ccJE+Advax is an inactivated cell culture Japanese encephalitis (JE) vaccine formulated with Advax, a novel polysaccharide adjuvant based on delta inulin. This vaccine has previously shown promise in murine and equine studies and the current study sought to better understand its mechanism of action and assess the feasibility of single dose vaccine protection. Mice immunised with ccJE+Advax had higher serum neutralisation titres than those immunised with ccJE alone or with alum adjuvant. ccJE+Advax induced extraordinarily broad cross-neutralising antibodies against multiple flaviviruses including West Nile virus (WNV), Murray Valley encephalitis virus (MVEV), St Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV) and Dengue virus-1 and-2 (DENV-1 and-2). Notably, the DENV-2 cross-neutralising antibodies from ccJE+Advax immunised mice uniquely had no DENV-2 antibody-dependent infection enhancement (ADIE) activity, in contrast to high ADIE activity seen with DENV-1 cross-reactive antibodies induced by mbJE or ccJE alone or with alum adjuvant. JEV-stimulated splenocytes from ccJE+Advax immunised mice showed increased IL-17 and IFN-γ production, consistent with a mixed Th1 and Th17 response, whereas ccJE-alum was associated with production of mainly Th2 cytokines. In a mouse lethal challenge study against highly virulent JaTH160 JEV strain, ccJE+Advax conferred complete protection in a two-dose schedule with 50 ng of vaccine antigen and near complete protection after a single 200 ng dose of vaccine antigen. There is an ongoing lack of human vaccines against particular flaviviruses, including WNV, SLEV and MVEV. Given its ability to provide single-dose JEV protection and induce broadly neutralising antibodies devoid of ADIE activity, ccJE+Advax vaccine could be useful in situations where rapid protection is desirable, e.g., during a local outbreak or for use in travellers or armies requiring rapid deployment to JEV endemic regions.
- Antibody-dependent enhancement
- Cell culture-grown inactivated JE vaccine
- Interferon gamma
- Japanese encephalitis
- Singles dose protection