In vivo infectivity of liver extracts after resolution of hepadnaviral infection following therapy associating DNA vaccine and cytokine genes.

Abstract:

:DNA-based vaccination appears of promise for chronic hepatitis B immunotherapy, although there is an urgent need to increase its efficacy. In this preclinical study, we evaluated the therapeutic benefit of cytokine (IL-2, IFN-γ) genes co-delivery with DNA vaccine targeting hepadnaviral proteins in the chronic duck hepatitis B virus (DHBV) infection model. Then, we investigated the persistence of replication-competent virus in the livers of apparently resolved animals. DHBV carriers received four injections of plasmids encoding DHBV envelope and core alone or co-delivered with duck IL-2 (DuIL-2) or duck IFN-γ (DuIFN-γ) plasmids. After long-term (8 months) follow-up, viral covalently closed circular (ccc) DNA was analysed in duck necropsy liver samples. Liver homogenates were also tested for in vivo infectivity in neonatal ducklings. Co-delivery of DuIFN-γ resulted in significantly lower mean viremia starting from week 21. Viral cccDNA was undetectable by conventional methods in the livers of 25% and 57% of animals co-immunized with DuIL-2 and DuIFN-γ, respectively. Interestingly, inoculation of liver homogenates from 7 such apparently resolved animals, exhibiting cccDNA undetectable in Southern blotting and DHBV expression undetectable or restricted to few hepatocytes, revealed that three liver homogenates transmitted high-titre viremia (3-5×10(10) vge/mL) to naïve animals. In conclusion, our results indicate that IFN-γ gene co-delivery considerably enhances immunotherapeutic efficacy of DNA vaccine targeting hepadnaviral proteins. Importantly, we also showed that livers exhibiting only minute amounts of hepadnaviral cccDNA could induce extremely high-titre infection, highlighting the caution that should be taken in occult hepatitis B patients to prevent HBV transmission in liver transplantation context.

journal_name

J Viral Hepat

authors

Saade F,Buronfosse T,Guerret S,Pradat P,Chevallier M,Zoulim F,Jamard C,Cova L

doi

10.1111/jvh.12023

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2013-04-01 00:00:00

pages

e56-65

issue

4

eissn

1352-0504

issn

1365-2893

journal_volume

20

pub_type

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