Immune correlates of protection against yellow fever determined by passive immunization and challenge in the hamster model

Justin G. Julander, Dennis W. Trent, Thomas P. Monath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6008-6016
Number of pages9
Issue number35
StatePublished - Aug 11 2011


  • 17D
  • Hamster
  • Immune correlates
  • Inactivated vaccine
  • Neutralizing antibodies
  • Passive immunization
  • Yellow fever

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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