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Vaccine. 2000 May 26;18 Suppl 2:26-32.

Points to consider in the development of a surrogate for efficacy of novel Japanese encephalitis virus vaccines.

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Laboratory of Vector-borne Virus Diseases, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, Rockville, MD 20852-1448, USA.


Although an effective killed virus vaccine to prevent illness due to Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) infection exists, many authorities recognize that a safe, effective live JEV vaccine is desirable in order to reduce the cost and the number of doses of vaccine required per immunization. A large-scale clinical efficacy trail for such a vaccine would be both unethical and impractical. Therefore, a surrogate for the efficacy of JE vaccines should be established. Detection of virus-neutralizing antibodies in sera of vaccinees could constitute such a surrogate for efficacy. Field studies of vaccinees in endemic areas and studies done in mice already exist to support this concept. Also, titers of virus-neutralizing antibodies are already accepted as a surrogate for the efficacy of yellow fever virus vaccines and for the efficacy of other viral vaccines as well. In developing a correlation between N antibody titers and protection from JEV infection, standard procedures must be validated and adopted for both measuring N antibodies and for testing in animals. A novel live virus vaccine could be tested in the mouse and/or the monkey model of JEV infection to establish a correlation between virus-neutralizing antibodies elicited by the vaccines and protection from encephalitis. In addition, sera of subjects receiving the novel live JEV vaccine in early clinical trials could be passively transferred to mice or monkeys in order to establish the protective immunogenicity of the vaccine in humans. A monkey model for JEV infection was recently established by scientists at WRAIR in the US. From this group, pools of JEV of known infectivity for Rhesus macaques may be obtained for testing of immunity elicited by live JE vaccine virus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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