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Title: Single-Dose Vaccination with a Hepatotropic Adeno-associated Virus Efficiently Localizes T Cell Immunity in the Liver with the Potential To Confer Rapid Protection against Hepatitis C Virus

Abstract

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a significant contributor to the global disease burden, and development of an effective vaccine is required to eliminate HCV infections worldwide. CD4+and CD8+ T cell immunity correlates with viral clearance in primary HCV infection, and intrahepatic CD8+ tissue-resident memory T (TRM) cells provide lifelong and rapid protection against hepatotropic pathogens. Consequently, we aimed to develop a vaccine to elicit HCV-specific CD4+ and CD8+T cells, including CD8+TRM cells, in the liver, given that HCV primarily infects hepatocytes. To achieve this, we vaccinated wild-type BALB/c mice with a highly immunogenic cytolytic DNA vaccine encoding a model HCV (genotype 3a) nonstructural protein (NS5B) and a mutant perforin (pVAX-NS5B-PRF), as well as a recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV) encoding NS5B (rAAV-NS5B). A novel fluorescent target array (FTA) was used to map immunodominant CD4+ T helper (TH) cell and cytotoxic CD8+ T cell epitopes of NS5B in vivo, which were subsequently used to design a KdNS5B451-459 tetramer and analyze NS5B-specific T cell responses in vaccinated mice in vivo. The data showed that intradermal prime/boost vaccination with pVAX-NS5B-PRF was effective in eliciting TH and cytotoxic CD8+ T cell responses and intrahepatic CD8+ TRM cells, but a single intravenous dose of hepatotropic rAAV-NS5Bmore » was significantly more effective. As a T-cell-based vaccine against HCV should ideally result in localized T cell responses in the liver, this study describes primary observations in the context of HCV vaccination that can be used to achieve this goal. There are currently at least 71 million individuals with chronic HCV worldwide and almost two million new infections annually. Although the advent of direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) offers highly effective therapy, considerable remaining challenges argue against reliance on DAAs for HCV elimination, including high drug cost, poorly developed health infrastructure, low screening rates, and significant reinfection rates. Accordingly, development of an effective vaccine is crucial to HCV elimination. An HCV vaccine that elicits T cell immunity in the liver will be highly protective for the following reasons: (i) T cell responses against nonstructural proteins of the virus are associated with clearance of primary infection, and (ii) long-lived liver-resident T cells alone can protect against malaria infection of hepatocytes. Thus, in this study we exploit promising vaccination platforms to highlight strategies that can be used to evoke highly functional and long-lived T cell responses in the liver for protection against HCV.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2];  [3]; ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [2];  [2];  [3];  [1];  [1];  [4]
  1. Univ. of Adelaide (Australia)
  2. Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and Univ. of Sydney, Newtown, NSW (Australia)
  3. Univ. of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW (Australia)
  4. Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1580936
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Virology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 93; Journal Issue: 19; Journal ID: ISSN 0022-538X
Publisher:
American Society for Microbiology
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; adeno-associated virus vaccine; cytotoxic T cells; DNA vaccine; helper T cells; hepatitis C virus vaccine; liver immunity

Citation Formats

Mekonnen, Zelalem A., Grubor-Bauk, Branka, English, Kieran, Leung, Preston, Masavuli, Makutiro G., Shrestha, Ashish C., Bertolino, Patrick, Bowen, David G., Lloyd, Andrew R., Gowans, Eric J., Wijesundara, Danushka K., and James Ou, J. -H. Single-Dose Vaccination with a Hepatotropic Adeno-associated Virus Efficiently Localizes T Cell Immunity in the Liver with the Potential To Confer Rapid Protection against Hepatitis C Virus. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. https://doi.org/10.1128/jvi.00202-19.
Mekonnen, Zelalem A., Grubor-Bauk, Branka, English, Kieran, Leung, Preston, Masavuli, Makutiro G., Shrestha, Ashish C., Bertolino, Patrick, Bowen, David G., Lloyd, Andrew R., Gowans, Eric J., Wijesundara, Danushka K., & James Ou, J. -H. Single-Dose Vaccination with a Hepatotropic Adeno-associated Virus Efficiently Localizes T Cell Immunity in the Liver with the Potential To Confer Rapid Protection against Hepatitis C Virus. United States. https://doi.org/10.1128/jvi.00202-19
Mekonnen, Zelalem A., Grubor-Bauk, Branka, English, Kieran, Leung, Preston, Masavuli, Makutiro G., Shrestha, Ashish C., Bertolino, Patrick, Bowen, David G., Lloyd, Andrew R., Gowans, Eric J., Wijesundara, Danushka K., and James Ou, J. -H. Thu . "Single-Dose Vaccination with a Hepatotropic Adeno-associated Virus Efficiently Localizes T Cell Immunity in the Liver with the Potential To Confer Rapid Protection against Hepatitis C Virus". United States. https://doi.org/10.1128/jvi.00202-19. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1580936.
@article{osti_1580936,
title = {Single-Dose Vaccination with a Hepatotropic Adeno-associated Virus Efficiently Localizes T Cell Immunity in the Liver with the Potential To Confer Rapid Protection against Hepatitis C Virus},
author = {Mekonnen, Zelalem A. and Grubor-Bauk, Branka and English, Kieran and Leung, Preston and Masavuli, Makutiro G. and Shrestha, Ashish C. and Bertolino, Patrick and Bowen, David G. and Lloyd, Andrew R. and Gowans, Eric J. and Wijesundara, Danushka K. and James Ou, J. -H.},
abstractNote = {Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a significant contributor to the global disease burden, and development of an effective vaccine is required to eliminate HCV infections worldwide. CD4+and CD8+ T cell immunity correlates with viral clearance in primary HCV infection, and intrahepatic CD8+ tissue-resident memory T (TRM) cells provide lifelong and rapid protection against hepatotropic pathogens. Consequently, we aimed to develop a vaccine to elicit HCV-specific CD4+ and CD8+T cells, including CD8+TRM cells, in the liver, given that HCV primarily infects hepatocytes. To achieve this, we vaccinated wild-type BALB/c mice with a highly immunogenic cytolytic DNA vaccine encoding a model HCV (genotype 3a) nonstructural protein (NS5B) and a mutant perforin (pVAX-NS5B-PRF), as well as a recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV) encoding NS5B (rAAV-NS5B). A novel fluorescent target array (FTA) was used to map immunodominant CD4+ T helper (TH) cell and cytotoxic CD8+ T cell epitopes of NS5B in vivo, which were subsequently used to design a KdNS5B451-459 tetramer and analyze NS5B-specific T cell responses in vaccinated mice in vivo. The data showed that intradermal prime/boost vaccination with pVAX-NS5B-PRF was effective in eliciting TH and cytotoxic CD8+ T cell responses and intrahepatic CD8+ TRM cells, but a single intravenous dose of hepatotropic rAAV-NS5B was significantly more effective. As a T-cell-based vaccine against HCV should ideally result in localized T cell responses in the liver, this study describes primary observations in the context of HCV vaccination that can be used to achieve this goal. There are currently at least 71 million individuals with chronic HCV worldwide and almost two million new infections annually. Although the advent of direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) offers highly effective therapy, considerable remaining challenges argue against reliance on DAAs for HCV elimination, including high drug cost, poorly developed health infrastructure, low screening rates, and significant reinfection rates. Accordingly, development of an effective vaccine is crucial to HCV elimination. An HCV vaccine that elicits T cell immunity in the liver will be highly protective for the following reasons: (i) T cell responses against nonstructural proteins of the virus are associated with clearance of primary infection, and (ii) long-lived liver-resident T cells alone can protect against malaria infection of hepatocytes. Thus, in this study we exploit promising vaccination platforms to highlight strategies that can be used to evoke highly functional and long-lived T cell responses in the liver for protection against HCV.},
doi = {10.1128/jvi.00202-19},
journal = {Journal of Virology},
number = 19,
volume = 93,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {9}
}

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