Background: Asian countries are an endemic area for both dengue (DENV) and Japanese encephalitis viruses (JEV). While JEV vaccines have been used extensively in this region, DENV vaccines remains under development. Whether preexisting naturally acquired or vaccination-induced immunity against JEV may affect the immune response to dengue vaccine candidate is unclear. In this study we used mice previously immunized with JEV vaccines to evaluate the impact on dengue-specific neutralizing antibody responses to a tetravalent dengue DNA vaccine candidate (TDNA).
Methods: A tetravalent cocktail of plasmids encoding pre-membrane and envelope proteins from each dengue serotype was administered into mice which had been previously primed with inactivated or live-attenuated JEV vaccines, or dengue serotype2 virus (DENV-2). Neutralizing antibody response was measured employing a plaque reduction neutralization test at two weeks after the priming and at four weeks after the second dose of the dengue tetravalent plasmids.
Results: Inactivated or live-attenuated JEV vaccines, or DENV-2 induced low levels of neutralizing antibodies against the homologous viruses (JE and dengue virus, respectively). DENV-2 injection induced also low levels of cross-reactive antibodies against DENV-1, -3 and -4. JEV vaccines have no effect on the dengue-specific neutralizing antibody responses to the subsequent TDNA immunization. Pre-exposure to DENV-2 infection increased DENV-2 specific response neutralizing antibody to two doses of TDNA plasmids by six folds, but did not affect antibody response to other serotypes.
Conclusions: Priming with JEV vaccines did not impact on dengue virus-specific neutralizing antibody response to a dengue TDNA vaccine candidate in mice.