DNA immunization with fusion genes encoding different regions of hepatitis C virus E2 fused to the gene for hepatitis B surface antigen elicits immune responses to both HCV and HBV.

Abstract:

AIM:Both Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and Hepatitis C virus (HCV) are major causative agents of transfusion-associated and community-acquired hepatitis worldwide. Development of a HCV vaccine as well as more effective HBV vaccines is an urgent task. DNA immunization provides a promising approach to elicit protective humoral and cellular immune responses against viral infection. The aim of this study is to achieve immune responses against both HCV and HBV by DNA immunization with fusion constructs comprising various HCV E2 gene fragments fused to HBsAg gene of HBV. METHODS:C57BL/6 mice were immunized with plasmid DNA expressing five fragments of HCV E2 fused to the gene for HBsAg respectively. After one primary and one boosting immunizations, antibodies against HCV E2 and HBsAg were tested and subtyped in ELISA. Splenic cytokine expression of IFN-gamma and IL-10 was analyzed using an RT-PCR assay. Post-immune mouse antisera also were tested for their ability to capture HCV viruses in the serum of a hepatitis C patient in vitro. RESULTS:After immunization, antibodies against both HBsAg and HCV E2 were detected in mouse sera, with IgG2a being the dominant immunoglobulin sub-class. High-level expression of INF-gamma was detected in cultured splenic cells. Mouse antisera against three of the five fusion constructs were able to capture HCV viruses in an in vitro assay. CONCLUSION:The results indicate that these fusion constructs could efficiently elicit humoral and Th1 dominant cellular immune responses against both HBV S and HCV E2 antigens in DNA-immunized mice. They thus could serve as candidates for a bivalent vaccine against HBV and HCV infection. In addition, the capacity of mouse antisera against three of the five fusion constructs to capture HCV viruses in vitro suggested that neutralizing epitopes may be present in other regions of E2 besides the hypervariable region 1.

journal_name

World J Gastroenterol

authors

Jin J,Yang JY,Liu J,Kong YY,Wang Y,Li GD

doi

10.3748/wjg.v8.i3.505

keywords:

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2002-06-01 00:00:00

pages

505-10

issue

3

eissn

1007-9327

issn

2219-2840

journal_volume

8

pub_type

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