An Equine Model for Vaccination against a Hepacivirus: Insights into Host Responses to E2 Recombinant Protein Vaccination and Subsequent Equine Hepacivirus Inoculation

Marcha Badenhorst, Armin Saalmüller, Janet M. Daly, Reinhard Ertl, Maria Stadler, Christina Puff, Madeleine de le Roi, Wolfgang Baumgärtner, Michael Engelmann, Sabine Brandner, Hannah K. Junge, Barbara Pratscher, Asisa Volz, Bertrand Saunier, Thomas Krey, Johannes Wittmann, Steffen Heelemann, Julien Delarocque, Bettina Wagner, Daniel TodtEike Steinmann*, Jessika M.V. Cavalleri*

*Korrespondierende/r Autor/-in für diese Arbeit

Abstract

Equine hepacivirus (EqHV) is the closest known genetic homologue of hepatitis C virus. An effective prophylactic vaccine is currently not available for either of these hepaciviruses. The equine as potential surrogate model for hepacivirus vaccine studies was investigated, while equine host responses following vaccination with EqHV E2 recombinant protein and subsequent EqHV inoculation were elucidated. Four ponies received prime and booster vaccinations (recombinant protein, adjuvant) four weeks apart (day −55 and −27). Two control ponies received adjuvant only. Ponies were inoculated with EqHV RNA-positive plasma on day 0. Blood samples and liver biopsies were collected over 26 weeks (day −70 to +112). Serum analyses included detection of EqHV RNA, isotypes of E2-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG), nonstructural protein 3-specific IgG, haematology, serum biochemistry, and metabolomics. Liver tissue analyses included EqHV RNA detection, RNA sequencing, histopathology, immunohistochemistry, and fluorescent in situ hybridization. Al-though vaccination did not result in complete protective immunity against experimental EqHV inoculation, the majority of vaccinated ponies cleared the serum EqHV RNA earlier than the control ponies. The majority of vaccinated ponies appeared to recover from the EqHV-associated liver insult earlier than the control ponies. The equine model shows promise as a surrogate model for future hepacivirus vaccine research.

OriginalspracheEnglisch
Aufsatznummer1401
ZeitschriftViruses
Jahrgang14
Ausgabenummer7
DOIs
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 07.2022

Strategische Forschungsbereiche und Zentren

  • Forschungsschwerpunkt: Infektion und Entzündung - Zentrum für Infektions- und Entzündungsforschung Lübeck (ZIEL)
  • Zentren: Zentrum für Medizinische Struktur- und Zellbiologie (ZMSZ)

DFG-Fachsystematik

  • 204-04 Virologie

Coronavirus-Bezug

  • Forschung zu SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19

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