An Equine Herpesvirus Type 1 (EHV-1) Expressing VP2 and VP5 of Serotype 8 Bluetongue Virus (BTV-8) Induces Protection in a Murine Infection Model
Bluetongue virus (BTV) can infect most species of domestic and wild ruminants causing substantial morbidity and mortality and, consequently, high economic losses. In 2006, an epizootic of BTV serotype 8 (BTV-8) started in northern Europe that caused significant disease in cattle and sheep before comprehensive vaccination was introduced two years later. Here, we evaluate the potential of equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1), an alphaherpesvirus, as a novel vectored DIVA (differentiating infected from vaccinated animals) vaccine expressing VP2 of BTV-8 alone or in combination with VP5. The EHV-1 recombinant viruses stably expressed the transgenes and grew with kinetics that were identical to those of parental virus in vitro. After immunization of mice, a BTV-8-specific neutralizing antibody response was elicited. In a challenge experiment using a lethal dose of BTV-8, 100% of interferon-receptor-deficient (IFNAR-/-) mice vaccinated with the recombinant EHV-1 carrying both VP2 and VP5, but not VP2 alone, survived. VP7 was not included in the vectored vaccines and was successfully used as a DIVA marker. In summary, we show that EHV-1 expressing BTV-8 VP2 and VP5 is capable of eliciting a protective immune response that is distinguishable from that after infection and as such may be an alternative for BTV vaccination strategies in which DIVA compatibility is of importance.
Ma, Guanggang / Eschbaumer, Michael / Said, Abdelrahman / et al: An Equine Herpesvirus Type 1 (EHV-1) Expressing VP2 and VP5 of Serotype 8 Bluetongue Virus (BTV-8) Induces Protection in a Murine Infection Model. 2012.