Rapid and Long-Term Immunity Elicited by DNA-Encoded Antibody Prophylaxis and DNA Vaccination Against Chikungunya Virus

J Infect Dis. 2016 Aug 1;214(3):369-78. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiw111. Epub 2016 Mar 21.


Background: Vaccination and passive antibody therapies are critical for controlling infectious diseases. Passive antibody administration has limitations, including the necessity for purification and multiple injections for efficacy. Vaccination is associated with a lag phase before generation of immunity. Novel approaches reported here utilize the benefits of both methods for the rapid generation of effective immunity.

Methods: A novel antibody-based prophylaxis/therapy entailing the electroporation-mediated delivery of synthetic DNA plasmids encoding biologically active anti-chikungunya virus (CHIKV) envelope monoclonal antibody (dMAb) was designed and evaluated for antiviral efficacy, as well as for the ability to overcome shortcomings inherent with conventional active vaccination and passive immunotherapy.

Results: One intramuscular injection of dMAb produced antibodies in vivo more rapidly than active vaccination with an anti-CHIKV DNA vaccine. This dMAb neutralized diverse CHIKV clinical isolates and protected mice from viral challenge. Combination of dMAb and the CHIKV DNA vaccine afforded rapid and long-lived protection.

Conclusions: A DNA-based dMAb strategy induced rapid protection against an emerging viral infection. This method can be combined with DNA vaccination as a novel strategy to provide both short- and long-term protection against this emerging infectious disease. These studies have implications for pathogen treatment and control strategies.

Keywords: DNA plasmid; chikungunya virus; dMAb; monoclonal antibody; passive antibody prophylaxis and therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / administration & dosage
  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology*
  • Chemoprevention / methods*
  • Chikungunya Fever / prevention & control*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Electroporation
  • Injections, Intramuscular
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vaccines, DNA / administration & dosage
  • Vaccines, DNA / immunology*
  • Viral Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Viral Vaccines / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Vaccines, DNA
  • Viral Vaccines