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Immunological responses following administration of a genotype 1a/1b/2/3a quadrivalent HCV VLP vaccine.

Christiansen D, Earnest-Silveira L, Chua B, Meuleman P, Boo I, Grubor-Bauk B, Jackson DC, Keck ZY, Foung SKH, Drummer HE, Gowans EJ, Torresi J

  • Journal Scientific reports

  • Published 24 Apr 2018

  • Volume 8

  • ISSUE 1

  • Pagination 6483

  • DOI 10.1038/s41598-018-24762-9


The significant public health problem of Hepatitis C virus (HCV) has been partially addressed with the advent of directly acting antiviral agents (DAAs). However, the development of an effective preventative vaccine would have a significant impact on HCV incidence and would represent a major advance towards controlling and possibly eradicating HCV globally. We previously reported a genotype 1a HCV viral-like particle (VLP) vaccine that produced neutralizing antibodies (NAb) and T cell responses to HCV. To advance this approach, we produced a quadrivalent genotype 1a/1b/2a/3a HCV VLP vaccine to produce broader immune responses. We show that this quadrivalent vaccine produces antibody and NAb responses together with strong T and B cell responses in vaccinated mice. Moreover, selective neutralizing human monoclonal antibodies (HuMAbs) targeting conserved antigenic domain B and D epitopes of the E2 protein bound strongly to the HCV VLPs, suggesting that these critical epitopes are expressed on the surface of the particles. Our findings demonstrate that a quadrivalent HCV VLP based vaccine induces broad humoral and cellular immune responses that will be necessary for protection against HCV. Such a vaccine could provide a substantial addition to highly active antiviral drugs in eliminating HCV.