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J Infect Dis. 2004 Dec 15;190(12):2104-8. Epub 2004 Nov 11.

Induction of sterilizing immunity against West Nile Virus (WNV), by immunization with WNV-like particles produced in insect cells.

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Liver Diseases Section, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-1800, USA.


No specific vaccine for West Nile virus (WNV) is currently available for human use. In the present study, we describe the generation of WNV-like particles (WNV-LPs) in insect cells by use of recombinant baculoviruses expressing the WNV structural proteins prME or CprME. BALB/c mice immunized with purified WNV-LPs developed WNV-specific antibodies that had potent neutralizing activities. Mice immunized with prME-like particles (prME-LPs) showed no morbidity or mortality after challenge with WNV. Immunization with prME-LPs can induce sterilizing immunity without producing any evidence of viremia or viral RNA in the spleen or brain. These results suggest that WNV-LPs hold promise as a vaccine candidate for WNV infection.

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