Pan-HSV-2 IgG Antibody in Vaccinated Mice and Guinea Pigs Correlates with Protection against Herpes Simplex Virus 2

Halford, William P.; Geltz, Joshua; Gershburg, Edward
June 2013
PLoS ONE;Jun2013, Vol. 8 Issue 6, p1
Academic Journal
We lack a correlate of immunity to herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) that may be used to differentiate whether a HSV-2 vaccine elicits robust or anemic protection against genital herpes. This gap in knowledge is often attributed to a failure to measure the correct component of the adaptive immune response to HSV-2. However, efforts to identify a correlate of immunity have focused on subunit vaccines that contain less than 3% of HSV-2's 40,000-amino-acid proteome. We were interested to determine if a correlate of immunity might be more readily identified if 1. animals were immunized with a polyvalent immunogen such as a live virus and/or 2. the magnitude of the vaccine-induced immune response was gauged in terms of the IgG antibody response to all of HSV-2's antigens (pan-HSV-2 IgG). Pre-challenge pan-HSV-2 IgG levels and protection against HSV-2 were compared in mice and/or guinea pigs immunized with a gD-2 subunit vaccine, wild-type HSV-2, or one of several attenuated HSV-2 ICP0− viruses (0Δ254, 0Δ810, 0ΔRING, or 0ΔNLS). These six HSV-2 immunogens elicited a wide range of pan-HSV-2 IgG levels spanning an ∼500-fold range. For 5 of the 6 immunogens tested, pre-challenge levels of pan-HSV-2 IgG quantitatively correlated with reductions in HSV-2 challenge virus shedding and increased survival frequency following HSV-2 challenge. Collectively, the results suggest that pan-HSV-2 IgG levels may provide a simple and useful screening tool for evaluating the potential of a HSV-2 vaccine candidate to elicit protection against HSV-2 genital herpes.


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