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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1996 Dec 24;93(26):15394-9.

Prevention of hepatitis C virus infection in chimpanzees by hyperimmune serum against the hypervariable region 1 of the envelope 2 protein.

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  • 1Hepatitis Viruses Section, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.

Abstract

The identification of the neutralization domains of hepatitis C virus (HCV) is essential for the development of an effective vaccine. Here, we show that the hypervariable region 1 (HVR1) of the envelope 2 (E2) protein is a critical neutralization domain of HCV. Neutralization of HCV in vitro was attempted with a rabbit hyperimmune serum raised against a homologous synthetic peptide derived from the HVR1 of the E2 protein, and the residual infectivity was evaluated by inoculation of HCV-seronegative chimpanzees. The source of HCV was plasma obtained from a patient (H) during the acute phase of posttransfusion non-A, non-B hepatitis, which had been titered for infectivity in chimpanzees. The anti-HVR1 antiserum induced protection against homologous HCV infection in chimpanzees, but not against the emergence of neutralization escape mutants that were found to be already present in the complex viral quasispecies of the inoculum. The finding that HVR1 can elicit protective immunity opens new perspectives for the development of effective preventive strategies. However, the identification of the most variable region of HCV as a critical neutralization domain poses a major challenge for the development of a broadly reactive vaccine against HCV.

PMID:
8986822
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC26415
Free PMC Article

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