Rabies is a disease characterized by an invariably lethal encephalitis of viral origin that can be controlled by preventive vaccination programs of wildlife, domestic animals and humans in areas with a high risk of exposure. Currently available vaccines are expensive, cumbersome to produce and require intensive immunization and booster schemes to induce and maintain protective immunity. In the present study, we describe the development of candidate recombinant subunit rabies vaccines based on the glycoprotein G of the prototype rabies virus (RABV-G) expressed either as a monomer (RABV-mG) or in its native trimeric configuration (RABV-tG), with or without Matrix-M™ adjuvant. Immunogenicity and protective efficacy of the respective candidate vaccines were tested in outbred NIH Swiss albino mice. The RABV-tG candidate vaccine proved to be superior to the RABV-mG vaccine candidate both in terms of immunogenicity and efficacy. The relatively poor immunogenicity of the RABV-mG vaccine candidate was greatly improved by the addition of the adjuvant. A single, low dose of RABV-tG in combination with Matrix-M™ induced high levels of high avidity neutralizing antibodies and protected all mice against challenge with a lethal dose of RABV. Consequently RABV-tG used in combination with Matrix-M™ is a promising vaccine candidate that overcomes the limitations of currently used vaccines.

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doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2014.06.058, hdl.handle.net/1765/89709
Department of Virology

Koraka, P., Bosch, B. J., Cox, M., Chubet, R., van Amerongen, G., Lövgren-Bengtsson, K., … Osterhaus, A. (2014). A recombinant rabies vaccine expressing the trimeric form of the glycoprotein confers enhanced immunogenicity and protection in outbred mice. Vaccine, 32(36), 4644–4650. doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2014.06.058