Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)TiHo eLib

Protective CD8+ T Cell response induced by modified vaccinia virus Ankara delivering Ebola virus nucleoprotein

The urgent need for vaccines against Ebola virus (EBOV) was underscored by the large outbreak in West Africa (2014-2016). Since then, several promising vaccine candidates have been tested in pre-clinical and clinical studies. As a result, two vaccines were approved for human use in 2019/2020, of which one includes a heterologous adenovirus/Modified Vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) prime-boost regimen. Here, we tested new vaccine candidates based on the recombinant MVA vector, encoding the EBOV nucleoprotein (MVA-EBOV-NP) or glycoprotein (MVA-EBOV-GP) for their efficacy after homologous prime-boost immunization in mice. Our aim was to investigate the role of each antigen in terms of efficacy and correlates of protection. Sera of mice vaccinated with MVA-EBOV-GP were virus-neutralizing and MVA-EBOV-NP immunization readily elicited interferon-γ-producing NP-specific CD8+ T cells. While mock-vaccinated mice succumbed to EBOV infection, all vaccinated mice survived and showed drastically decreased viral loads in sera and organs. In addition, MVA-EBOV-NP vaccinated mice became susceptible to lethal EBOV infection after depletion of CD8+ T cells prior to challenge. This study highlights the potential of MVA-based vaccines to elicit humoral immune responses as well as a strong and protective CD8+ T cell response and contributes to understanding the possible underlying mechanisms.

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