A protective Zika virus E-dimer-based subunit vaccine engineered to abrogate antibody-dependent enhancement of dengue infection.
Slon-Campos JL., Dejnirattisai W., Jagger BW., López-Camacho C., Wongwiwat W., Durnell LA., Winkler ES., Chen RE., Reyes-Sandoval A., Rey FA., Diamond MS., Mongkolsapaya J., Screaton GR.
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.