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Fargo, ND, United States

Kwilas S.,U.S. Army | Kishimori J.M.,U.S. Army | Josleyn M.,U.S. Army | Jerke K.,U.S. Army | And 3 more authors.
Current Gene Therapy | Year: 2014

Sin Nombre virus (SNV) and Andes virus (ANDV) cause most of the hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) cases in North and South America, respectively. The chances of a patient surviving HPS are only two in three. Previously, we demonstrated that SNV and ANDV DNA vaccines encoding the virus envelope glycoproteins elicit high-titer neutralizing antibodies in laboratory animals, and (for ANDV) in nonhuman primates (NHPs). In those studies, the vaccines were delivered by gene gun or muscle electroporation. Here, we tested whether a combined SNV/ANDV DNA vaccine (HPS DNA vaccine) could be delivered effectively using a disposable syringe jet injection (DSJI) system (PharmaJet, Inc). PharmaJet intramuscular (IM) and intradermal (ID) needle-free devices are FDA 510(k)-cleared, simple to use, and do not require electricity or pressurized gas. First, we tested the SNV DNA vaccine delivered by PharmaJet IM or ID devices in rabbits and NHPs. Both IM and ID devices produced high-titer anti-SNV neutralizing antibody responses in rabbits and NHPs. However, the ID device required at least two vaccinations in NHP to detect neutralizing antibodies in most animals, whereas all animals vaccinated once with the IM device seroconverted. Because the IM device was more effective in NHP, the Stratis® (PharmaJet IM device) was selected for follow-up studies. We evaluated the HPS DNA vaccine delivered using Stratis® and found that it produced high-titer anti-SNV and anti-ANDV neutralizing antibodies in rabbits (n=8/group) as measured by a classic plaque reduction neutralization test and a new pseudovirion neutralization assay. We were interested in determining if the differences between DSJI delivery (e.g., high-velocity liquid penetration through tissue) and other methods of vaccine injection, such as needle/syringe, might result in a more immunogenic DNA vaccine. To accomplish this, we compared the HPS DNA vaccine delivered by DSJI versus needle/syringe in NHPs (n=8/group). We found that both the anti-SNV and anti-ANDV neutralizing antibody titers were significantly higher (p-value 0.0115) in the DSJI-vaccinated groups than the needle/syringe group. For example, the anti-SNV and anti-ANDV PRNT50 geometric mean titers (GMTs) were 1,974 and 349 in the DSJI-vaccinated group versus 87 and 42 in the needle/syringe group. These data demonstrate, for the first time, that a spring-powered DSJI device is capable of effectively delivering a DNA vaccine to NHPs. Whether this HPS DNA vaccine, or any DNA vaccine, delivered by spring-powered DSJI will elicit a strong immune response in humans, requires clinical trials. © 2014 Bentham Science Publishers. Source


Hooper J.W.,U.S. Army | Brocato R.L.,U.S. Army | Kwilas S.A.,U.S. Army | Hammerbeck C.D.,U.S. Army | And 7 more authors.
Science Translational Medicine | Year: 2014

Polyclonal immunoglobulin-based medical products have been used successfully to treat diseases caused by viruses for more than a century. We demonstrate the use of DNA vaccine technology and transchromosomal bovines (TcBs) to produce fully human polyclonal immunoglobulins (IgG) with potent antiviral neutralizing activity. Specifically, two hantavirus DNA vaccines [Andes virus (ANDV) DNA vaccine and Sin Nombre virus (SNV) DNA vaccine] were used to produce a candidate immunoglobulin product for the prevention and treatment of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). A needle-free jet injection device was used to vaccinate TcB, and hightiter neutralizing antibodies (titers >1000) against both viruses were produced within 1 month. Plasma collected at day 10 after the fourth vaccination was used to produce purified a α-HPS TcB human IgG. Treatment with 20,000 neutralizing antibody units (NAU)/kg starting 5 days after challenge with ANDV protected seven of eight animals, whereas zero of eight animals treated with the same dose of normal TcB human IgG survived. Likewise, treatment with 20,000 NAU/kg starting 5 days after challenge with SNV protected immunocompromised hamsters from lethal HPS, protecting five of eight animals. Our findings that the a-HPS TcB human IgG is capable of protecting in animal models of lethal HPS when administered after exposure provides proof of concept that this approach can be used to develop candidate next-generation polyclonal immunoglobulinbased medical products without the need for human donors, despeciation protocols, or inactivated/attenuated vaccine antigen. Copyright 2014 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Source


Harper M.S.,DuPont Pioneer | Carpenter C.,DuPont Company | Klocke D.J.,Aldevron | Carlson G.,DuPont Pioneer | And 2 more authors.
Food and Chemical Toxicology | Year: 2011

A single dose of endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide) from a common laboratory cloning and expression strain (Escherichia coli BL21[DE3]) was administered to groups of male and female CD-1 mice (n = 5/group) at doses up to 1,000,000 endotoxin units (EU) per mouse by oral gavage. The mice were observed for mortality, body weight effects, and clinical signs for 14 days after which they were sacrificed for gross organ necropsy. All mice survived until the scheduled sacrifice, no clinical signs of toxicity were observed, no test substance-related body weight losses occurred and no gross lesions were present at necropsy. Under the conditions of this study, oral administration of E. coli BL21(DE3) endotoxin to mice at a dose of up to 1,000,000. EU/mouse produced no evidence of toxicity. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Brocato R.,U.S. Army | Josleyn M.,U.S. Army | Ballantyne J.,Aldevron | Vial P.,University for Development | Hooper J.W.,U.S. Army
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Andes virus (ANDV) is the predominant cause of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) in South America and the only hantavirus known to be transmitted person-to-person. There are no vaccines, prophylactics, or therapeutics to prevent or treat this highly pathogenic disease (case-fatality 35-40%). Infection of Syrian hamsters with ANDV results in a disease that closely mimics human HPS in incubation time, symptoms of respiratory distress, and disease pathology. Here, we evaluated the feasibility of two postexposure prophylaxis strategies in the ANDV/hamster lethal disease model. First, we evaluated a natural product, human polyclonal antibody, obtained as fresh frozen plasma (FFP) from a HPS survivor. Second, we used DNA vaccine technology to manufacture a polyclonal immunoglobulin-based product that could be purified from the eggs of vaccinated ducks (Anas platyrhynchos). The natural "despeciation" of the duck IgY (i.e., Fc removed) results in an immunoglobulin predicted to be minimally reactogenic in humans. Administration of ≥5,000 neutralizing antibody units (NAU)/kg of FFP-protected hamsters from lethal disease when given up to 8 days after intranasal ANDV challenge. IgY/IgYΔFc antibodies purified from the eggs of DNA-vaccinated ducks effectively neutralized ANDV in vitro as measured by plaque reduction neutralization tests (PRNT). Administration of 12,000 NAU/kg of duck egg-derived IgY/IgYΔFc protected hamsters when administered up to 8 days after intranasal challenge and 5 days after intramuscular challenge. These experiments demonstrate that convalescent FFP shows promise as a postexposure HPS prophylactic. Moreover, these data demonstrate the feasibility of using DNA vaccine technology coupled with the duck/egg system to manufacture a product that could supplement or replace FFP. The DNA vaccine-duck/egg system can be scaled as needed and obviates the necessity of using limited blood products obtained from a small number of HPS survivors. This is the first report demonstrating the in vivo efficacy of any antiviral product produced using DNA vaccine-duck/egg system. Source


Sin Nombre virus (SNV; family Bunyaviridae, genus Hantavirus) causes a hemorrhagic fever known as hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) in North America. There have been approximately 200 fatal cases of HPS in the United States since 1993, predominantly in healthy working-age males (case fatality rate 35%). There are no FDA-approved vaccines or drugs to prevent or treat HPS. Previously, we reported that hantavirus vaccines based on the full-length M gene segment of Andes virus (ANDV) for HPS in South America, and Hantaan virus (HTNV) and Puumala virus (PUUV) for hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) in Eurasia, all elicited high-titer neutralizing antibodies in animal models. HFRS is more prevalent than HPS (>20,000 cases per year) but less pathogenic (case fatality rate 1-15%). Here, we report the construction and testing of a SNV full-length M gene-based DNA vaccine to prevent HPS. Rabbits vaccinated with the SNV DNA vaccine by muscle electroporation (mEP) developed high titers of neutralizing antibodies. Furthermore, hamsters vaccinated three times with the SNV DNA vaccine using a gene gun were completely protected against SNV infection. This is the first vaccine of any kind that specifically elicits high-titer neutralizing antibodies against SNV. To test the possibility of producing a pan-hantavirus vaccine, rabbits were vaccinated by mEP with an HPS mix (ANDV and SNV plasmids), or HFRS mix (HTNV and PUUV plasmids), or HPS/HFRS mix (all four plasmids). The HPS mix and HFRS mix elicited neutralizing antibodies predominantly against ANDV/SNV and HTNV/PUUV, respectively. Furthermore, the HPS/HFRS mix elicited neutralizing antibodies against all four viruses. These findings demonstrate a pan-hantavirus vaccine using a mixed-plasmid DNA vaccine approach is feasible and warrants further development. © 2013 The Authors. Source

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