West Nile virus (WNV) continues to circulate in the USA and forms a threat to the rest of the Western hemisphere. Since methods for the treatment of WNV infections are not available, there is a need for the development of safe and effective vaccines. Here, we describe the construction of a recombinant influenza virus expressing domain III of the WNV glycoprotein E (Flu-NA-DIII) and its evaluation as a WNV vaccine candidate in a mouse model. FLU-NA-DIII-vaccinated mice were protected from severe body weight loss and mortality caused by WNV infection, whereas control mice succumbed to the infection. In addition, it was shown that one subcutaneous immunization with 105TCID50Flu-NA-DIII provided 100% protection against challenge. Adoptive transfer experiments demonstrated that protection was mediated by antibodies and CD4+T cells. Furthermore, mice vaccinated with FLU-NA-DIII developed protective influenza virus-specific antibody titers. It was concluded that this vector system might be an attractive platform for the development of bivalent WNV-influenza vaccines.

doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0018995, hdl.handle.net/1765/34673
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Martina, B., van den Doel, P., Koraka, P., van Amerongen, G., Spohn, G., Haagmans, B., … Rimmelzwaan, G. (2011). A recombinant influenza a virus expressing domain III of west nile virus induces protective immune responses against influenza and west nile virus. PLoS ONE, 6(4). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0018995