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      A combined nucleocapsid vaccine induces vigorous SARS-CD8+ T-cell immune responses


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          Several studies have shown that cell-mediated immune responses play a crucial role in controlling viral replication. As such, a candidate SARS vaccine should elicit broad CD8+ T-cell immune responses. Several groups of mice were immunized alone or in combination with SARS-nucleocapsid immunogen. A high level of specific SARS-CD8+ T-cell response was demonstrated in mice that received DNA encoding the SARS-nucleocapsid, protein and XIAP as an adjuvant. We also observed that co-administration of a plasmid expressing nucleocapsid, recombinant protein and montanide/CpG induces high antibody titers in immunized mice. Moreover, this vaccine approach merits further investigation as a potential candidate vaccine against SARS.

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          Contributions of the structural proteins of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus to protective immunity.

          We investigated the contributions of the structural proteins of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus (CoV) to protective immunity by expressing them individually and in combinations from a recombinant parainfluenza virus (PIV) type 3 vector called BHPIV3. This vector provided direct immunization of the respiratory tract, the major site of SARS transmission, replication, and disease. The BHPIV3/SARS recombinants were evaluated for immunogenicity and protective efficacy in hamsters, which support a high level of pulmonary SARS-CoV replication. A single intranasal administration of BHPIV3 expressing the SARS-CoV spike protein (S) induced a high titer of SARS-CoV-neutralizing serum antibodies, only 2-fold less than that induced by SARS-CoV infection. The expression of S with the two other putative virion envelope proteins, the matrix M and small envelope E proteins, did not augment the neutralizing antibody response. In absence of S, expression of M and E or the nucleocapsid protein N did not induce a detectable serum SARS-CoV-neutralizing antibody response. Immunization with BHPIV3 expressing S provided complete protection against SARS-CoV challenge in the lower respiratory tract and partial protection in the upper respiratory tract. This was augmented slightly by coexpression with M and E. Expression of M, E, or N in the absence of S did not confer detectable protection. These results identify S among the structural proteins as the only significant SARS-CoV neutralization antigen and protective antigen and show that a single mucosal immunization is highly protective in an experimental animal that supports efficient replication of SARS-CoV.
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            The severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus replicative protein nsp9 is a single-stranded RNA-binding subunit unique in the RNA virus world.

            The recently identified etiological agent of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) belongs to Coronaviridae (CoV), a family of viruses replicating by a poorly understood mechanism. Here, we report the crystal structure at 2.7-A resolution of nsp9, a hitherto uncharacterized subunit of the SARS-CoV replicative polyproteins. We show that SARS-CoV nsp9 is a single-stranded RNA-binding protein displaying a previously unreported, oligosaccharide/oligonucleotide fold-like fold. The presence of this type of protein has not been detected in the replicative complexes of RNA viruses, and its presence may reflect the unique and complex CoV viral replication/transcription machinery.
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              Identification of an antigenic determinant on the S2 domain of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus spike glycoprotein capable of inducing neutralizing antibodies.

              Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a life-threatening disease caused by a newly identified coronavirus (CoV), SARS-CoV. The spike (S) glycoprotein of CoV is the major structural protein responsible for induction of host immune response and virus neutralization by antibodies. Hence, knowledge of neutralization determinants on the S protein is helpful for designing protective vaccines. To analyze the antigenic structure of the SARS-CoV S2 domain, the carboxyl-terminal half of the S protein, we first used sera from convalescent SARS patients to test the antigenicity of 12 overlapping fragments spanning the entire S2 and identified two antigenic determinants (Leu 803 to Ala 828 and Pro 1061 to Ser 1093). To determine whether neutralizing antibodies can be elicited by these two determinants, we immunized animals and found that both of them could induce the S2-specific antisera. In some animals, however, only one determinant (Leu 803 to Ala 828) was able to induce the antisera with the binding ability to the native S protein and the neutralizing activity to the SARS-CoV pseudovirus. This determinant is highly conserved across different SARS-CoV isolates. Identification of a conserved antigenic determinant on the S2 domain of the SARS-CoV S protein, which has the potential for inducing neutralizing antibodies, has implications in the development of effective vaccines against SARS-CoV.

                Author and article information

                Genet Vaccines Ther
                Genetic Vaccines and Therapy
                BioMed Central (London )
                22 August 2005
                : 3
                : 7
                [1 ]Infectious Disease and Vaccine Research Centre, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, 401 Smyth Road, Ottawa, ON, K1H 8L1, Canada
                [2 ]Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, K1H 8M2, Canada
                Copyright © 2005 Azizi et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 9 May 2005
                : 22 August 2005

                xiap, vaccine, nucleocapsid, sars


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