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Vaccine. 2005 Sep 15;23(39):4785-92.

The suitability of yellow fever and Japanese encephalitis vaccines for immunization against West Nile virus.

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Department of Molecular Biosciences, University of Kansas, 1200 Sunnyside ave, Lawrence, KS 66045, USA.


Seven volunteers involved in flavivirus studies have been immunized with commercial Japanese encephalitis and yellow fever vaccines JE-VAX and YF-VAX. Strong homologous and cross-reactive with West Nile virus (WNV) antibody responses with titers 1:1600 to 1:51200 were found in all donors. All donors developed high levels of yellow fever virus (YFV) and Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) neutralizing antibodies with titers 1:50 to 1:1600 and 1:20 to 1:640, respectively, and WNV neutralizing antibodies with titers 1:10 to 1:80. In contrast, predominantly YF-specific cell-mediated immunity was detected in all immunized donors. Responses to YFV were long lasting, but the anti-JEV humoral immunity was found to decrease with time. Cross-reactive anti-WNV responses were following the same trend dropping below detectable level at 4 years post-immunization and sharply coming back after booster immunization with the JE vaccine. Thus, immunization with the commercial flavivirus JE vaccine may be beneficial for individuals at high risk of exposure to WNV, such as personnel involved in WN research.

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