Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)TiHo eLib

Low levels of monkeypox virus-neutralizing antibodies after MVA-BN vaccination in healthy individuals

In July 2022, the ongoing monkeypox (MPX) outbreak was declared a public health emergency of international concern. Modified vaccinia Ankara-Bavarian Nordic (MVA-BN, also known as Imvamune, JYNNEOS or Imvanex) is a third-generation smallpox vaccine that is authorized and in use as a vaccine against MPX. To date, there are no data showing MPX virus (MPXV)-neutralizing antibodies in vaccinated individuals nor vaccine efficacy against MPX. Here we show that MPXV-neutralizing antibodies can be detected after MPXV infection and after historic smallpox vaccination. However, a two-shot MVA-BN immunization series in non-primed individuals yields relatively low levels of MPXV-neutralizing antibodies. Dose-sparing of an MVA-based influenza vaccine leads to lower MPXV-neutralizing antibody levels, whereas a third vaccination with the same MVA-based vaccine significantly boosts the antibody response. As the role of MPXV-neutralizing antibodies as a correlate of protection against disease and transmissibility is currently unclear, we conclude that cohort studies following vaccinated individuals are necessary to assess vaccine efficacy in at-risk populations.

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