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Antiviral Res. 2013 May;98(2):135-43. doi: 10.1016/j.antiviral.2013.03.009. Epub 2013 Mar 21.

Post-exposure vaccination with MP-12 lacking NSs protects mice against lethal Rift Valley fever virus challenge.

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Department of Animal, Dairy, and Veterinary Sciences, Utah State University, Logan, UT, USA.


Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) causes severe disease in humans and livestock. There are currently no approved antivirals or vaccines for the treatment or prevention of RVF disease in humans. A major virulence factor of RVFV is the NSs protein, which inhibits host transcription including the interferon (IFN)-β gene and promotes the degradation of dsRNA-dependent protein kinase, PKR. We analyzed the efficacy of the live-attenuated MP-12 vaccine strain and MP-12 variants that lack the NSs protein as post-exposure vaccinations. Although parental MP-12 failed to elicit a protective effect in mice challenged with wild-type (wt) RVFV by the intranasal route, significant protection was demonstrated by vaccination with MP-12 strains lacking NSs when they were administered at 20-30 min post-exposure. Viremia and virus replication in liver, spleen and brain were also inhibited by post-exposure vaccination with MP-12 lacking NSs. The protective effect was mostly lost when vaccination was delayed 6 or 24 h after intranasal RVFV challenge. When mice were challenged subcutaneously, efficacy of MP-12 lacking NSs was diminished, most likely due to more rapid dissemination of wt RVFV. Our findings suggest that post-exposure vaccination with MP-12 lacking NSs may be developed as a novel post-exposure treatment to prevent RVF.

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