Zika virus baculovirus-expressed envelope protein elicited humoral and cellular immunity in immunocompetent mice

Sci Rep. 2022 Jan 13;12(1):660. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-04713-7.

Abstract

Zika virus (ZIKV) is a mosquito-borne virus that has a high risk of inducing Guillain-Barré syndrome and microcephaly in newborns. Because vaccination is considered the most effective strategy against ZIKV infection, we designed a recombinant vaccine utilizing the baculovirus expression system with two strains of ZIKV envelope protein (MR766, Env_M; ZBRX6, Env_Z). Animals inoculated with Env_M and Env_Z produced ZIKV-specific antibodies and secreted effector cytokines such as interferon-γ, tumor necrosis factor-α, and interleukin-12. Moreover, the progeny of immunized females had detectable maternal antibodies that protected them against two ZIKV strains (MR766 and PRVABC59) and a Dengue virus strain. We propose that the baculovirus expression system ZIKV envelope protein recombinant provides a safe and effective vaccine strategy.