The Institute of Medical Science, The University Of Tokyo

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An ebola whole virus vaccine is protective in nonhuman primates

Science DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa4919
Andrea Marzi, Peter Halfmann, Lindsay Hill-Batorski, Frederike Feldmann, W. Lesley Shupert, Gabriele Neumann, Heinz Feldmann and Yoshihiro Kawaoka

Zaire ebolavirus (EBOV) is the causative agent of the current outbreak of hemorrhagic fever disease in West Africa. Previously, we showed that a whole EBOV vaccine based on a replication-defective EBOV (EBOVΔVP30) protects immunized mice and guinea pigs against lethal challenge with rodent-adapted EBOV. Here, we demonstrate that EBOVΔVP30 protects nonhuman primates against lethal infection with EBOV. Although EBOVΔVP30 is replication-incompetent, we additionally inactivated the vaccine with hydrogen peroxide; the chemically inactivated vaccine remained antigenic and protective in nonhuman primates. EBOVΔVP30 thus represents a safe, efficacious whole EBOV vaccine candidate that differs from other EBOV vaccine platforms in that it presents all viral proteins and the viral RNA to the host immune system, which might contribute to protective immune responses.