Induction of sterilizing immunity against West Nile Virus (WNV), by immunization with WNV-like particles produced in insect cells

J Infect Dis. 2004 Dec 15;190(12):2104-8. doi: 10.1086/425933. Epub 2004 Nov 11.


No specific vaccine for West Nile virus (WNV) is currently available for human use. In the present study, we describe the generation of WNV-like particles (WNV-LPs) in insect cells by use of recombinant baculoviruses expressing the WNV structural proteins prME or CprME. BALB/c mice immunized with purified WNV-LPs developed WNV-specific antibodies that had potent neutralizing activities. Mice immunized with prME-like particles (prME-LPs) showed no morbidity or mortality after challenge with WNV. Immunization with prME-LPs can induce sterilizing immunity without producing any evidence of viremia or viral RNA in the spleen or brain. These results suggest that WNV-LPs hold promise as a vaccine candidate for WNV infection.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Baculoviridae
  • Brain / virology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Female
  • Insecta / cytology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • RNA, Viral / isolation & purification
  • Spleen / virology
  • Vaccines, Attenuated / immunology
  • Vaccines, Synthetic / immunology
  • Viral Structural Proteins / immunology
  • Viral Vaccines / immunology*
  • Viremia
  • West Nile Fever / immunology
  • West Nile Fever / prevention & control
  • West Nile virus / immunology*


  • RNA, Viral
  • Vaccines, Attenuated
  • Vaccines, Synthetic
  • Viral Structural Proteins
  • Viral Vaccines