques from IE Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus Aerosol Challenge

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Abstract

© 2015 Rossi et al.Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV) is an arbovirus endemic to the Americas that is responsible for severe, sometimes fatal, disease in humans and horses. We previously described an IRES-based VEE vaccine candidate based up the IE serotype that offers complete protection against a lethal subtype IE VEEV challenge in mice. Here we demonstrate the IRES-based vaccine’s ability to protect against febrile disease in cynomolgus macaques. Vaccination was well tolerated and elicited robust neutralizing antibody titers noticed as early as day 14. Moreover, complete protection from disease characterized by absence of viremia and characteristic fever following aerosolized IE VEEV challenge was observed in all vaccinees compared to control animals, which developed clinical disease. Together, these results highlight the safety and efficacy of IRES-based VEEV vaccine to protect against an endemic, pathogenic VEEV IE serotype.

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Rossi, S. L., Russell-Lodrigue, K. E., Killeen, S. Z., Wang, E., Leal, G., Bergren, N. A., … Roy, C. J. (2015). IRES-Containing VEEV Vaccine Protects Cynomolgus Macaques from IE Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus Aerosol Challenge. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 9(5). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0003797

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