Antibodies Elicited by Zika Vaccine Characterized

02/03/2020

Structural analysis of a potent antibody. Experimental modeling reveals the binding sites of antibody MZ4 (light orange and dark orange chains) on the surface of the Zika virus (sphere with purple, green, and gray protein chains). [Reprinted by permission of Springer Nature from “Potent Zika and dengue cross-neutralizing antibodies induced by Zika vaccination in a dengue-experienced donor.” Dussupt, et al. Copyright 2020, Nature Medicine.]

A single dose of the experimental Zika virus vaccine, called ZPIV, given to a dengue-experienced individual boosted pre-existing flavivirus immunity and elicited protective cross-neutralizing antibody responses against both Zika and dengue viruses. The findings were based in part on research carried out at two U.S. DOE X-ray light sources: the Advanced Photon Source and the National Synchrotron Light Source II.

After noting a significantly greater immune response in the dengue-experienced volunteer compared to dengue-naïve volunteers after vaccination, researchers isolated and characterized antibodies from the experienced volunteer. They found that one of the antibodies, MZ4, was particularly effective at protecting mice from infection by both Zika and dengue virus serotype-2 strain. In addition, vaccination of individuals in Puerto Rico with ZPIV who had prior flavivirus experience yielded similar cross-neutralizing potency after a single vaccination, highlighting the potential benefit of Zika vaccination in flavivirus-endemic areas.

The study suggests that Zika virus vaccination can boost existing immune responses to dengue virus while generating potent Zika-neutralizing responses and may have unique potential as a preventative strategy in settings where both viruses are prevalent.

References

Dussupt, V., Sankhala, R.S., Gromowski, G.D. et al. 2020. “Potent Zika and dengue cross-neutralizing antibodies induced by Zika vaccination in a dengue-experienced donor.” Nat Med 26, 228–235. [DOI: 10.1038/s41591-019-0746-2]