Measles remains a major cause of child mortality, in part due to an inability to vaccinate young infants with the current live attenuated virus vaccine (LAV). To explore new approaches to infant vaccination, chimeric Venezuelan equine encephalitis/Sindbis virus (VEE/SIN) replicon particles were used to express the hemagglutinin (H) and fusion (F) proteins of measles virus (MV). Juvenile rhesus macaques vaccinated intradermally with a single dose of VEE/SIN expressing H or H and F proteins (VEE/SIN-H or VEE/SIN-H+F, respectively) developed high titers of MV-specific neutralizing antibody and gamma-interferon (IFN-γ)-producing T cells. Infant macaques vaccinated with two doses of VEE/SIN-H+F also developed neutralizing antibody and IFN-γ-producing T cells. Control animals were vaccinated with LAV or with a formalininactivated measles vaccine (FIMV). Neutralizing antibody remained above the protective level for more than 1 year after vaccination with VEE/SIN-H, VEE/SIN-H+F, or LAV. When challenged with wild-type MV 12 to 17 months after vaccination, all vaccinated juvenile and infant monkeys vaccinated with VEE/SIN-H, VEE/ SIN-H+F, and LAV were protected from rash and viremia, while FIMV-vaccinated monkeys were not. Antibody was boosted by challenge in all groups. T-cell responses to challenge were biphasic, with peaks at 7 to 25 days and at 90 to 110 days in all groups, except for the LAV group. Recrudescent T-cell activity coincided with the presence of MV RNA in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. We conclude that VEE/SIN expressing H or H and F induces durable immune responses that protect from measles and offers a promising new approach for measles vaccination. The viral and immunological factors associated with long-term control of MV replication require further investigation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science