Chikungunya virus (CHIKV), a mosquito-transmitted alphavirus, recently reemerged in the Indian Ocean, India and Southeast Asia, causing millions of cases of severe polyarthralgia. No specific treatment to prevent disease or vaccine to limit epidemics is currently available. Here we describe a recombinant live-attenuated measles vaccine (MV) expressing CHIKV virus-like particles comprising capsid and envelope structural proteins from the recent CHIKV strain La Reunion. Immunization of mice susceptible to measles virus induced high titers of CHIKV antibodies that neutralized several primary isolates. Specific cellular immune responses were also elicited. A single immunization with this vaccine candidate protected all mice from a lethal CHIKV challenge, and passive transfer of immune sera conferred protection to naïve mice. Measles vaccine is one of the safest and most effective human vaccines. A recombinant MV-CHIKV virus could make a safe and effective vaccine against chikungunya that deserves to be further tested in human trials.
Keywords: Chikungunya; Measles; Vaccine; Virus-like-particles.
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