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Viruses 2017, 9(10), 265; doi:10.3390/v9100265

A Recombinant Measles Vaccine with Enhanced Resistance to Passive Immunity

School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA
Present Address: Institute for Molecular Virology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
Present Address: Process Development Department, Virus and Gene Therapy, Merck KGaA, 64293 Darmstadt, Germany
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 May 2017 / Revised: 19 September 2017 / Accepted: 19 September 2017 / Published: 21 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Antivirals & Vaccines)
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Abstract

Current measles vaccines suffer from poor effectiveness in young infants due primarily to the inhibitory effect of residual maternal immunity on vaccine responses. The development of a measles vaccine that resists such passive immunity would strongly contribute to the stalled effort toward measles eradication. In this concise communication, we show that a measles virus (MV) with enhanced hemagglutinin (H) expression and incorporation, termed MVvac2-H2, retained its enhanced immunogenicity, previously established in older mice, when administered to very young, genetically modified, MV-susceptible mice in the presence of passive anti-measles immunity. This immunity level mimics the sub-neutralizing immunity prevalent in infants too young to be vaccinated. Additionally, toward a more physiological small animal model of maternal anti-measles immunity interference, we document vertical transfer of passive anti-MV immunity in genetically-modified, MV susceptible mice and show in this physiological model a better MVvac2-H2 immunogenic profile than that of the parental vaccine strain. In sum, these data support the notion that enhancing MV hemagglutinin incorporation can circumvent in vivo neutralization. This strategy merits additional exploration as an alternative pediatric measles vaccine. View Full-Text
Keywords: measles vaccine; infant vaccination; maternal antibodies measles vaccine; infant vaccination; maternal antibodies
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Julik, E.; Reyes-del Valle, J. A Recombinant Measles Vaccine with Enhanced Resistance to Passive Immunity. Viruses 2017, 9, 265.

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