Rabies is a viral zoonosis caused by negative-stranded RNA viruses of the Lyssavirus genus. It can affect all mammals including humans. Dogs are the main source of human rabies deaths, contributing up to 99% of all rabies transmissions to humans. Vaccination against rabies is still the sole efficient way to fight against the disease. Cell culture vaccines are recommended by World Health Organization (WHO) for pre and post exposure prophylaxis; among them Vero cell rabies vaccines which are used worldwide. In this work we studied the purification of inactivated rabies virus produced in Vero cells grown in animal component free conditions, using different methods. Cells were grown in VP-SFM medium in stirred bioreactor, then infected at an MOI of 0.05 with the LP2061 rabies virus strain. Collected harvests were purified by zonal centrifugation, and by chromatography supports, namely the Capto Core 700 and the monolithic CIM-QA column. Generated data were compared in terms of residual DNA level, host cell proteins (HCP) level and the overall recovery yield. Rabies virus purification using the monolithic column resulted in the highest antigen recovery yield, equal to 94%. Capto Core 700 showed a lower yield, about 84%; whereas the purification yield by zonal centrifugation was equal to 60%. In terms of host cell residual DNA removal, zonal centrifugation was the most efficient method; the removal yield was equal to 88.5%; elimination of host cell DNA was slightly lower when using the monolithic CIM-QA (equal to 73%). Whereas Capto Core 700 showed the lowest level (49.2%). Host cell protein removal varied between 92.6% for the monolithic column and 78.6% for the zonal centrifugation. Capto Core 700 eliminated 86.5% of HCP.
Keywords: Membrane chromatography; Purification; Rabies vaccine; Vero cells.
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