Evaluating the effect of formulation on the uptake of a ZIKA subunit vaccine candidate by antigen-presenting cells

Conference Dates

June 17-22, 2018


A major issue with vaccination for Zika, Dengue and other flaviviruses is the potential for antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) of disease, caused by the generation or boosting of infection-enhancing antibodies. To address this concern, a subunit vaccine is being developed against the Zika virus using a modified version of the envelope protein as the antigen which has been modified with glycan residues to mask the fusion loop region of the protein (Figure 1), which is a cross-reactive and immunodominant site strongly implicated in the generation of antibodies capable of ADE. With this subunit vaccine approach, there is a need to formulate with an appropriate adjuvant to enhance the immunogenicity of the modified envelope protein. In this study we have evaluated a range of adjuvants using flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy and have determined the relative uptake by human Antigen-presenting cells (APCs). Various combinations of clinically acceptable adjuvant materials: Alhydrogel®, 3D-(6-acyl) PHADTM (a synthetic analogue of MPL) and QS21, were tested using liposomal formulations. In addition, the modified Zika envelope protein was compared to that of wild type Zika antigen, similarly formulated.

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