Vaccine candidates generated by codon and codon pair deoptimization of enterovirus A71 protect against lethal challenge in mice

Lee, Michelle Hui Pheng and Tan, Chee Wah and Tee, Han Kang and Ong, Kien Chai and Sam, I-Ching and Chan, Yoke Fun (2021) Vaccine candidates generated by codon and codon pair deoptimization of enterovirus A71 protect against lethal challenge in mice. Vaccine, 39 (12). pp. 1708-1720. ISSN 0264-410X, DOI

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Enterovirus A71 (EV-A71) causes hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) in young children. It is associated with severe neurological complications and death. This study aims to develop a live-attenuated vaccine by codon deoptimization (CD) and codon-pair deoptimization (CPD) of EV-A71. CD is generated by introducing the least preferred codons for amino acids while CPD increases the presence of underrepresented codon pairs in the specific genes. CD and CPD chimeras were generated by synonymous mutations at the VP2, VP3, VP1 and 2A gene regions, designated as XYZ. All twelve deoptimized viruses were viable with similar replication kinetics, but the plaque sizes were inversely proportional to the level of deoptimization. All the deoptimized viruses showed attenuated growth in vitro with reduced viral protein expression at 48 h and lower viral RNA at 39 degrees C. Six-week-old ICR mice were immunized intraperitoneally with selected CD and CPD X and XY vaccine candidates covering the VP2-VP3 and VP2-VP3-VP1 genes, respectively. All vaccine candidates elicited high anti-EV-A71 IgG levels similar to wild-type (WT) EV-A71. The CD X and CPD X vaccines produced robust neutralizing antibodies but not the CD XY and CPD XY. On lethal challenge, offspring of mice immunized with WT, CD X and CPD X were fully protected, but the CD XY- and CPD XY-vaccinated mice had delayed symptoms and eventually died. Similarly, active immunization of 1-day-old suckling mice with CD X, CPD X and CD XY vaccine candidates provided complete immune protection but CPD XY only protected 40% of the challenged mice. Histology of the muscles from CD X- and CPD X-vaccinated mice showed minimal pathology compared to extensive inflammation in the post-challenged mock-vaccinated mice. Overall, we demonstrated that the CD X and CPD X elicited good neutralizing antibodies, conferred immune protection and are promising live-attenuated vaccine candidates for EV-A71. (C) 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Funders: Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC), Malaysia (02-01-03-SF1210)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Enterovirus A71; Hand,Ffoot and mouth disease; Codon deoptimization; Codon-pair deoptimization; Deoptimization; Live-attenuated vaccine
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine
Depositing User: Ms Zaharah Ramly
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2022 06:46
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2022 06:46

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