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Article

A Virus-Like Particle-Based Vaccine Candidate against the Tick-Borne Powassan Virus Induces Neutralizing Antibodies in a Mouse Model

American Type Culture Collection (ATCC®), ATCC Federal Solutions, 10801 University Boulevard, Manassas, VA 20110, USA
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Academic Editor: Anna Honko
Pathogens 2021, 10(6), 680; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10060680
Received: 7 April 2021 / Revised: 20 May 2021 / Accepted: 25 May 2021 / Published: 31 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current and Future Strategies for VLP-Based Vaccines)
Powassan virus (POWV) is a tick-borne flavivirus circulating in North America and the Russian Far East that can cause severe neuroinvasive diseases, including encephalitis, meningitis, and meningoencephalitis. The reported neuroinvasive case fatality is about 10%, and approximately 50% of the survivors from the neuroinfection exhibit long-lasting or permanent neurological sequelae. Currently, treatment of POWV infection is supportive, and no FDA-approved vaccines or specific therapeutics are available. A novel Powassan vaccine candidate was created using virus-like particle technology (POW-VLP) and assembled with the viral structural proteins pre-Membrane (prM) and Envelope (E). Western blot immunoassay demonstrated high antigenicity of POW-VLP structural proteins. Transmission electron microscopy indicated that the POW-VLP exhibited icosahedral morphology typical of flaviviruses. A dose-escalation study in a murine model was performed to test immunogenicity and safety. Serum antibody was tested by ELISA, demonstrating that POW-VLP afforded 100% seroconversion to the E protein. Reporter viral-particle neutralization assay demonstrated high levels of neutralizing antibodies in the serum of immunized mice. Hybridomas expressing monoclonal antibodies were produced following POW-VLP immunization. The POW-VLP vaccine candidate created in this study provides a strategy for inducing protective antibodies against Powassan neuroinvasive infection. View Full-Text
Keywords: Powassan virus; vaccine; virus-like particle; POWV; VLP; flavivirus Powassan virus; vaccine; virus-like particle; POWV; VLP; flavivirus
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cimica, V.; Saleem, S.; Matuczinski, E.; Adams-Fish, D.; McMahon, C.; Rashid, S.; Stedman, T.T. A Virus-Like Particle-Based Vaccine Candidate against the Tick-Borne Powassan Virus Induces Neutralizing Antibodies in a Mouse Model. Pathogens 2021, 10, 680. https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10060680

AMA Style

Cimica V, Saleem S, Matuczinski E, Adams-Fish D, McMahon C, Rashid S, Stedman TT. A Virus-Like Particle-Based Vaccine Candidate against the Tick-Borne Powassan Virus Induces Neutralizing Antibodies in a Mouse Model. Pathogens. 2021; 10(6):680. https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10060680

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cimica, Velasco, Sahar Saleem, Emily Matuczinski, Debra Adams-Fish, Conor McMahon, Sujatha Rashid, and Timothy T. Stedman 2021. "A Virus-Like Particle-Based Vaccine Candidate against the Tick-Borne Powassan Virus Induces Neutralizing Antibodies in a Mouse Model" Pathogens 10, no. 6: 680. https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10060680

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