Research ArticleEMERGING INFECTIONS

A virus-like particle vaccine prevents equine encephalitis virus infection in nonhuman primates

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Science Translational Medicine  15 May 2019:
Vol. 11, Issue 492, eaav3113
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aav3113

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A triple threat to equine encephalitis viruses

There are no approved treatments or vaccines for certain alphaviruses that can cause fatal encephalitis. Ko et al. designed a trivalent vaccine to simultaneously fend off Eastern, Western, and Venezuelan equine encephalitis viruses. The vaccine is composed of noninfectious virus-like particles and completely protected mice and nonhuman primates from all three viruses. There was no evidence of central nervous system infection or pathology in trivalent virus-like particle–immunized nonhuman primates. Passive transfer experiments revealed that humoral immunity delivered protection from viral challenge. Phase 1 studies are currently being started to test this trivalent vaccine in people.