Maternal vaccination and protective immunity against Zika virus vertical transmission

Chao Shan, Xuping Xie, Huanle Luo, Antonio E. Muruato, Yang Liu, Maki Wakamiya, Jun Ho La, Jin Mo Chung, Scott C. Weaver, Tian Wang, Pei Yong Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


An important goal of the Zika virus (ZIKV) vaccine is to prevent a congenital syndrome in fetuses of pregnant women, but studies directly evaluating maternal vaccination for ZIKV are lacking. Here we report maternal vaccination using a live-attenuated ZIKV vaccine (3ʹUTR-∆10-LAV) in a pregnant mouse model. Maternal immunization with 3ʹUTR-∆10-LAV does not cause any adverse effects on pregnancy, fetal development, or offspring behavior. One maternal immunization fully protects dams against ZIKV infection and in utero transmission. Although neutralizing antibody alone is sufficient to prevent in utero transmission, a higher neutralizing titer is required to protect pregnant mice against in utero transmission than that required to protect non-pregnant mice against viral infection. The immunized dams transfer maternal antibodies to pups, which protect neonates against ZIKV infection. Notably, pregnancy weakens maternal T cell response to 3ʹUTR-∆10-LAV vaccination. Our results suggest that, besides vaccinating non-pregnant individuals, 3ʹUTR-∆10-LAV may also be considered for maternal vaccination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5677
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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