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Vaccine. 2008 Oct 16;26(44):5590-4. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2008.07.104. Epub 2008 Aug 30.

Japanese encephalitis protein vaccine candidates expressing neutralizing epitope and M.T hsp70 induce virus-specific memory B cells and long-lasting antibodies in swine.

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  • 1Shanghai Animal Disease Control Center, Shanghai 201103, PR China.


Swine are an important amplifier of Japanese encephalitis (JE) virus in the paradomestic environment. In this study, two JE protein vaccine candidates were evaluated for immunogenicity in swine. Both vaccine plasmids are based on a prokaryotic vector pET-32a(+). One plasmid, designated pET-32a(+)-epitope, encode a cassette consisting of a neutralizing epitope on envelope (E) protein of JE virus, whereas the other plasmid, designated pET-32a(+)-epitope-hsp70, express the fusion protein of the epitope and M.T hsp70. Some differences were detected in the immunogenicity of these two proteins in swine. Swine immunized twice with 2000pmol of the neutralizing epitope or the fusion protein developed neutralizing antibody titers of respectively, 154 and 300, and anti-neutralizing epitope antibody titers of 10(4.25) and 10(6.0) by 3 weeks after the second immunization. In addition, swine immunized with the neutralizing epitope emulsified with adjuvant S206 or with imported mineral oil and Tween-80 induced neutralizing antibody titers of 196 and 244, and anti-neutralizing epitope antibody titers of 10(5.25) or 10(5.6) at the same time point. However, swine administered two doses of a commercial JE vaccine (attenuated virus preparation; JEV SA14-14-2 strain) developed less favorable antibody responses with neutralizing antibody titer 40 and anti-neutralizing epitope antibody titers 10(3.7). The anamnestic response was followed by monitoring titers 1 week after boosting with a viral antigen; swine immunized twice with the fusion protein showed a 177-fold increase in anti-neutralizing epitope titer, indicating a strong recall of the antibody response. The animals maintained detectable levels of anti-neutralizing epitope antibody for at least 105 days after two immunizations, indicating that these four protein antigens are able to stimulate virus-specific memory B cells and long-lasting antibodies at higher levels than is achieved using a current commercial attenuated JEV vaccine. The group immunized with the epitope fused to M.T hsp70 made the strongest proliferation of lymphocytes. Through the assay of the amount of interferon (IFN)-gamma and interleukin (IL)-4 in the serum, swine immunized with the fusion protein increased IFN-gamma in the serum which showed that M.T hsp70 potentiated Th1 immune response.

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