Preclinical proof of concept of a tetravalent lentiviral T-cell vaccine against dengue viruses

Front Immunol. 2023 Aug 15:14:1208041. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2023.1208041. eCollection 2023.


Dengue virus (DENV) is responsible for approximately 100 million cases of dengue fever annually, including severe forms such as hemorrhagic dengue and dengue shock syndrome. Despite intensive vaccine research and development spanning several decades, a universally accepted and approved vaccine against dengue fever has not yet been developed. The major challenge associated with the development of such a vaccine is that it should induce simultaneous and equal protection against the four DENV serotypes, because past infection with one serotype may greatly increase the severity of secondary infection with a distinct serotype, a phenomenon known as antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE). Using a lentiviral vector platform that is particularly suitable for the induction of cellular immune responses, we designed a tetravalent T-cell vaccine candidate against DENV ("LV-DEN"). This vaccine candidate has a strong CD8+ T-cell immunogenicity against the targeted non-structural DENV proteins, without inducing antibody response against surface antigens. Evaluation of its protective potential in the preclinical flavivirus infection model, i.e., mice knockout for the receptor to the type I IFN, demonstrated its significant protective effect against four distinct DENV serotypes, based on reduced weight loss, viremia, and viral loads in peripheral organs of the challenged mice. These results provide proof of concept for the use of lentiviral vectors for the development of efficient polyvalent T-cell vaccine candidates against all DENV serotypes.

Keywords: CD8+ T-cells; DENV; T-cell vaccine; dengue; flavivirus; ifnar-/-mice; lentiviral vector; tetravalent vaccine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibody-Dependent Enhancement
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes
  • Dengue Virus*
  • Mice
  • Severe Dengue*
  • Vaccines, Combined


  • Vaccines, Combined

Grants and funding

This study was funded by TheraVectys and Institut Pasteur.