Open AccessReview
“Gnothi Seauton”: Leveraging the Host Response to Improve Influenza Virus Vaccine Efficacy
Vaccines 2018, 6(2), 23; doi:10.3390/vaccines6020023 -
Abstract
Vaccination against the seasonal influenza virus is the best way to prevent infection. Nevertheless, vaccine efficacy remains far from optimal especially in high-risk populations such as the elderly. Recent technological advancements have facilitated rapid and precise identification of the B and T cell
[...] Read more.
Vaccination against the seasonal influenza virus is the best way to prevent infection. Nevertheless, vaccine efficacy remains far from optimal especially in high-risk populations such as the elderly. Recent technological advancements have facilitated rapid and precise identification of the B and T cell epitopes that are targets for protective responses. While these discoveries have undoubtedly brought the field closer to “universal” influenza virus vaccines, choosing the correct antigen is only one piece of the equation. Achieving efficacy and durability requires a detailed understanding of the diverse host factors and pathways that are required for attaining optimal responses. Sequencing technologies, systems biology, and immunological studies have recently advanced our understanding of the diverse aspects of the host response required for vaccine efficacy. In this paper, we review the critical role of the host response in determining efficacious responses and discuss the gaps in knowledge that will need to be addressed if the field is to be successful in developing new and more effective influenza virus vaccines. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Predictors and Barriers to Full Vaccination among Children in Ethiopia
Vaccines 2018, 6(2), 22; doi:10.3390/vaccines6020022 -
Abstract
Predictors of immunization status outside of large cities in Ethiopia are not well known, and Muslims have lower vaccination coverage. The aim of this study is to assess factors associated with full immunization among children 12–23 months in Worabe, Ethiopia, a Muslim-majority community.
[...] Read more.
Predictors of immunization status outside of large cities in Ethiopia are not well known, and Muslims have lower vaccination coverage. The aim of this study is to assess factors associated with full immunization among children 12–23 months in Worabe, Ethiopia, a Muslim-majority community. A cross-sectional study is conducted in summer 2016. Multivariable logistic regression was used to assess the significance of predictors of full immunization. Among 484 children, 61% are fully vaccinated. Children whose mothers had fewer antenatal care (ANC) visits have decreased odds of full vaccination (zero visits: odds ratio (OR) = 0.09; one visit: OR = 0.15; two visits: OR = 0.46; three visits: OR = 0.89). The most common reasons that the mother gave for not vaccinating the child are fear of side reactions (36%), being too busy (31%), or hearing rumors about vaccines (28%). Local interventions incorporating interventions with religious authorities could raise awareness in the community of the importance of childhood immunizations and ANC visits. Full article
Open AccessReview
Linkage of Infection to Adverse Systemic Complications: Periodontal Disease, Toll-Like Receptors, and Other Pattern Recognition Systems
Vaccines 2018, 6(2), 21; doi:10.3390/vaccines6020021 -
Abstract
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are a group of pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) that provide innate immune sensing of conserved pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) to engage early immune recognition of bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. Furthermore, TLRs provide a conduit for initiation of non-infectious inflammation following
[...] Read more.
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are a group of pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) that provide innate immune sensing of conserved pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) to engage early immune recognition of bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. Furthermore, TLRs provide a conduit for initiation of non-infectious inflammation following the sensing of danger-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) generated as a consequence of cellular injury. Due to their essential role as DAMP and PAMP sensors, TLR signaling also contributes importantly to several systemic diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and others. The overlapping participation of TLRs in the control of infection, and pathogenesis of systemic diseases, has served as a starting point for research delving into the poorly defined area of infection leading to increased risk of various systemic diseases. Although conflicting studies exist, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and obesity/metabolic dysfunction have been associated with differing degrees of strength to infectious diseases. Here we will discuss elements of these connections focusing on the contributions of TLR signaling as a consequence of bacterial exposure in the context of the oral infections leading to periodontal disease, and associations with metabolic diseases including atherosclerosis and type 2 diabetes. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessFeature PaperReview
New Kids on the Block: RNA-Based Influenza Virus Vaccines
Vaccines 2018, 6(2), 20; doi:10.3390/vaccines6020020 -
Abstract
RNA-based immunization strategies have emerged as promising alternatives to conventional vaccine approaches. A substantial body of published work demonstrates that RNA vaccines can elicit potent, protective immune responses against various pathogens. Consonant with its huge impact on public health, influenza virus is one
[...] Read more.
RNA-based immunization strategies have emerged as promising alternatives to conventional vaccine approaches. A substantial body of published work demonstrates that RNA vaccines can elicit potent, protective immune responses against various pathogens. Consonant with its huge impact on public health, influenza virus is one of the best studied targets of RNA vaccine research. Currently licensed influenza vaccines show variable levels of protection against seasonal influenza virus strains but are inadequate against drifted and pandemic viruses. In recent years, several types of RNA vaccines demonstrated efficacy against influenza virus infections in preclinical models. Additionally, comparative studies demonstrated the superiority of some RNA vaccines over the currently used inactivated influenza virus vaccines in animal models. Based on these promising preclinical results, clinical trials have been initiated and should provide valuable information about the translatability of the impressive preclinical data to humans. This review briefly describes RNA-based vaccination strategies, summarizes published preclinical and clinical data, highlights the roadblocks that need to be overcome for clinical applications, discusses the landscape of industrial development, and shares the authors’ personal perspectives about the future of RNA-based influenza virus vaccines. Full article
Open AccessReview
Efforts to Improve the Seasonal Influenza Vaccine
Vaccines 2018, 6(2), 19; doi:10.3390/vaccines6020019 -
Abstract
Influenza viruses infect approximately 20% of the global population annually, resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths. While there are Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved antiviral drugs for combating the disease, vaccination remains the best strategy for preventing infection. Due to the
[...] Read more.
Influenza viruses infect approximately 20% of the global population annually, resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths. While there are Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved antiviral drugs for combating the disease, vaccination remains the best strategy for preventing infection. Due to the rapid mutation rate of influenza viruses, vaccine formulations need to be updated every year to provide adequate protection. In recent years, a great amount of effort has been focused on the development of a universal vaccine capable of eliciting broadly protective immunity. While universal influenza vaccines clearly have the best potential to provide long-lasting protection against influenza viruses, the timeline for their development, as well as the true universality of protection they afford, remains uncertain. In an attempt to reduce influenza disease burden while universal vaccines are developed and tested, many groups are working on a variety of strategies to improve the efficacy of the standard seasonal vaccine. This review will highlight the different techniques and technologies that have been, or are being, developed to improve the seasonal vaccination efforts against influenza viruses. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Harnessing the Power of T Cells: The Promising Hope for a Universal Influenza Vaccine
Vaccines 2018, 6(2), 18; doi:10.3390/vaccines6020018 -
Abstract
Next-generation vaccines that utilize T cells could potentially overcome the limitations of current influenza vaccines that rely on antibodies to provide narrow subtype-specific protection and are prone to antigenic mismatch with circulating strains. Evidence from animal models shows that T cells can provide
[...] Read more.
Next-generation vaccines that utilize T cells could potentially overcome the limitations of current influenza vaccines that rely on antibodies to provide narrow subtype-specific protection and are prone to antigenic mismatch with circulating strains. Evidence from animal models shows that T cells can provide heterosubtypic protection and are crucial for immune control of influenza virus infections. This has provided hope for the design of a universal vaccine able to prime against diverse influenza virus strains and subtypes. However, multiple hurdles exist for the realisation of a universal T cell vaccine. Overall primary concerns are: extrapolating human clinical studies, seeding durable effective T cell resident memory (Trm), population human leucocyte antigen (HLA) coverage, and the potential for T cell-mediated immune escape. Further comprehensive human clinical data is needed during natural infection to validate the protective role T cells play during infection in the absence of antibodies. Furthermore, fundamental questions still exist regarding the site, longevity and duration, quantity, and phenotype of T cells needed for optimal protection. Standardised experimental methods, and eventually simplified commercial assays, to assess peripheral influenza-specific T cell responses are needed for larger-scale clinical studies of T cells as a correlate of protection against influenza infection. The design and implementation of a T cell-inducing vaccine will require a consensus on the level of protection acceptable in the community, which may not provide sterilizing immunity but could protect the individual from severe disease, reduce the length of infection, and potentially reduce transmission in the community. Therefore, increasing the standard of care potentially offered by T cell vaccines should be considered in the context of pandemic preparedness and zoonotic infections, and in combination with improved antibody vaccine targeting methods. Current pandemic vaccine preparedness measures and ongoing clinical trials under-utilise T cell-inducing vaccines, reflecting the myriad questions that remain about how, when, where, and which T cells are needed to fight influenza virus infection. This review aims to bring together basic fundamentals of T cell biology with human clinical data, which need to be considered for the implementation of a universal vaccine against influenza that harnesses the power of T cells. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Epidemiological Studies to Support the Development of Next Generation Influenza Vaccines
Vaccines 2018, 6(2), 17; doi:10.3390/vaccines6020017 -
Abstract
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases recently published a strategic plan for the development of a universal influenza vaccine. This plan focuses on improving understanding of influenza infection, the development of influenza immunity, and rational design of new vaccines. Epidemiological studies
[...] Read more.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases recently published a strategic plan for the development of a universal influenza vaccine. This plan focuses on improving understanding of influenza infection, the development of influenza immunity, and rational design of new vaccines. Epidemiological studies such as prospective, longitudinal cohort studies are essential to the completion of these objectives. In this review, we discuss the contributions of epidemiological studies to our current knowledge of vaccines and correlates of immunity, and how they can contribute to the development and evaluation of the next generation of influenza vaccines. These studies have been critical in monitoring the effectiveness of current influenza vaccines, identifying issues such as low vaccine effectiveness, reduced effectiveness among those who receive repeated vaccination, and issues related to egg adaptation during the manufacturing process. Epidemiological studies have also identified population-level correlates of protection that can inform the design and development of next generation influenza vaccines. Going forward, there is an enduring need for epidemiological studies to continue advancing knowledge of correlates of protection and the development of immunity, to evaluate and monitor the effectiveness of next generation influenza vaccines, and to inform recommendations for their use. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Immunogenicity in African Green Monkeys of M Protein Mutant Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Vectors and Contribution of Vector-Encoded Flagellin
Vaccines 2018, 6(1), 16; doi:10.3390/vaccines6010016 -
Abstract
Recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) is a promising platform for vaccine development. M51R VSV, an attenuated, M protein mutant strain, is an effective inducer of Type I interferon and dendritic cell (DC) maturation, which are desirable properties to exploit for vaccine design. We
[...] Read more.
Recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) is a promising platform for vaccine development. M51R VSV, an attenuated, M protein mutant strain, is an effective inducer of Type I interferon and dendritic cell (DC) maturation, which are desirable properties to exploit for vaccine design. We have previously evaluated M51R VSV (M51R) and M51R VSV that produces flagellin (M51R-F) as vaccine vectors using murine models, and found that flagellin enhanced DC activation and VSV-specific antibody production after low-dose vaccination. In this report, the immunogenicity of M51R vectors and the adjuvant effect of virus-produced flagellin were evaluated in nonhuman primates following high-dose (108 pfu) and low-dose (105 pfu) vaccination. A single intramuscular vaccination of African green monkeys with M51R or M51R-F induced VSV-specific, dose-dependent humoral immune responses. Flagellin induced a significant increase in antibody production (IgM, IgG and neutralizing antibody) at the low vaccination dose. A VSV-specific cellular response was detected at 6 weeks post-vaccination, but was neither dose-dependent nor enhanced by flagellin; similar numbers of VSV-specific, IFNγ-producing cells were detected in lymph node and spleen of all animals. These results indicate that virus-directed, intracellular flagellin production may improve VSV-based vaccines encoding heterologous antigens by lowering the dose required to achieve humoral immunity. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessLetter
Hepatitis B At-Birth Dose Vaccine: An Urgent Call for Implementation in Ghana
Vaccines 2018, 6(1), 15; doi:10.3390/vaccines6010015 -
Abstract
Globally, approximately two billion people are infected with the Hepatitis B virus with attributable death estimated at about half a million people annually across the globe. Chronic hepatitis B infection is also an important public health problem in Ghana. The main mode of
[...] Read more.
Globally, approximately two billion people are infected with the Hepatitis B virus with attributable death estimated at about half a million people annually across the globe. Chronic hepatitis B infection is also an important public health problem in Ghana. The main mode of transmission in endemic regions is the perinatal route. Mother-to-child transmission can be reduced by antiviral therapy especially in the last trimester and adherence to the national immunization schedule. The World Health Organization recommends to add the birth dose vaccine to the current expanded program on immunization (EPI) in all countries but especially for endemic regions. The evidence for the efficacy of the birth dose HBV vaccine is overwhelming and there is an urgent need for its introduction into the current EPI schedule in Ghana. Full article
Open AccessReview
Immunogenicity and Safety of the New Inactivated Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccine Vaxigrip Tetra: Preliminary Results in Children ≥6 Months and Older Adults
Vaccines 2018, 6(1), 14; doi:10.3390/vaccines6010014 -
Abstract
Since the mid-1980s, two lineages of influenza B viruses have been distinguished. These can co-circulate, limiting the protection provided by inactivated trivalent influenza vaccines (TIVs). This has prompted efforts to formulate quadrivalent influenza vaccines (QIVs), to enhance protection against circulating influenza B viruses.
[...] Read more.
Since the mid-1980s, two lineages of influenza B viruses have been distinguished. These can co-circulate, limiting the protection provided by inactivated trivalent influenza vaccines (TIVs). This has prompted efforts to formulate quadrivalent influenza vaccines (QIVs), to enhance protection against circulating influenza B viruses. This review describes the results obtained from seven phase III clinical trials evaluating the immunogenicity, safety, and lot-to-lot consistency of a new quadrivalent split-virion influenza vaccine (Vaxigrip Tetra®) formulated by adding a second B strain to the already licensed TIV. Since Vaxigrip Tetra was developed by means of a manufacturing process strictly related to that used for TIV, the data on the safety profile of TIV are considered supportive of that of Vaxigrip Tetra. The safety and immunogenicity of Vaxigrip Tetra were similar to those of the corresponding licensed TIV. Moreover, the new vaccine elicits a superior immune response towards the additional strain, without affecting immunogenicity towards the other three strains. Vaxigrip Tetra is well tolerated, has aroused no safety concerns, and is recommended for the active immunization of individuals aged ≥6 months. In addition, preliminary data confirm its immunogenicity and safety even in children aged 6–35 months and its immunogenicity in older subjects (aged 66–80 years). Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
The Emerging Role of Pattern Recognition Receptors in the Pathogenesis of Malaria
Vaccines 2018, 6(1), 13; doi:10.3390/vaccines6010013 -
Abstract
Despite a global effort to develop an effective vaccine, malaria is still a significant health problem. Much of the pathology of malaria is immune mediated. This suggests that host immune responses have to be finely regulated. The innate immune system initiates and sets
[...] Read more.
Despite a global effort to develop an effective vaccine, malaria is still a significant health problem. Much of the pathology of malaria is immune mediated. This suggests that host immune responses have to be finely regulated. The innate immune system initiates and sets the threshold of the acquired immune response and determines the outcome of the disease. Yet, our knowledge of the regulation of innate immune responses during malaria is limited. Theoretically, inadequate activation of the innate immune system could result in unrestrained parasite growth. Conversely, hyperactivation of the innate immune system, is likely to cause excessive production of proinflammatory cytokines and severe pathology. Toll-like receptors (TLRs) have emerged as essential receptors which detect signature molecules and shape the complex host response during malaria infection. This review will highlight the mechanisms by which Plasmodium components are recognized by innate immune receptors with particular emphasis on TLRs. A thorough understanding of the complex roles of TLRs in malaria may allow the delineation of pathological versus protective host responses and enhance the efficacy of anti-malarial treatments and vaccines. Full article
Open AccessReview
Meningococcal Vaccines: Current Status and Emerging Strategies
Vaccines 2018, 6(1), 12; doi:10.3390/vaccines6010012 -
Abstract
Neisseria meningitidis causes most cases of bacterial meningitis. Meningococcal meningitis is a public health burden to both developed and developing countries throughout the world. There are a number of vaccines (polysaccharide-based, glycoconjugate, protein-based and combined conjugate vaccines) that are approved to target five
[...] Read more.
Neisseria meningitidis causes most cases of bacterial meningitis. Meningococcal meningitis is a public health burden to both developed and developing countries throughout the world. There are a number of vaccines (polysaccharide-based, glycoconjugate, protein-based and combined conjugate vaccines) that are approved to target five of the six disease-causing serogroups of the pathogen. Immunization strategies have been effective at helping to decrease the global incidence of meningococcal meningitis. Researchers continue to enhance these efforts through discovery of new antigen targets that may lead to a broadly protective vaccine and development of new methods of homogenous vaccine production. This review describes current meningococcal vaccines and discusses some recent research discoveries that may transform vaccine development against N. meningitidis in the future. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Repurposing Plant Virus Nanoparticles
Vaccines 2018, 6(1), 11; doi:10.3390/vaccines6010011 -
Abstract
Plants have been explored for many years as inexpensive and versatile platforms for the generation of vaccines and other biopharmaceuticals. Plant viruses have also been engineered to either express subunit vaccines or act as epitope presentation systems. Both icosahedral and helical, filamentous-shaped plant
[...] Read more.
Plants have been explored for many years as inexpensive and versatile platforms for the generation of vaccines and other biopharmaceuticals. Plant viruses have also been engineered to either express subunit vaccines or act as epitope presentation systems. Both icosahedral and helical, filamentous-shaped plant viruses have been used for these purposes. More recently, plant viruses have been utilized as nanoparticles to transport drugs and active molecules into cancer cells. The following review describes the use of both icosahedral and helical plant viruses in a variety of new functions against cancer. The review illustrates the breadth of variation among different plant virus nanoparticles and how this impacts the immune response. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Virus-Like-Vaccines against HIV
Vaccines 2018, 6(1), 10; doi:10.3390/vaccines6010010 -
Abstract
Protection against chronic infections has necessitated the development of ever-more potent vaccination tools. HIV seems to be the most challenging foe, with a remarkable, poorly immunogenic and fragile surface glycoprotein and the ability to overpower the cell immune system. Virus-like-particle (VLP) vaccines have
[...] Read more.
Protection against chronic infections has necessitated the development of ever-more potent vaccination tools. HIV seems to be the most challenging foe, with a remarkable, poorly immunogenic and fragile surface glycoprotein and the ability to overpower the cell immune system. Virus-like-particle (VLP) vaccines have emerged as potent inducers of antibody and helper T cell responses, while replication-deficient viral vectors have yielded potent cytotoxic T cell responses. Here, we review the emerging concept of merging these two technologies into virus-like-vaccines (VLVs) for the targeting of HIV. Such vaccines are immunologically perceived as viruses, as they infect cells and produce VLPs in situ, but they only resemble viruses, as the replication defective vectors and VLPs cannot propagate an infection. The inherent safety of such a platform, despite robust particle production, is a distinct advantage over live-attenuated vaccines that must balance safety and immunogenicity. Previous studies have delivered VLVs encoded in modified Vaccinia Ankara vectors and we have developed the concept into a single-reading adenovirus-based technology capable of eliciting robust CD8+ and CD4+ T cells responses and trimer binding antibody responses. Such vaccines offer the potential to display the naturally produced immunogen directly and induce an integrated humoral and cellular immune response. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Radiation and Anti-Cancer Vaccines: A Winning Combination
Vaccines 2018, 6(1), 9; doi:10.3390/vaccines6010009 -
Abstract
The emerging combination of radiation therapy with vaccines is a promising new treatment plan in the fight against cancer. While many cancer vaccines such as MUC1, p53 CpG oligodeoxynucleotide, and SOX2 may be great candidates for antitumor vaccination, there still remain many investigations
[...] Read more.
The emerging combination of radiation therapy with vaccines is a promising new treatment plan in the fight against cancer. While many cancer vaccines such as MUC1, p53 CpG oligodeoxynucleotide, and SOX2 may be great candidates for antitumor vaccination, there still remain many investigations to be done into possible vaccine combinations. One fruitful partnership that has emerged are anti-tumor vaccines in combination with radiation. Radiation therapy was previously thought to be only a tool for directly or indirectly damaging DNA and therefore causing cancer cell death. Now, with much preclinical and clinical data, radiation has taken on the role of an in situ vaccine. With both cancer vaccines and radiation at our disposal, more and more studies are looking to combining vaccine types such as toll-like receptors, viral components, dendritic-cell-based, and subunit vaccines with radiation. While the outcomes of these combinatory efforts are promising, there is still much work to be covered. This review sheds light on the current state of affairs in cancer vaccines and how radiation will bring its story into the future. Full article
Open AccessReview
Challenges and Achievements in Prevention and Treatment of Smallpox
Vaccines 2018, 6(1), 8; doi:10.3390/vaccines6010008 -
Abstract
Declaration of smallpox eradication by the WHO in 1980 led to discontinuation of the worldwide vaccination campaign. The increasing percentage of unvaccinated individuals, the existence of its causative infectious agent variola virus (VARV), and the recent synthetic achievements increase the threat of intentional
[...] Read more.
Declaration of smallpox eradication by the WHO in 1980 led to discontinuation of the worldwide vaccination campaign. The increasing percentage of unvaccinated individuals, the existence of its causative infectious agent variola virus (VARV), and the recent synthetic achievements increase the threat of intentional or accidental release and reemergence of smallpox. Control of smallpox would require an emergency vaccination campaign, as no other protective measure has been approved to achieve eradication and ensure worldwide protection. Experimental data in surrogate animal models support the assumption, based on anecdotal, uncontrolled historical data, that vaccination up to 4 days postexposure confers effective protection. The long incubation period, and the uncertainty of the exposure status in the surrounding population, call for the development and evaluation of safe and effective methods enabling extension of the therapeutic window, and to reduce the disease manifestations and vaccine adverse reactions. To achieve these goals, we need to evaluate the efficacy of novel and already licensed vaccines as a sole treatment, or in conjunction with immune modulators and antiviral drugs. In this review, we address the available data, recent achievements, and open questions. Full article
Open AccessReview
Development of Zika Virus Vaccines
Vaccines 2018, 6(1), 7; doi:10.3390/vaccines6010007 -
Abstract
Zika virus (ZIKV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that emerged as a global threat following the most recent outbreak in Brazil in 2015. ZIKV infection of pregnant women is associated with fetal abnormalities such as microcephaly, and infection of adults can lead to Guillain–Barré
[...] Read more.
Zika virus (ZIKV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that emerged as a global threat following the most recent outbreak in Brazil in 2015. ZIKV infection of pregnant women is associated with fetal abnormalities such as microcephaly, and infection of adults can lead to Guillain–Barré syndrome, an autoimmune disease characterized by neurological deficits. Although there are currently licensed vaccines for other flaviviruses, there remains an urgent need for preventative vaccines against ZIKV infection. Herein we describe the current efforts to accelerate the development of ZIKV vaccines using various platforms, including live attenuated virus, inactivated virus, DNA and RNA, viral vectors, and in silico-predicted immunogenic viral epitopes. Many of these approaches have leveraged lessons learned from past experience with Dengue and other flavivirus vaccines. Full article
Open AccessReview
Interaction between Hepatitis B Virus and Toll-Like Receptors: Current Status and Potential Therapeutic Use for Chronic Hepatitis B
Vaccines 2018, 6(1), 6; doi:10.3390/vaccines6010006 -
Abstract
Immune defense against infection with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) is complex and involves both host innate and adaptive immune systems. It is well accepted that the development of sufficient HBV-specific T cell and B cell responses are required for controlling an HBV
[...] Read more.
Immune defense against infection with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) is complex and involves both host innate and adaptive immune systems. It is well accepted that the development of sufficient HBV-specific T cell and B cell responses are required for controlling an HBV infection. However, the contribution of innate immunity to removing HBV has been explored in recent years. Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are recognized as the first line of antiviral immunity because they initiate intracellular signaling pathways to induce antiviral mediators such as interferons (IFNs) and other cytokines. Recent studies show that the activation of TLR-mediated signaling pathways results in a suppression of HBV replication in vitro and in vivo. However, HBV has also evolved strategies to counter TLR responses including the suppression of TLR expression and the blockage of downstream signaling pathways. Antiviral treatment in chronic HBV-infected patients leads to an upregulation of TLR expression and the restoration of its innate antiviral functions. Thus, TLR activation may serve as an additional immunotherapeutic option for treating chronic HBV infection in combination with antiviral treatment. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle
Outer Membrane Vesicle Vaccines from Biosafe Surrogates Prevent Acute Lethal Glanders in Mice
Vaccines 2018, 6(1), 5; doi:10.3390/vaccines6010005 -
Abstract
Burkholderia mallei is a host-adapted Gram-negative mammalian pathogen that causes the severe disease glanders. Glanders can manifest as a rapid acute progression or a chronic debilitating syndrome primarily affecting solipeds and humans in close association with infected animals. In USA, B. mallei is
[...] Read more.
Burkholderia mallei is a host-adapted Gram-negative mammalian pathogen that causes the severe disease glanders. Glanders can manifest as a rapid acute progression or a chronic debilitating syndrome primarily affecting solipeds and humans in close association with infected animals. In USA, B. mallei is classified as one of the most important bacterial biothreat agents. Presently, there is no licensed glanders vaccine available for humans or animals. In this work, outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) were isolated from three attenuated biosafe bacterial strains, Burkholderia pseudomallei Bp82, B. thailandensis E555, and B. thailandensis TxDOH and used to vaccinate mice. B. thailandensis OMVs induced significantly higher antibody responses that were investigated. B. mallei specific serum antibody responses were of higher magnitude in mice vaccinated with B. thailandensis OMVs compared to levels in mice vaccinated with B. pseudomallei OMVs. OMVs derived from biosafe strains protected mice from acute lethal glanders with vesicles from the two B. thailandensis strains affording significant protection (>90%) up to 35 days post-infection with some up to 60 days. Organ loads from 35-day survivors indicated bacteria colonization of the lungs, liver, and spleen while those from 60 days had high CFUs in the spleens. The highest antibody producing vaccine (B. thailandensis E555 OMVs) also protected C57BL/6 mice from acute inhalational glanders with evidence of full protection. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Vaccines in 2017
Vaccines 2018, 6(1), 4; doi:10.3390/vaccines6010004 -
Abstract
Peer review is an essential part in the publication process, ensuring that Vaccines maintains high quality standards for its published papers.[...] Full article