Baculovirus-expressed virus-like particle vaccine in combination with DNA encoding the fusion protein confers protection against respiratory syncytial virus.

PMID 25173478


Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a major viral agent causing significant morbidity and mortality in young infants and the elderly. There is no licensed vaccine against RSV and it is a high priority to develop a safe RSV vaccine. We determined the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of combined virus-like particle and DNA vaccines presenting RSV glycoproteins (Fd.VLP) in comparison with formalin inactivated RSV (FI-RSV). Immunization of mice with Fd.VLP induced higher ratios of IgG2a/IgG1 antibody responses compared to those with FI-RSV. Upon live RSV challenge, Fd.VLP and FI-RSV vaccines were similarly effective in clearing lung viral loads. However, FI-RSV immunized mice showed a substantial weight loss and high levels of T helper type 2 (Th2) cytokines as well as extensive lung histopathology and eosinophil infiltration. In contrast, Fd.VLP immunized mice did not exhibit Th2 type cytokines locally and systemically, which might contribute to preventing vaccine-associated RSV lung disease. These results indicate that virus-like particles in combination with DNA vaccines represent a potential approach for developing a safe and effective RSV vaccine.