Ebola Vaccination: Study Assessing Immune Response Fuels Strategies for Improved Vaccine Development
The latest outbreaks of emerging, dangerous pathogens, such as Ebola, MERS-CoV or Zika, emphasise the importance of the rapid development of effective vaccines. However, being able to predict the efficacy of new vaccines is and remains a challenge in vaccine development. DZIF scientists at the Heinrich Pette Institute and the University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) were successful in their study in assessing early on the longer-term immune response in humans after being vaccinated with the newly developed Ebola vaccine “rVSV-ZEBOV“. The study results provide approaches for searching for new strategies to improve the efficacy of vaccines.
rVSV-ZEBOV is one of the most promising vaccine candidates against the dreaded Ebola virus. In phase I of the clinical trial in 2016, it proved to be a safe and effective vaccine and is expected to be approved this year by the U.S. FDA. rVSV-ZEBOV is based on the vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) - when weakened and genetically modified, it expresses a glycoprotein of the Ebola virus. To date, there has been relatively little scientific data about the immune responses to VSV. Until now, there has been no data at all on early responses of the innate immune system in humans who have been vaccinated with VSV. The current study is adopting a systems vaccinology approach. Using high-throughput technologies, in which tests can be carried out on a huge number of samples at the same time as well as statistical models, immune responses to the vaccine can be systematically analysed: “Following vaccination with rVSV-ZEBOV, we identified a signature of five early innate immune markers correlating with the antibody titer four weeks after vaccination,” explained Dr Anne Rechtien, DZIF scientist at the Heinrich Pette Institute, Leibniz Institute for Experimental Virology, physician at the UKE and lead author of the study. To do so, blood samples from days 0, 1, 3, 7 and 14 after vaccination were examined for various biomarkers. Among these immune markers was IP-10 (interferon-gamma induced protein 10) - a cytokine, i.e. protein, produced by the immune system cells. This is the first time that a soluble immune marker could successfully be identified that is “activated” early after vaccination, can be quickly detected and correlates with the degree of subsequent antibody response regardless of other early immune markers.
The current study is contributing to the better understanding of the immunological properties of VSV-based vaccines which could lead to a vaccination of people: It shows that VSV triggers a quick and strong activation of the innate immune system. Systems vaccinology approaches such as in this study can help to identify early immune markers that enable the long-term efficacy of vaccines to be predicted. Thus, the study results could provide important findings for the development of emergency vaccines such as vaccines against the Zika virus: For example, one approach would be to increase the efficacy of the vaccine by manipulating IP-10.
The development of the vaccine candidate “rVSV-ZEBOV” was supported by the WHO-led VEBCON. The German Centre for Infection Research supported the preparation of the studies at the UKE in Hamburg and in Gabon and provided the initial funding, the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG) and the British Wellcome Trust provided the funds to prepare and conduct the clinical trial. The Canadian health authorities donated the vaccine candidate to the WHO, which then made it available for these trials.
This article has been republished from materials provided by the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF). Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.
Rechtien, A., Richert, L., Lorenzo, H., Martrus, G., Hejblum, B., Dahlke, C., . . . Addo, M. (2017). Systems Vaccinology Identifies an Early Innate Immune Signature as a Correlate of Antibody Responses to the Ebola Vaccine rVSV-ZEBOV. Cell Reports, 20(9), 2251-2261. doi:10.1016/j.celrep.2017.08.023
Changing Lanes: Algorithm Helps AI Drive More Like HumansNews
For self-driving cars, algorithms for changing lanes are beset by one of two problems. Either, they rely on detailed statistical models of the driving environment, which are too complex to analyze on the fly; or they’re so simple that they can lead to impractically conservative decisions, such as never changing lanes at all. Now a new algorithm hopes to split the difference, allowing aggressive lane changes than the simple models do but relies only on immediate information about other vehicles’ directions and velocities to make decisions.
Schizophrenics' Blood Contains RNA From More MicrobesNews
The blood of schizophrenia patients features genetic material from more types of microorganisms than that of people without the debilitating mental illness, research at Oregon State University has found. What’s not known is whether that’s a cause or effect of the severe, chronic condition that strikes about one person in 100.READ MORE
Antitumor Immune Function in Liver Controlled by Gut MicrobiomeNews
Scientists have found a connection between bacteria in the gut and antitumor immune responses in the liver. The study showed that bacteria found in the gut of mice affect the liver’s antitumor immune function. The findings have implications for understanding the mechanisms that lead to liver cancer and for therapeutic approaches to treat them.READ MORE
Comments | 0 ADD COMMENT
2nd Annual Artificial Intelligence in Drug Development Congress
Sep 20 - Sep 21, 2018