Immune correlates of protection against yellow fever determined by passive immunization and challenge in the hamster model.Vaccine. 2011 Aug 11; 29(35):6008-16.V
Live, attenuated yellow fever (YF) 17D vaccine is highly efficacious but causes rare, serious adverse events resulting from active replication in the host and direct viral injury to vital organs. We recently reported development of a potentially safer β-propiolactone-inactivated whole virion YF vaccine (XRX-001), which was highly immunogenic in mice, hamsters, monkeys, and humans [10,11]. To characterize the protective efficacy of neutralizing antibodies stimulated by the inactivated vaccine, graded doses of serum from hamsters immunized with inactivated XRX-001 or live 17D vaccine were transferred to hamsters by the intraperitoneal (IP) route 24h prior to virulent, viscerotropic YF virus challenge. Neutralizing antibody (PRNT(50)) titers were determined in the sera of treated animals 4h before challenge and 4 and 21 days after challenge. Neutralizing antibodies were shown to mediate protection. Animals having 50% plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT(50)) titers of ≥40 4h before challenge were completely protected from disease as evidenced by viremia, liver enzyme elevation, and protection against illness (weight change) and death. Passive titers of 10-20 were partially protective. Immunization with the XRX-001 vaccine stimulated YF neutralizing antibodies that were equally effective (based on dose response) as antibodies stimulated by live 17D vaccine. The results will be useful in defining the level of seroprotection in clinical studies of new yellow fever vaccines.