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Viral immunology

Immunization with recombinant SFTSV/NSs protein does not promote virus clearance in SFTSV-infected C57BL/6J mice.


PMID 25594805

Abstract

The severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS), caused by a novel Phlebovirus in the Bunyaviridae family named SFTS virus (SFTSV), is an emerging hemorrhagic fever with a wide distribution and high case-fatality rate. Neither effective treatment nor vaccines are available to treat and prevent this disease to date. It was recently reported that SFTSV nonstructural protein in S segment (SFTSV/NSs) functioned as the interferon (IFN) antagonist targeting for suppressing host's innate immunity. This study was designed to investigate the potential of recombinant SFTSV (rSFTSV)/NSs protein for inducing anti-NSs antibodies by pre-exposure vaccination to block SFTSV/NSs in the SFTSV-infected C57BL/6J mice. All mice in the rSFTSV/NSs-vaccinated group, negative control group, and blank control group survived with no visible clinical abnormities throughout the experiment, except for their sacrifice for sampling at each observation point. However, unexpectedly, a negative effect on the bodyweight of rSFTSV/NSs-vaccinated mice was observed after 21 days postinoculation. Pre-exposure vaccination with rSFTSV/NSs did not accelerate virus removal in mice though high titer of anti-NSs antibodies and elevated IFN-γ were detected in sera. Before virus challenge, the rSFTSV/NSs-vaccinated mice and negative control mice had a larger amount of platelets (PLT) than the blank control mice, which indicated that Freund's adjuvants could stimulate PLT production. In the aspect of cytokines, the rSFTSV/NSs-vaccinated mice had a 5- to 10-fold increase in interleukin (IL)-2, IL-5, IL-6, IFN-γ, and tumor necrosis factor-α, which probably just had a negative effect on the bodyweight of mice. In general, therefore, previous vaccination with rSFTSV/NSs did not accelerate virus clearance in the SFTSV-infected mice.