Immune Responses in Mice Vaccinated with Virus-Like Particles of Western
Equine Encephalitis Virus from an Insect Cell-Based Expression System
Western equine encephalitis virus (WEEV) can cause lethal encephalitis
in humans and equines and represents a serious public health threat in
many countries. Therefore, development of efficient vaccines against
WEEV remains an important challenge in the field of disease control.
This study described for the first time successful production of WEEV
virus-like particles (VLPs) in insect cells using recombinant
baculoviruses. This well-established expression system is very suitable
for production of WEEV VLPs. The immune experiment herein in mice showed
that the VLPs formulated with 206-adjuvant were responsible for the
stronger-VLP-specific cellular immune response, and were able to induce
the secretion of IL-2, IL-4, IFN-γ and production of high titer
antibodies that can effectively neutralize the WEEV pseudoviruses. The
WEEV VLPs from insect cells could provide a new, safe, non-replicating
and effective vaccine candidate against WEEV infections.