The protein DIIIC-2, aggregated with a specific oligodeoxynucleotide and adjuvanted in alum, protects mice and monkeys against DENV-2

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Abstract

Previously, we reported the ability of the chimeric protein DIIIC-2 (domain III of the dengue envelope protein fused to the capsid protein of dengue-2 virus), to induce immunity and protection in mice, when it is highly aggregated with a non-defined oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) and adjuvanted in alum. In this work, three different defined ODNs were studied as aggregating agents. Our results suggest that the nature of the ODN influences the capacity of protein DIIIC-2 to activate cell-mediated immunity in mice. Consequently, the ODN 39M was selected to perform further experiments in mice and nonhuman primates. Mice receiving the preparation 39M-DIIIC-2 were solidly protected against dengue virus (DENV) challenge. Moreover, monkeys immunized with the same preparation developed neutralizing antibodies, as measured by four different neutralization tests varying the virus strains and the cell lines used. Two of the immunized monkeys were completely protected against challenge, whereas the third animal had a single day of low-titer viremia. This is the first work describing the induction of short-term protection in monkeys by a formulation that is suitable for human use combining a recombinant protein from DENV with alum.

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