Novel vaccination approach for dengue infection based on recombinant immune complex universal platform

Mi Young Kim, Rajko Reljic, Jacquelyn Kilbourne, Ivonne Ceballos-Olvera, Moon Sik Yang, Jorge Reyes-del Valle, Hugh Mason

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Dengue infection is on the rise in many endemic areas of the tropics. Vaccination remains the most realistic strategy for prevention of this potentially fatal viral disease but there is currently no effective vaccine that could protect against all four known serotypes of the dengue virus. This study describes the generation and testing of a novel vaccination approach against dengue based on recombinant immune complexes (RIC). We modelled the dengue RIC on the existing Ebola RIC (Phoolcharoen, et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2011;108(Dec (51)):20695) but with a key modification that allowed formation of a universal RIC platform that can be easily adapted for use for other pathogens. This was achieved by retaining only the binding epitope of the 6D8 ant-Ebola mAb, which was then fused to the consensus dengue E3 domain (cEDIII), resulting in a hybrid dengue-Ebola RIC (DERIC). We expressed human and mouse versions of these molecules in tobacco plants using a geminivirus-based expression system. Following purification from the plant extracts by protein G affinity chromatography, DERIC bound to C1q component of complement, thus confirming functionality. Importantly, following immunization of mice, DERIC induced a potent, virus-neutralizing anti-cEDIII humoral immune response without exogenous adjuvants. We conclude that these self-adjuvanting immunogens have the potential to be developed as a novel vaccine candidate for dengue infection, and provide the basis for a universal RIC platform for use with other antigens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1830-1838
Number of pages9
Issue number15
StatePublished - Apr 8 2015


  • Dengue
  • Ebola
  • Immune-complexes
  • Plants
  • Vaccine infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • veterinary(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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