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Infections with dengue virus (DENV) and Zika virus (ZIKV) can induce cross-reactive antibody responses. Two immunodominant epitopes-one to precursor membrane protein and one to the fusion loop epitope on envelope (E) protein-are recognized by cross-reactive antibodies1-3 that are not only poorly neutralizing, but can also promote increased viral replication and disease severity via Fcγ receptor-mediated infection of myeloid cells-a process termed antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE)1,4,5. ADE is a significant concern for both ZIKV and DENV vaccines as the induction of poorly neutralizing cross-reactive antibodies may prime an individual for ADE on natural infection. In this report, we describe the design and production of covalently stabilized ZIKV E dimers, which lack precursor membrane protein and do not expose the immunodominant fusion loop epitope. Immunization of mice with ZIKV E dimers induces dimer-specific antibodies, which protect against ZIKV challenge during pregnancy. Importantly, the ZIKV E-dimer-induced response does not cross-react with DENV or induce ADE of DENV infection.

Original publication

DOI

10.1038/s41590-019-0477-z

Type

Journal article

Journal

Nature immunology

Publication Date

10/2019

Volume

20

Pages

1291 - 1298

Addresses

Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.