The genus Henipavirus
(HNVs) includes two fatal viruses, namely Nipah virus (NiV) and Hendra virus (HeV). Since 1994, NiV and HeV have been endemic to the Asia–Pacific region and responsible for more than 600 cases of infections. Two emerging HNVs, Ghana virus (GhV) and Mojiang virus (MojV), are speculated to be associated with unrecognized human diseases in Africa and China, respectively. Despite many efforts to develop vaccines against henipaviral diseases, there is presently no licensed human vaccine. As HNVs are highly pathogenic and diverse, it is necessary to develop universal vaccines to prevent future outbreaks. The attachment enveloped glycoprotein (G protein) of HNVs mediates HNV attachment to the host cell’s surface receptors. G proteins have been used as a protective antigen in many vaccine candidates for HNVs. We performed quantitative studies on the antibody responses elicited by the G proteins of NiV, HeV, GhV, and MojV. We found that the G proteins of NiV and HeV elicited only a limited cross-reactive antibody response. Further, there was no cross-protection between MojV, GhV, and highly pathogenic HNVs. We then constructed a bivalent vaccine where the G proteins of NiV and HeV were fused with the human IgG1 Fc domain. The immunogenicity of the bivalent vaccine was compared with that of monovalent vaccines. Our results revealed that the Fc-based bivalent vaccine elicited a potent antibody response against both NiV and HeV. We also constructed a tetravalent Fc heterodimer fusion protein that contains the G protein domains of four HNVs. Immunization with the tetravalent vaccine elicited broad antibody responses against NiV, HeV, GhV, and MojV in mice, indicating compatibility among the four antigens in the Fc-fusion protein. These data suggest that our novel bivalent and tetravalent Fc-fusion proteins may be efficient candidates to prevent HNV infection.
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