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Developmental Research Project DP010

Collaborating Institution: Global Vaccines, Inc., Research Triangle Park, NC

Principal Investigator: Robert E. Johnston, PhD

Title of the Project: An Adjuvanted Multivalent Vaccine for Lassa Fever Virus

Co-investigators:

Expected Product:  Development of a multivalent vaccine against hemorrhagic fever-causing arenaviruses.

Description: Several members of the arenavirus family are causative agents of hemorrhagic fever in West Africa and South America. The African virus, Lassa fever virus (LFV), infects over 300,000 people per year with ~5,000 deaths. In this application we propose to initiate studies that will lead to an effective vaccine for LFV and ultimately to a multivalent vaccine for the South American hemorrhagic arenaviruses. The prototype vaccine will consist of highly purified LFV nucleoprotein and glycoprotein complex formulated with a new type of adjuvant, GVI-3A, which enhances both humoral and cellular immune responses. Immunogenicity will be assessed in mice transgenic for the human HLA-A2 allele and in guinea pigs. Immunized guinea pigs will be challenged with virulent LFV to determine the ability of the prototype vaccine to protect against disease and death which normally occur when these animals are infected with LFV. Protection in the guinea pig model will lead to immunogenicity and challenge studies in nonhuman primates.