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Article

A Bacterially-Expressed Recombinant Envelope Protein from Usutu Virus Induces Neutralizing Antibodies in Rabbits

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Department of Virology, Biomedical Primate Research Centre, Lange Kleiweg 161, 2288 GJ Rijswijk, The Netherlands
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Department of Biotechnology, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Ulmenliet 20, 21033 Hamburg, Germany
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Department of Parasitology, Biomedical Primate Research Centre, Lange Kleiweg 161, 2288 GJ Rijswijk, The Netherlands
4
Section Electron Microscopy, Leiden University Medical Center, Einthovenweg 20, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vita Golubovskaya
Vaccines 2021, 9(2), 157; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9020157
Received: 22 January 2021 / Revised: 13 February 2021 / Accepted: 14 February 2021 / Published: 16 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Vaccine Development and Immunotherapies)
Background: Recently, an emerging flavivirus, Usutu virus (USUV), has caused an epidemic among birds in Europe, resulting in a massive die-off in Eurasian blackbirds. Currently found only in Europe and Africa, it can be envisioned that Usutu virus will follow the path of other flaviviruses, like West Nile virus and Zika virus, and will spread via its mosquito vectors and bird hosts to other parts of the world. Several cases of human infections by Usutu virus have already been published. Anticipating this spread, development of an efficacious vaccine would be highly desirable. Method: This study describes the production in E. coli, purification, and refolding of a partial USUV envelope protein. Prior to immunization, the protein was characterized using size exclusion chromatography, transmission electron microscopy and dynamic light scattering, showing the limited presence of virus-like structures, indicating that the protein solution is probably a mixture of mono and multimeric envelope proteins. Results: Immunizations of two rabbits with the refolded E-protein fraction, mixed with a strong adjuvant, resulted in the generation of neutralizing antibodies, as evidenced in an in vitro assay. Discussion: The way forward towards a subunit vaccine against Usutu virus infection is discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: Usutu virus; USUV; vaccine development; flavivirus; emerging disease; recombinant E protein; neutralizing antibodies Usutu virus; USUV; vaccine development; flavivirus; emerging disease; recombinant E protein; neutralizing antibodies
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MDPI and ACS Style

Böszörményi, K.; Hirsch, J.; Kiemenyi Kayere, G.; Fagrouch, Z.; Heijmans, N.; Rodriguez Garcia, R.; Dwarka, S.; van Dijke, A.; Aaldijk, B.; Limpens, R.; Barcena, M.; Koster, B.; Verstrepen, B.; Bogers, W.; Kocken, C.; Cornellissen, G.; Verschoor, E.; Faber, B. A Bacterially-Expressed Recombinant Envelope Protein from Usutu Virus Induces Neutralizing Antibodies in Rabbits. Vaccines 2021, 9, 157. https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9020157

AMA Style

Böszörményi K, Hirsch J, Kiemenyi Kayere G, Fagrouch Z, Heijmans N, Rodriguez Garcia R, Dwarka S, van Dijke A, Aaldijk B, Limpens R, Barcena M, Koster B, Verstrepen B, Bogers W, Kocken C, Cornellissen G, Verschoor E, Faber B. A Bacterially-Expressed Recombinant Envelope Protein from Usutu Virus Induces Neutralizing Antibodies in Rabbits. Vaccines. 2021; 9(2):157. https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9020157

Chicago/Turabian Style

Böszörményi, Kinga, Janet Hirsch, Gwendoline Kiemenyi Kayere, Zahra Fagrouch, Nicole Heijmans, Roberto Rodriguez Garcia, Soesjiel Dwarka, Amy van Dijke, Boyd Aaldijk, Ronald Limpens, Montserrat Barcena, Bram Koster, Babs Verstrepen, Willy Bogers, Clemens Kocken, Gesine Cornellissen, Ernst Verschoor, and Bart Faber. 2021. "A Bacterially-Expressed Recombinant Envelope Protein from Usutu Virus Induces Neutralizing Antibodies in Rabbits" Vaccines 9, no. 2: 157. https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9020157

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