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PloS one

A Novel Adeno-Associated Virus-Based Genetic Vaccine Encoding the Hepatitis C Virus NS3/4 Protein Exhibits Immunogenic Properties in Mice Superior to Those of an NS3-Protein-Based Vaccine.


PMID 26556235

Abstract

More than 170 million individuals worldwide are infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV), and up to an estimated 30% of chronically infected individuals will go on to develop progressive liver disease. Despite the recent advances in antiviral treatment of HCV infection, it remains a major public health problem. Thus, development of an effective vaccine is urgently required. In this study, we constructed novel adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors expressing the full-length NS3 or NS3/4 protein of HCV genotype 1b. The expression of the NS3 or NS3/4 protein in HepG2 cells was confirmed by western blotting. C57BL/6 mice were intramuscularly immunised with a single injection of AAV vectors, and the resultant immune response was investigated. The AAV2/rh32.33.NS3/4 vaccine induced stronger humoral and cellular responses than did the AAV2/rh32.33.NS3 vaccine. Our results demonstrate that AAV-based vaccines exhibit considerable potential for the development of an effective anti-HCV vaccine.

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