A virus-like particle based bivalent vaccine confers dual protection against enterovirus 71 and coxsackievirus A16 infections in mice.

PMID 24950363


Enterovirus 71(EV71) and coxsackievirus A16 (CA16) are responsible for hand, foot and mouth disease which has been prevalent in Asia-Pacific regions, causing significant morbidity and mortality in young children. Co-circulation of and co-infection by both viruses underscores the importance and urgency of developing vaccines against both viruses simultaneously. Here we report the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of a bivalent combination vaccine comprised of EV71 and CA16 virus-like particles (VLPs). We show that monovalent EV71- or CA16-VLPs-elicited serum antibodies exhibited potent neutralization effect on the homotypic virus but little or no effect on the heterotypic one, whereas the antisera against the bivalent vaccine formulation were able to efficiently neutralize both EV71 and CA16, indicating there is no immunological interference between the two antigens with respect to their ability to induce virus-specific neutralizing antibodies. Passive immunization with monovalent VLP vaccines protected mice against a homotypic virus challenge but not heterotypic infection. Surprisingly, antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) of disease was observed in mice passively transferred with mono-specific anti-CA16 VLP sera and subsequently challenged with EV71. In contrast, the bivalent VLP vaccine conferred full protection against lethal challenge by either EV71 or CA16, thus eliminating the potential of ADE. Taken together, our results demonstrate for the first time that the bivalent VLP approach represents a safe and efficacious vaccine strategy for both EV71 and CA16.