Raccoon poxvirus (RCN) recombinants expressing the rabies virus internal structural nucleoprotein (RCN-N) protected A/WySnJ mice against a lethal challenge with street rabies virus (SRV). Maximum survival was achieved following vaccination by tail scratch and footpad (FP) SRV challenge. RCN-N-vaccinated mice inoculated in the FP with SRV were resistant to infection for at least 54 weeks postvaccination. Protection was also elicited by RCN recombinants expressing the rabies virus glycoprotein (RCN-G). Vaccination with RCN-G evoked rabies virus neutralizing antibody. Rabies virus neutralizing antibody was not detected in RCN-N-vaccinated mice prior to or following SRV infection. Radioimmunoprecipitation assays showed that sera from RCN-N-vaccinated mice which survived SRV infection did not contain antibody to SRV structural protein G, M, or NS. The mechanism(s) of N-induced resistance appears to correlate with the failure of peripherally inoculated SRV to enter the central nervous system (CNS). Support for this correlation with resistance was documented by the observations that SRV-inoculated RCN-N-vaccinated mice did not develop clinical signs of CNS rabies virus infection, infectious SRV was not detected in the spinal cord or brain following FP challenge, and all RCN-N-vaccinated mice died following direct intracranial infection of the CNS with SRV. These results suggest that factors other than anti-G neutralizing antibody are important in resistance to rabies virus and that the N protein should be considered for incorporation with the G protein in recombinant vaccines.
A single intramuscular application of the live but not UV-inactivated recombinant rabies virus (RABV) variant TriGAS in mice induces the robust and sustained production of RABV-neutralizing antibodies that correlate with long-term protection against challenge with an otherwise lethal dose of the wild-type RABV. To obtain insight into the mechanism by which live TriGAS induces long-lasting protective immunity, quantitative PCR (qPCR) analysis of muscle tissue, draining lymph nodes, spleen, spinal cord, and brain at different times after TriGAS inoculation revealed the presence of significant copy numbers of RABV-specific RNA in muscle, lymph node, and to a lesser extent, spleen for several days postinfection. Notably, no significant amounts of RABV RNA were detected in brain or spinal cord at any time after TriGAS inoculation. Differential qPCR analysis revealed that the RABV-specific RNA detected in muscle is predominantly genomic RNA, whereas RABV RNA detected in draining lymph nodes is predominantly mRNA. Comparison of genomic RNA and mRNA obtained from isolated lymph node cells showed the highest mRNA-to-genomic-RNA ratios in B cells and dendritic cells (DCs), suggesting that these cells represent the major cell population that is infected in the lymph node. Since RABV RNA declined to undetectable levels by 14 days postinoculation of TriGAS, we speculate that a transient infection of DCs with TriGAS may be highly immunostimulatory through mechanisms that enhance antigen presentation. Our results support the superior efficacy and safety of TriGAS and advocate for its utility as a vaccine.
We previously reported that A/WySnJ mice vaccinated via a tail scratch with a recombinant raccoon poxvirus (RCN) expressing the rabies virus internal structural nucleoprotein (N) (RCN-N) were protected against a street rabies virus (D. L. Lodmell, J. W. Sumner, J.J. Esposito, W.J. Bellini, and L. C. Ewalt, J. Virol. 65:3400-3405, 1991). To improve our understanding of the mechanism(s) of this protection, we investigated whether sera of A/WySnJ mice that had been vaccinated with RCN-N but not challenged with street rabies virus had anti-rabies virus activity. In vivo studies illustrated that mice inoculated in the footpad with preincubated mixtures of anti-N sera and virus were protected. In addition, anti-N sera inoculated into the site of virus challenge protected mice. The antiviral activity of anti-N sera was also demonstrated in vitro. Infectious virus was not detected in cultures 24 h following infection with virus that had been preincubated with anti-N sera. At later time points, infectious virus was detected, but inhibition of viral production was consistently > or = 99% compared with control cultures. The protective and antiviral inhibitory activity of the anti-N sera was identified as anti-N antibody by several methods. First, absorption of anti-N sera with goat anti-mouse immunoglobulin serum, but not normal goat serum, removed the activity. Second, radioimmuno-precipitation and sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis analysis of sucrose density gradient-fractionated anti-N sera showed that antiviral activity was present only in the fraction containing anti-N antibody. Finally, absorption of anti-N sera with insect cells infected with a baculovirus expressing the N protein removed the protective activity. These data indicate that anti-N antibody is a component of the resistance to rabies virus infections.
Immunization of mice and hamsters with a cocktail of mouse MAbs specific for rabies virus nucleocapsid protein and glycoprotein protected animals not only when challenged with a lethal dose of rabies virus after immunization, but also in post-exposure situations. Hamsters treated with the MAb cocktail 3 h after virus inoculation were completely protected from lethal rabies virus infection, and 80% of the animals survived when the MAb cocktail was given 36 h after virus challenge. The potential usefulness of this MAb cocktail for the postexposure treatment of human rabies is discussed.
We have previously developed (a) replication-competent, (b) replication-deficient, and (c) chemically inactivated rabies virus (RABV) vaccines expressing ebolavirus (EBOV) glycoprotein (GP) that induce humoral immunity against each virus and confer protection from both lethal RABV and mouse-adapted EBOV challenge in mice. Here, we expand our investigation of the immunogenic properties of these bivalent vaccines in mice. Both live and killed vaccines induced primary EBOV GP-specific T-cells and a robust recall response as measured by interferon-γ ELISPOT assay. In addition to cellular immunity, an effective filovirus vaccine will likely require a multivalent humoral immune response against multiple virus species. As a proof-of-principle experiment, we demonstrated that inactivated RV-GP could be formulated with another inactivated RABV vaccine expressing the nontoxic fragment of botulinum neurotoxin A heavy chain (HC50) without a reduction in immunity to each component. Finally, we demonstrated that humoral immunity to GP could be induced by immunization of mice with inactivated RV-GP in the presence of pre-existing immunity to RABV. The ability of these novel vaccines to induce strong humoral and cellular immunity indicates that they should be further evaluated in additional animal models of infection.
Ebola virus; rabies virus; vaccine; T cell; multivalent; platform
The search for a safe and efficacious vaccine for Ebola virus continues, as no current vaccine candidate is nearing licensure. We have developed (i) replication-competent, (ii) replication-deficient, and (iii) chemically inactivated rabies virus (RABV) vaccines expressing Zaire Ebola virus (ZEBOV) glycoprotein (GP) by a reverse genetics system based on the SAD B19 RABV wildlife vaccine. ZEBOV GP is efficiently expressed by these vaccine candidates and is incorporated into virions. The vaccine candidates were avirulent after inoculation of adult mice, and viruses with a deletion in the RABV glycoprotein had greatly reduced neurovirulence after intracerebral inoculation in suckling mice. Immunization with live or inactivated RABV vaccines expressing ZEBOV GP induced humoral immunity against each virus and conferred protection from both lethal RABV and EBOV challenge in mice. The bivalent RABV/ZEBOV vaccines described here have several distinct advantages that may speed the development of inactivated vaccines for use in humans and potentially live or inactivated vaccines for use in nonhuman primates at risk of EBOV infection in endemic areas.
The present study describes the generation of a new Orf virus (ORFV) recombinant, D1701-V-RabG, expressing the rabies virus (RABV) glycoprotein that is correctly presented on the surface of infected cells without the need of replication or production of infectious recombinant virus. One single immunization with recombinant ORFV can stimulate high RABV-specific virus-neutralizing antibody (VNA) titers in mice, cats, and dogs, representing all nonpermissive hosts for the ORFV vector. The protective immune response against severe lethal challenge infection was analyzed in detail in mice using different dosages, numbers, and routes for immunization with the ORFV recombinant. Long-term levels of VNA could be elicited that remained greater than 0.5 IU per ml serum, indicative for the protective status. Single applications of higher doses (107 PFU) can be sufficient to confer complete protection against intracranial (i.c.) challenge, whereas booster immunization was needed for protection by the application of lower dosages. Anamnestic immune responses were achieved by each of the seven tested routes of inoculation, including oral application. Finally, in vivo antibody-mediated depletion of CD4-positive and/or CD8-posititve T cell subpopulations during immunization and/or challenge infection attested the importance of CD4 T cells for the induction of protective immunity by D1701-V-RabG. This report demonstrates another example of the potential of the ORFV vector and also indicates the capability of the new recombinant for vaccination of animals.
Dogs were vaccinated intradermally with vaccinia virus recombinants expressing the rabies virus glycoprotein (G protein) or nucleoprotein (N protein) or a combination of both proteins. The dogs vaccinated with either the G or G plus N proteins developed virus-neutralizing antibody titers, whereas those vaccinated with only the N protein did not. All dogs were then challenged with a lethal dose of a street rabies virus, which killed all control dogs. Dogs vaccinated with the G or G plus N proteins were protected. Five (71%) of seven dogs vaccinated with the N protein sickened, with incubation periods 3 to 7 days shorter than that of the control dogs; however, three (60%) of the five rabid dogs recovered without supportive treatment. Thus, five (71%) of seven vaccinated with the rabies N protein were protected against a street rabies challenge. Our data indicate that rabies virus N protein may be involved in reducing the incubation period in dogs primed with rabies virus N protein and then challenged with a street rabies virus and, of more importance, in subsequent sickness and recovery.
An E1-deleted, replication-defective adenovirus recombinant of the human strain 5 expressing the rabies virus glycoprotein, termed Adrab.gp, was tested in young mice. Mice immunized at birth with the Adrab.gp construct developed antibodies to rabies virus and cytokine-secreting lymphocytes and were protected against subsequent challenge. Maternal immunity to rabies virus strongly interferes with vaccination of the offspring with a traditional inactivated rabies virus vaccine. The immune response to the rabies virus glycoprotein, as presented by the Adrab.gp vaccine, on the other hand, was not impaired by maternal immunity. Even neonatal immunization of mice born to rabies virus-immune dams with Adrab.gp construct resulted in a long-lasting protective immune response to rabies virus, suggesting that this type of vaccine could be useful for immunization shortly after birth. Nevertheless, pups born to Adrab.gp virus-immune dams showed an impaired immune response to the rabies virus glycoprotein upon vaccination with the Adrab.gp virus, indicating that maternal immunity to the vaccine carrier affected the offspring's immune response to rabies virus.
The methods used for both pre-exposure and post-exposure immunization against rabies were studied. In pre-exposure immunization duck embryo vaccine should be used. In post-exposure immunization either duck embryo or Semple-type vaccine appears to be effective in stimulating antibody production. Both vaccines may cause neurological sequelae. A dose of vaccine should be given 20-50 days after completion of the primary course of vaccination. Immune serum should be used in all severe exposures especially of the head and neck, and in individuals in whom the commencement of vaccination has been unduly delayed. In individuals who have been previously vaccinated reinforcing doses have been found to be effective even as long as 20 years after the primary vaccination. A tissue culture vaccine has been developed and is about to undergo field trials.
A strain of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus has been encountered, which grows readily in mouse embryo, serum, Tyrode culture media. Its origin is not definitely known but appears to be either the mouse brain tissue or, more probably, the monkey serum. This strain gives clear cut results on filtration tests through Elford membranes, establishing the size of the virus, according to formula, as 33 to 50 mµ. The strain shows a high and uniform virulence in W-Swiss mice. This appears to be due in part, at least, to the age and strain of mice employed for passage and titration. The strain has been found to be more virulent in young than in old mice, especially following intraperitoneal inoculation. Finally, the strain, when given as a vaccine intraperitoneally in amounts as small as 160 intracerebral lethal doses, induces an immunity against subsequent intracerebral inoculations of as much as 10,000 lethal doses.
Rabies virus produced in duck embryo cell culture was concentrated from volumes of 14 to 30 liters to 400 to 800 ml by zonal centrifugation. Virus titers of peak fractions were from 100- to 1,000-fold greater than those of the starting material. Vaccines were prepared by combining fractions with peak virus titers and diluting back to 10 times concentration. The resulting β-propiolactone-inactivated vaccines, when prepared as lyophilized vaccines with AlPO4 adjuvant diluents, were low in protein nitrogen (0.01 mg/ml), and three of four lots passed the National Institutes of Health potency test when tested as equivalent to a standard 10% suspension of duck embryo or mouse brain tissue vaccine. These vaccines also induced good sero-conversion in adult rabbits after a single 1-ml dose of vaccine. Guinea pigs sensitized with zonal-centrifuged purified duck embryo vaccine (with AlPO4 adjuvant) did not exhibit anaphylactic shock reactions when challenged with homologous vaccine. Also, no anaphylactic shock reactions were observed when guinea pigs were sensitized with either a 10% experimental duck embryo vaccine or cell culture vaccine and then challenged with the zonal-purified vaccine. However, guinea pigs sensitized with cell culture or zonal-purified vaccine and then challenged with the 10% experimental vaccine did show slight transitory congestion. The 10% experimental whole duck embryo vaccine was responsible for all observed anaphylactic shock reactions whether homologous or heterologous.
The fixed rabies virus (RV) strain Nishigahara kills adult mice after intracerebral inoculation, whereas the chicken embryo fibroblast cell-adapted strain Ni-CE causes nonlethal infection in adult mice. We previously reported that the chimeric CE(NiP) strain, which has the phosphoprotein (P protein) gene from the Nishigahara strain in the genetic background of the Ni-CE strain, causes lethal infection in adult mice, indicating that the P gene is responsible for the different pathogenicities of the Nishigahara and Ni-CE strains. Previous studies demonstrated that RV P protein binds to the interferon (IFN)-activated transcription factor STAT1 and blocks IFN signaling by preventing its translocation to the nucleus. In this study, we examine the molecular mechanism by which RV P protein determines viral pathogenicity by comparing the IFN antagonist activities of the Nishigahara and Ni-CE P proteins. The results, obtained from both RV-infected cells and cells transfected to express P protein only, show that Ni-CE P protein is significantly impaired for its capacity to block IFN-activated STAT1 nuclear translocation and, consequently, inhibits IFN signaling less efficiently than Nishigahara P protein. Further, it was demonstrated that a defect in the nuclear export of Ni-CE P protein correlates with a defect in its ability to cause the mislocalization of STAT1. These data provide the first evidence that the capacity of the RV P protein to inhibit STAT1 nuclear translocation and IFN signaling correlates with the viral pathogenicity.
We tested the Raboral V-RG® recombinant oral rabies vaccine for its response in Arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus), the reservoir of rabies virus in the circumpolar North. The vaccine, which is currently the only licensed oral rabies vaccine in the United States, induced a strong antibody response and protected foxes against a challenge of 500,000 mouse intracerebral lethal dose 50% of an Arctic rabies virus variant. However, one unvaccinated control fox survived challenge with rabies virus, either indicating a high resistance of Arctic foxes to rabies infection or a previous exposure that induced immunity. This preliminary study suggested that Raboral V-RG vaccine may be efficacious in Arctic foxes.
Arctic fox; oral vaccination; rabies; recombinant vaccine
Recently it was found that prior immunization with recombinant rabies virus (RABV) expressing granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) (LBNSE-GM-CSF) resulted in high innate/adaptive immune responses and protection against challenge with virulent RABV (Wen et al., JVI, 2011). In this study, the ability of LBNSE-GM-CSF to prevent animals from developing rabies was investigated in mice after infection with lethal doses of street RABV. It was found that intracerebral administration of LBNSE-GM-CSF protected more mice from developing rabies than sham-treated mice as late as day 5 after infection with street RABV. Intracerebral administration of LBNSE-GM-CSF resulted in significantly higher levels of chemokine/cytokine expression and more infiltration of inflammatory and immune cells into the central nervous system (CNS) than sham-administration or administration with UV-inactivated LBNSE-GM-CSF. Enhancement of blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability and increases in virus neutralizing antibodies (VNA) were also observed in mice treated with LBNSE-GM-CSF. On the other hand, intracerebral administration with UV-inactivated LBNSE-GM-CSF did not increase protection despite the fact that VNA were induced in the periphery. However, intracerebral administration with chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1, also termed CCL2) increased significantly the protective efficacy of UV-inactivated LBNSE-GM-CSF. Together these studies confirm that direct administration of LBNSE-GM-CSF can enhance the innate and adaptive immunity as well as the BBB permeability, thus allowing infiltration of inflammatory cells and other immune effectors enter into the CNS to clear the virus and prevent the development of rabies.
Adult rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulata) were vaccinated with four inactivated rabies vaccines, including two cell culture vaccines, one zonal purified cell culture vaccine, and a 10% extracted duck embryo vaccine. The vaccines were potency tested by both National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Habel methods and passed one or both tests. However, a vaccine having acceptable potency by one method frequently failed or was marginal by the other procedure. Groups of three monkeys were inoculated with each vaccine by one of two schedules. The first consisted of four weekly 1-ml doses followed by a 1-ml booster dose at 6 months, and the second consisted of seven daily 1-ml doses of vaccine with no booster. Both zonal purified and extracted duck embryo vaccines induced detectable neutralizing antibody by day 7 with either schedule, and antibody titers elicited by the cell culture vaccine remained high through 210 days. However, antibody titers produced by the 10% duck embryo vaccine dropped sharply after their 28-day peak. Duck embryo cell culture vaccines with low or marginal potency as measured by Habel or NIH tests still produced rapid, high levels of serum-neutralizing antibody in primates. LD50 or NIH and Habel tests as measured in mice were not necessarily good indices of antibody response in the primate host. The need for a cell culture potency test that will yield a more predictable correlation with the definitive host's antibody response is discussed.
A significant protection to an intracerebral challenge of 70 mean lethal doses of a standard live rabies virus strain was obtained in BCG-pretreated mice or in normal mice which had been immunized with a single subcutaneous injection of a beta-propiolactone-inactivated rabies vaccine. Concomitantly, levels of delayed-type hypersensitivity (measured in vivo by the footpad test) and serum-neutralizing activity were evaluated at various times after immunization. All immune criteria were significantly augmented in the BCG-pretreated, rabies-immune mice as compared to normal, rabies-immune mice. However, peak levels of protection, delayed-type hypersensitivity, and serum-neutralizing activity did not occur at the same times. For instance, in the BCG-pretreated, rabies-immune mice, delayed-type hypersensitivity peaked on day 7, protection peaked on day 21, and serum-neutralizing activity peaked on day 60. In BCG-pretreated mice, which did not receive the rabies vaccine, positive delayed-type hypersensitivity, some protection, and serum neutralizing activity were observed 4 to 5 weeks after BCG pretreatment. The possible relationships between specific and nonspecific immunity provoked by rabies virus antigens, tissue culture cell-associated antigens (derived from the bovine fetal kidney cells in which the rabies virus was grown, and BCG are discussed.
ERA rabies vaccine virus grown in BHK-21 13S cells (ERA/BHK-21) and street rabies virus were titrated in mice by intracerebral, intranasal and intramuscular inoculation. Mice were also given undiluted ERA/BHK-21 in baits. Skunks were given undiluted ERA/BHK-21 in baits and by intramuscular, intranasal and intestinal inoculation. Virus neutralizing antibody titers against rabies virus were measured over a three month observation period. The surviving skunks were challenged by intramuscular inoculation with rabies street virus from a skunk salivary gland suspension. When titrated in mice, ERA/BHK-21 had titers of 10(7.0), 10(5.2) and 10(3.9) median lethal doses per mL by the intracerebral, intranasal and intramuscular routes, respectively. All skunks (8/8) inoculated intranasally developed paralytic rabies by 12 days after exposure to ERA/BHK-21 virus. None of the skunks that developed vaccine-induced rabies had infectious virus in the submandibular salivary glands. Vaccine-induced rabies also occurred in 1/8 skunks in the intramuscularly inoculated group and in 1/8 in the intestinally inoculated group. The survival rates of challenged skunks in the various groups were as follows: intramuscular, 7/7; intestinal, 2/7; bait, 0/8; and control, 0/8. These results indicate that ERA/BHK-21 virus has a significant residual pathogenicity in mice and in skunks by some routes of inoculation. Skunks given vaccine intramuscularly were protected against challenge, while those skunks given the vaccine in baits were not.
To improve both safety and stability of the oral vaccines used in the field to vaccinate foxes against rabies, a recombinant vaccinia virus, which expresses the immunizing G protein of rabies virus has been developed by inserting the cDNA which codes for the immunogenic glycoprotein of rabies virus into the thymidine kinase (TK) gene of the Copenhagen strain of vaccinia virus. The efficacy of this vaccine was tested by the oral route, primarily in foxes. The immunity conferred, a minimum of 12 months in cubs and 18 months in adult animals, corresponds to the duration of the protection required for vaccination of foxes in the field. Innocuity was tested in foxes, domestic animals, and in numerous European wild animal species that could compete with the red fox for the vaccine bait. No clinical signs or lesions were observed in any of the vaccinated animals during a minimum of 28 days post vaccination. Moreover, no transmission of immunizing doses of the recombinant occurred between foxes or other species tested. To study the stability of the vaccine strain, baits containing the vaccine were placed in the field. Despite considerable variations of environmental temperatures, the vaccine remained stable for at least one month. Because bait is taken within one month, it can be assumed that most animals taking the baits are effectively vaccinated. To test the field efficacy of the recombinant vaccine, large-scale campaigns of fox vaccination were set up in a 2200 km2 region of southern Belgium, were rabies was prevalent. A dramatic decrease in the incidence of rabies was noted after the campaigns. The recombinant is presently used to control wildlife rabies in the field both in several European countries and in the United States.
Two experiments on simulated postexposure treatment were carried out in dogs using human rabies immunoglobulin (RIGH) and human diploid cell vaccine for human use. In one experiment, when animals were challenged by injecting street virus into the masseter muscle and treated with a combination of RIGH and vaccine, 50% of the animals were protected from rabies. In the other trial, in which animals were challenged by injecting the virus into the femoral muscle, treatment with RIGH and vaccine protected all the animals against rabies. To our knowledge this is the highest rate of postexposure survival in animals reported to date. In addition, five out of eight (62.5%) dogs that received RIGH alone after the virus challenge were protected, while none of the animals receiving vaccine alone were protected from rabies. These trials suggest that animals can be protected from rabies by postexposure treatment. The route of exposure and timing of the administration of vaccine and hyperimmune serum would seem to be important.
Chlorite-oxidized amylose (COAM), polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid [poly(I:C)], and combinations of the two drugs were evaluated for their interferon-inducing properties and their ability to protect mice against rabies infection. Post-exposure administration of one or two doses (100 μg each) of poly(I:C) significantly protected mice against rabies infection. Pretreatment of mice with COAM 3 h before poly(I:C) stimulation resulted in an enhancement of the interferon response. However, the increased interferon titers were not reflected by increased protection against rabies infection over that achieved with poly(I:C) therapy alone. Therapy with COAM alone did not protect mice against rabies but, rather, was associated with enhanced mortality.
This study describes the effect of interferon on the survival of rabbits infected with a street strain of rabies virus. Interferon was prepared by collecting serum from rabbits injected with Newcastle disease virus and was characterized by biological and physicochemical methods. Rabbit serum interferon mixed and incubated with a suspension of rabies virus did not neutralize its infectivity. Rabbits were inoculated into the hind leg muscle with approximately 80 LD50 of virus. Interferon was administered intravenously or intramuscularly, or by both methods, in the same or opposite leg as virus. Mortality due to rabies was significantly reduced by the concurrent administration of 8 × 105 units of interferon divided between the site of virus inoculation and intravenously. There was less protection if 3 hr elapsed between the inoculation of virus and interferon. Treatment given 24 hr after infection did not prevent death but prolonged the incubation period.
Untreated rabies virus (RABV) infection leads to death. Vaccine and postexposure treatment have been effective in preventing RABV infection. However, due to cost, rabies vaccination and treatment have not been widely used in developing countries. There are 55,000 human death caused by rabies annually. An efficacious and cost-effective rabies vaccine is needed. Parainfluenza virus 5 (PIV5) is thought to contribute to kennel cough, and kennel cough vaccines containing live PIV5 have been used in dogs for many years. In this work, a PIV5-vectored rabies vaccine was tested in mice. A recombinant PIV5 encoding RABV glycoprotein (G) (rPIV5-RV-G) was administered to mice via intranasal (i.n.), intramuscular (i.m.), and oral inoculation. The vaccinated mice were challenged with a 50% lethal challenge dose (LD50) of RABV challenge virus standard 24 (CVS-24) intracerebrally. A single dose of 106 PFU of rPIV5-RV-G was sufficient for 100% protection when administered via the i.n. route. The mice vaccinated with a single dose of 108 PFU of rPIV5-RV-G via the i.m. route showed very robust protection (90% to 100%). Intriguingly, the mice vaccinated orally with a single dose of 108 PFU of rPIV5-RV-G showed a 50% survival rate, which is comparable to the 60% survival rate among mice inoculated with an attenuated rabies vaccine strain, recombinant LBNSE. This is first report of an orally effective rabies vaccine candidate in animals based on PIV5 as a vector. These results indicate that rPIV5-RV-G is an excellent candidate for a new generation of recombinant rabies vaccine for humans and animals and PIV5 is a potential vector for oral vaccines.
Different approaches have been applied to develop highly attenuated rabies virus vaccines for oral vaccination of mesocarnivores. One prototype vaccine construct is SAD dIND1, which contains a deletion in the P-gene severely limiting the inhibition of type-1 interferon induction. Immunogenicity studies in foxes and skunks were undertaken to investigate whether this highly attenuated vaccine would be more immunogenic than the parental SAD B19 vaccine strain. In foxes, it was demonstrated that SAD dIND1 protected the animals against a rabies infection after a single oral dose, although virus neutralizing antibody titres were lower than in foxes orally vaccinated with the SAD B19 virus as observed in previous experiments. In contrast, skunks receiving 107.5 FFU SAD dIND1 did not develop virus neutralizing antibodies and were not protected against a subsequent rabies infection.
A procedure for testing inactivated rabies vaccines of tissue culture origin for residual viable virus is reported in which the vaccine to be tested is passed in primary hamster kidney cell culture (PHK) before mouse inoculation. In preliminary experiments, titrations of rabies virus in which each dilution was passed in PHK before inoculating mice yielded titers 100 to 10,000 times higher than the titers obtained for the same virus by direct mouse inoculation. This rabies virus amplification procedure was evaluated by testing 18 lots of inactivated rabies vaccine of tissue culture origin. No viable virus was found in these vaccine lots when tested by direct intracerebral inoculation of mice. Eight of these 18 lots were found to contain viable virus, however, when tested by passage in PHK cell culture. The significance of low levels of viable virus in rabies vaccines is discussed. It is recommended that the amplification procedure described in this report be used in the safety testing of rabies vaccines of tissue culture origin and that it be evaluated for use in testing other rabies vaccines of low tissue content.