Jump to Main Content
Single-cycle replicable Rift Valley fever virus mutants as safe vaccine candidates
- Terasaki, Kaori, Tercero, Breanna R., Makino, Shinji
- Virus research 2016 v.216 pp. 55-65
- immunity, humans, Culicidae, direct contact, hosts, mosquito bites, health status, vaccines, Rift Valley fever, enzootic diseases, arboviruses, Rift Valley fever phlebovirus, disease outbreaks, vaccination, encephalitis, human population, mutants, ruminants, fever
- Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) is an arbovirus circulating between ruminants and mosquitoes to maintain its enzootic cycle. Humans are infected with RVFV through mosquito bites or direct contact with materials of infected animals. The virus causes Rift Valley fever (RVF), which was first recognized in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya in 1931. RVF is characterized by a febrile illness resulting in a high rate of abortions in ruminants and an acute febrile illness, followed by fatal hemorrhagic fever and encephalitis in humans. Initially, the virus was restricted to the eastern region of Africa, but the disease has now spread to southern and western Africa, as well as outside of the African continent, e.g., Madagascar, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. There is a serious concern that the virus may spread to other areas, such as North America and Europe. As vaccination is an effective tool to control RVFV epidemics, formalin-inactivated vaccines and live-attenuated RVFV vaccines have been used in endemic areas. The formalin-inactivated vaccines require boosters for effective protection, whereas the live-attenuated vaccines enable the induction of protective immunity by a single vaccination. However, the use of live-attenuated RVFV vaccines for large human populations having a varied health status is of concern, because of these vaccines’ residual neuro-invasiveness and neurovirulence. Recently, novel vaccine candidates have been developed using replication-defective RVFV that can undergo only a single round of replication in infected cells. The single-cycle replicable RVFV does not cause systemic infection in immunized hosts, but enables the conferring of protective immunity. This review summarizes the properties of various RVFV vaccines and recent progress on the development of the single-cycle replicable RVFV vaccines.