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Open Access Short report

Immunization with recombinant enterovirus 71 viral capsid protein 1 fragment stimulated antibody responses in hamsters

Wei-Choong Ch’ng1, Eric J Stanbridge2, Kum-Thong Wong3, Kien-Chai Ong4, Khatijah Yusoff15 and Norazizah Shafee15*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400, UPM, Serdang, Malaysia

2 Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, School of Medicine, University of California, Irvine, USA

3 Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

4 Department of Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

5 Institute of Biosciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400, Serdang, Malaysia

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Virology Journal 2012, 9:155  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-9-155

Published: 9 August 2012

Abstract

Enterovirus 71 (EV71) causes severe neurological diseases resulting in high mortality in young children worldwide. Development of an effective vaccine against EV71 infection is hampered by the lack of appropriate animal models for efficacy testing of candidate vaccines. Previously, we have successfully tested the immunogenicity and protectiveness of a candidate EV71 vaccine, containing recombinant Newcastle disease virus capsids that display an EV71 VP1 fragment (NPt-VP11-100) protein, in a mouse model of EV71 infection. A drawback of this system is its limited window of EV71 susceptibility period, 2 weeks after birth, leading to restricted options in the evaluation of optimal dosing regimens. To address this issue, we have assessed the NPt-VP11-100 candidate vaccine in a hamster system, which offers a 4-week susceptibility period to EV71 infection. Results obtained showed that the NPt-VP11-100 candidate vaccine stimulated excellent humoral immune response in the hamsters. Despite the high level of antibody production, they failed to neutralize EV71 viruses or protect vaccinated hamsters in viral challenge studies. Nevertheless, these findings have contributed towards a better understanding of the NPt-VP11-100 recombinant protein as a candidate vaccine in an alternative animal model system.

Keywords:
EV71; Recombinant protein; Hamster; Immune response