Chimeric alphavirus vaccine candidates for chikungunya

Eryu Wang, Eugenia Volkova, A. Paige Adams, Naomi Forrester, Shu Yuan Xiao, Ilya Frolov, Scott C. Weaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

140 Scopus citations


Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is an emerging alphavirus that has caused major epidemics in India and islands off the east coast of Africa since 2005. Importations into Europe and the Americas, including one that led to epidemic transmission in Italy during 2007, underscore the risk of endemic establishment elsewhere. Because there is no licensed human vaccine, and an attenuated Investigational New Drug product developed by the U.S. Army causes mild arthritis in some vaccinees, we developed chimeric alphavirus vaccine candidates using either Venezuelan equine encephalitis attenuated vaccine strain TC-83, a naturally attenuated strain of eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV), or Sindbis virus as a backbone and the structural protein genes of CHIKV. All vaccine candidates replicated efficiently in cell cultures, and were highly attenuated in mice. All of the chimeras also produced robust neutralizing antibody responses, although the TC-83 and EEEV backbones appeared to offer greater immunogenicity. Vaccinated mice were fully protected against disease and viremia after CHIKV challenge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5030-5039
Number of pages10
Issue number39
StatePublished - Sep 15 2008


  • Alphavirus
  • Arthritis
  • Chikungunya
  • Vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Veterinary
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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