Low temperature and pressure stability of picornaviruses: implications for virus uncoating. (1/3369)

The family Picornaviridae includes several viruses of great economic and medical importance. Poliovirus replicates in the human digestive tract, causing disease that may range in severity from a mild infection to a fatal paralysis. The human rhinovirus is the most important etiologic agent of the common cold in adults and children. Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) causes one of the most economically important diseases in cattle. These viruses have in common a capsid structure composed of 60 copies of four different proteins, VP1 to VP4, and their 3D structures show similar general features. In this study we describe the differences in stability against high pressure and cold denaturation of these viruses. Both poliovirus and rhinovirus are stable to high pressure at room temperature, because pressures up to 2.4 kbar are not enough to promote viral disassembly and inactivation. Within the same pressure range, FMDV particles are dramatically affected by pressure, with a loss of infectivity of more than 4 log units observed. The dissociation of polio and rhino viruses can be observed only under pressure (2.4 kbar) at low temperatures in the presence of subdenaturing concentrations of urea (1-2 M). The pressure and low temperature data reveal clear differences in stability among the three picornaviruses, FMDV being the most sensitive, polio being the most resistant, and rhino having intermediate stability. Whereas rhino and poliovirus differ little in stability (less than 10 kcal/mol at 0 degrees C), the difference in free energy between these two viruses and FMDV was remarkable (more than 200 kcal/mol of particle). These differences are crucial to understanding the different factors that control the assembly and disassembly of the virus particles during their life cycle. The inactivation of these viruses by pressure (combined or not with low temperature) has potential as a method for producing vaccines.  (+info)

Induction of a protective antibody response to foot and mouth disease virus in mice following oral or parenteral immunization with alfalfa transgenic plants expressing the viral structural protein VP1. (2/3369)

The utilization of transgenic plants expressing recombinant antigens to be used in the formulation of experimental immunogens has been recently communicated. We report here the development of transgenic plants of alfalfa expressing the structural protein VP1 of foot and mouth disease virus (FMDV). The presence of the transgenes in the plants was confirmed by PCR and their specific transcription was demonstrated by RT-PCR. Mice parenterally immunized using leaf extracts or receiving in their diet freshly harvested leaves from the transgenic plants developed a virus-specific immune response. Animals immunized by either method elicited a specific antibody response to a synthetic peptide representing amino acid residues 135-160 of VP1, to the structural protein VP1, and to intact FMDV particles. Additionally, the immunized mice were protected against experimental challenge with the virus. We believe this is the first report demonstrating the induction of a protective systemic antibody response in animals fed transgenic plants expressing a viral antigen. These results support the feasibility of producing edible vaccines in transgenic forage plants, such as alfalfa, commonly used in the diet of domestic animals even for those antigens for which a systemic immune response is required.  (+info)

IL-12 gene as a DNA vaccine adjuvant in a herpes mouse model: IL-12 enhances Th1-type CD4+ T cell-mediated protective immunity against herpes simplex virus-2 challenge. (3/3369)

IL-12 has been shown to enhance cellular immunity in vitro and in vivo. Recent reports have suggested that combining DNA vaccine approach with immune stimulatory molecules delivered as genes may significantly enhance Ag-specific immune responses in vivo. In particular, IL-12 molecules could constitute an important addition to a herpes vaccine by amplifying specific immune responses. Here we investigate the utility of IL-12 cDNA as an adjuvant for a herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2) DNA vaccine in a mouse challenge model. Direct i.m. injection of IL-12 cDNA induced activation of resting immune cells in vivo. Furthermore, coinjection with IL-12 cDNA and gD DNA vaccine inhibited both systemic gD-specific Ab and local Ab levels compared with gD plasmid vaccination alone. In contrast, Th cell proliferative responses and secretion of cytokines (IL-2 and IFN-gamma) and chemokines (RANTES and macrophage inflammatory protein-1alpha) were significantly increased by IL-12 coinjection. However, the production of cytokines (IL-4 and IL-10) and chemokine (MCP-1) was inhibited by IL-12 coinjection. IL-12 coinjection with a gD DNA vaccine showed significantly better protection from lethal HSV-2 challenge compared with gD DNA vaccination alone in both inbred and outbred mice. This enhanced protection appears to be mediated by CD4+ T cells, as determined by in vivo CD4+ T cell deletion. Thus, IL-12 cDNA as a DNA vaccine adjuvant drives Ag-specific Th1 type CD4+ T cell responses that result in reduced HSV-2-derived morbidity as well as mortality.  (+info)

EBV structural antigens, gp350 and gp85, as targets for ex vivo virus-specific CTL during acute infectious mononucleosis: potential use of gp350/gp85 CTL epitopes for vaccine design. (4/3369)

For many years, EBV vaccine development efforts have concentrated on the use of structural Ag, gp350, and have been directed toward Ab-mediated blocking virus attachment to the target cell. There is increasing evidence to suggest that the development of neutralizing Abs in vaccinated animals does not always correlate with protection; nevertheless, it has been postulated that gp350-specific T cell-mediated immune responses may have an effector role in protection. This hypothesis has largely remained untested. In the present study, we demonstrate that CTL from acute infectious mononucleosis patients display strong ex vivo reactivity against the EBV structural Ags, gp85 and gp350. Moreover, long-term follow up studies on infectious mononucleosis-recovered individuals showed that these individuals maintain gp350- and gp85-specific memory CTL, albeit at low levels, in the peripheral blood. These results strongly suggest that CTL specific for EBV structural proteins may play an important role in the control of EBV infection during acute infection. More importantly, we also show that prior immunization of HLA A2/Kb transgenic mice with gp350 and gp85 CTL epitopes induced a strong epitope-specific CTL response and afforded protection against gp85- or gp350-expressing vaccinia virus challenge. These results have important implications for future EBV vaccine design and provides evidence, for the first time, that CTL epitopes from EBV structural proteins may be used for establishing strong antiviral immunity against EBV infection.  (+info)

Detection and induction of equine infectious anemia virus-specific cytotoxic T-lymphocyte responses by use of recombinant retroviral vectors. (5/3369)

Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) appear to be critical in resolving or reducing the severity of lentivirus infections. Retroviral vectors expressing the Gag/Pr or SU protein of the lentivirus equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV) were constructed and used to evaluate EIAV-specific CTL responses in horses. Three promoters, cytomegalovirus, simian virus SV40, and Moloney murine sarcoma virus (MoMSV) long terminal repeat (LTR), were used, and there was considerable variation in their ability to direct expression of Gag/Pr and SU. Vectors expressing EIAV proteins under the direction of MoMSV LTR and using the gibbon ape leukemia virus (GALV) Env for internalization were efficient at transducing equine kidney (EK) target cells and were effective targets for EIAV-specific CTL lysis. CTL from EIAV-infected horses caused lysis of retroviral vector-transduced EK cells expressing either Gag/Pr or SU in an ELA-A-restricted manner. In contrast, lysis of recombinant vaccinia virus-infected EK cells expressing Gag/Pr and SU/TM was often non-LA-A restricted. Five horses were immunized by direct intramuscular injection with a mixture of retroviral vectors expressing Gag/Pr or SU, and one responded with EIAV-specific CTL. This result indicates that retroviral vector stimulation of CTL in horses needs to be optimized, perhaps by inclusion of appropriate cytokine genes in the constructs. However, the studies demonstrated that retroviral vector-transduced target cells were very effective for in vitro dissection of EIAV-specific CTL responses.  (+info)

Human antibody responses to mature and immature forms of viral envelope in respiratory syncytial virus infection: significance for subunit vaccines. (6/3369)

A number of antibodies generated during human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection have been cloned by the phage library approach. Antibodies reactive with an immunodominant epitope on the F glycoprotein of this virus have a high affinity for affinity-purified F antigen. These antibodies, however, have a much lower affinity for mature F glycoprotein on the surface of infected cells and are nonneutralizing. In contrast, a potent neutralizing antibody has a high affinity for mature F protein but a much lower affinity for purified F protein or F protein in viral lysates. The data indicate that at least two F protein immunogens are produced during natural RSV infection: immature F, found in viral lysates, and mature F, found on infected cells or virions. Binding studies with polyclonal human immunoglobulin G suggest that the antibody responses to the two immunogens are of similar magnitudes. Competitive binding studies suggest that overlap between the responses is relatively limited. A mature envelope with an antigenic configuration different from that of the immature envelope has an evolutionary advantage in that the infecting virus is less subject to neutralization by the humoral response to the immature envelope that inevitably arises following lysis of infected cells. Subunit vaccines may be at a disadvantage because they most often resemble immature envelope molecules and ignore this aspect of viral evasion.  (+info)

Protection of macaques against intrarectal infection by a combination immunization regimen with recombinant simian immunodeficiency virus SIVmne gp160 vaccines. (7/3369)

We previously reported that immunization with recombinant simian immunodeficiency virus SIVmne envelope (gp160) vaccines protected macaques against intravenous challenge by the cloned homologous virus E11S but that this protection was only partially effective against the uncloned virus, SIVmne. In the present study, we examine the protective efficacy of this immunization regimen against infection by a mucosal route. We found that the same gp160-based vaccines were highly effective against intrarectal infection not only with the E11S clone but also with the uncloned SIVmne. Protection against mucosal infection is therefore achievable by parenteral immunization with recombinant envelope vaccines. Protection appears to correlate with high levels of SIV-specific antibodies and, in animals protected against the uncloned virus, the presence of serum-neutralizing activities. To understand the basis for the differential efficacies against the uncloned virus by the intravenous versus the intrarectal routes, we examined viral sequences recovered from the peripheral blood mononuclear cells of animals early after infection by both routes. We previously showed that the majority (85%) of the uncloned SIVmne challenge stock contained V1 sequences homologous to the molecular clone from which the vaccines were made (E11S type), with the remainder (15%) containing multiple conserved changes (the variant types). In contrast to intravenously infected animals, from which either E11S-type or the variant type V1 sequences could be recovered in significant proportions, animals infected intrarectally had predominantly E11S-type sequences. Preferential transmission or amplification of the E11S-type viruses may therefore account in part for the enhanced efficacy of the recombinant gp160 vaccines against the uncloned virus challenge by the intrarectal route compared with the intravenous route.  (+info)

Rapid and sensitive detection of immunoglobulin M (IgM) and IgG antibodies against canine distemper virus by a new recombinant nucleocapsid protein-based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. (8/3369)

Canine distemper morbillivirus (CDV) infection causes a frequently fatal systemic disease in a broad range of carnivore species, including domestic dogs. In CDV infection, classical serology provides data of diagnostic and prognostic values (kinetics of seroconversion) and is also used to predict the optimal vaccination age of pups. Routine CDV serology is still based on time- and cost-intensive virus neutralization assays (V-NA). Here, we describe a new capture-sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) that uses recombinant baculovirus-expressed nucleocapsid (N) protein of a recent CDV wild-type isolate (2544/Han95) for the detection of CDV-specific antibodies in canine sera. Recombinant antigen was produced with high efficacy in Heliothis virescens larvae. The capture-sandwich ELISA enabled a clear-cut qualitative evaluation of the CDV-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgM serostatuses of 196 and 35 dog sera, respectively. Inter-rater agreement analysis (kappa = 0.988) indicated that the ELISA can be used unrestrictedly as a substitute for the V-NA for the qualitative determination of CDV-specific IgG serostatus. In an attempt to semiquantify N-specific antibodies, a one-step-dilution (alpha method) IgG-specific ELISA was implemented. Alpha values of >/=50% showed very good inter-rater agreement (kappa = 0.968) with V-NA titers of >/=1/100 50% neutralizing dose (ND50) as measured against the central European CDV wild-type isolate 2544/Han95 in canine sera originating from northern Germany. An ND50 titer of 1/100 is considered a threshold, and titers of >/=1/100 indicate a resilient, protective immunity. CDV N-specific antibodies of the IgM class were detected by the newly developed ELISA in 9 of 15 sera obtained from dogs with symptoms of acute distemper. In leucocytes of 5 of the 15 dogs (all of which were also IgM positive) CDV RNA was detected by reverse transcription (RT)-PCR. The recombinant capture-sandwich ELISA detecting N-specific antibodies of the IgG class provided superior sensitivity and specificity and thus represents a rapid and cost-effective alternative to classical CDV V-NA. By detection of specific IgM antibodies, the ELISA will be complementary to RT-PCR and V-NA in the diagnosis of acute distemper infections.  (+info)