Wednesday, February 23, 2011

100% efficacious DNA vaccine for Ambisense Arena Virus LCMV in Mice

"A highly optimized DNA vaccine confers complete protective immunity against high-dose lethal lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus challenge."

This paper is about a study that tested the efficacy of a DNA vaccine engineered against lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV).  The new vaccine was administered to a group of mice and eight weeks later all of the mice were injected with a known lethal concentration of LCMV virus (they call this the LCMV challenge).  When administered three times, DNA vaccination using their pLCMV-NP DNA vaccine conferred completely protection (100%) against a normally lethal amount of LCMV.  

According to the authors, the findings were particularly impressive because to date no reports have documented a non-infectious vaccine strategy that has resulted in complete protection against a 20 50% lethal doses eight weeks following vaccination (which is considered “life-long” immunity for a mouse”).  They argue their vaccine demonstrates proof-of-concept for the development and optimization of the platform as a powerful tool for immune therapy and vaccine production. 

The pLCMV-NP DNA vaccine was created using the structural nucleocapside protein (NP).  The NP protein on LCMV is known to interfere with the IFN-B production by host cells.  It is found on one of the negative ambisense strands of this virus along with the glycoprotein (GP). 

I enjoyed this article because it demonstrates the use of model systems very well. First, it highlight how LCMV is one of the first human pathogenic viruses to be isolated and has consistenly proven to be a good model for characterizing cellular and humoral immune responses to infection.  Secondly, it discusses the use of the model system mice that have been developed in tandem to continually make important molecular biology studies.   

-       Lauren Platt

ShedlockDJ, etal. AhighlyoptimizedDNAvaccineconferscompleteprotectiveimmunityagainsthigh-dose
lethallymphocyticchoriomeningitisviruschallenge. Vaccine(2011), doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2010.12.064

Below is a picture of the DNA plasmid they engineered: 

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