A safe and effective hantavirus vaccine is highly desirable since hantaviruses are distributed worldwide and cause an acute and often fatal disease (hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome, HFRS). Virus-like particles (VLPs) displaying functional viral proteins could provide effective vaccines against a few viruses, but their ability to induce hantavirus-specific immune response has not been adequately investigated. To measure the immunogenicity of Hantaan virus-like particles (HTN-VLPs) vaccine, we generated recombinant HTN-VLPs by co-expressing Hantaan virus nucleocapsid (N) protein and glycoproteins (Gn and Gc) in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. We compared intramuscular versus subcutaneous administration of HTN-VLPs for the ability to induce specific immune response against Hantaan virus infection. Mice that received both intramuscular and subcutaneous immunizations of HTN-VLPs were sufficiently stimulated specific antibody response against Hantaan virus N protein and glycoproteins, which was comparable to Chinese commercial inactivated bivalent hantaviruses vaccine. Moreover, vaccination with HTN-VLPs also resulted in the induction of higher levels of specific cellular response to N protein than that of inactivated vaccine. Our results provide an important insight towards the development of hantaviruses-like particles as a potential candidate vaccine for the control and prevention of hantaviruses infection.
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