Archive for February 2nd, 2017

Zika virus protection by a single low-dose nucleoside-modified mRNA vaccination

Zika virus (ZIKV) has recently emerged as an explosive pandemic associated with severe neuropathology in newborns and adults1. There are no ZIKV-specific treatments or preventatives; thus, development of a safe and effective vaccine is a high priority. Messenger RNA (mRNA) has emerged as a versatile and highly effective platform to deliver vaccine antigens and therapeutic proteins2,3. Here, we demonstrate that a single low-dose intradermal immunization with lipid nanoparticle-encapsulated nucleoside-modified mRNA (mRNA-LNP) encoding the pre-membrane and envelope (prM-E) glycoproteins of a 2013 ZIKV outbreak strain elicited potent and durable neutralizing antibody responses in mice and non-human primates. Immunization with 30 μg of nucleoside-modified ZIKV mRNA-LNPs protected mice from ZIKV challenges at 2 weeks or 5 months post-vaccination, and a single dose of 50 μg was sufficient to protect non-human primates from a challenge at 5 weeks post-vaccination. These data demonstrate that nucleoside-modified mRNA-LNPs elicit rapid and durable protective immunity and thus represent a new and promising vaccine candidate for the global fight against ZIKV.

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