Developing Virus-Like Particles (VLPs) and Heterologous VLPs Vaccines for Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease Virus (EHDV) Serotypes

AlShaikhahmed, K; (2015) Developing Virus-Like Particles (VLPs) and Heterologous VLPs Vaccines for Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease Virus (EHDV) Serotypes. PhD thesis, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. DOI:

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Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease Virus (EHDV) is an insect-transmitted pathogen of ruminants, causing periodic and significant losses in wild and captive deer populations and less frequently, a bluetongue-like disease in cattle. The serogroup of EHDV within the Orbivirus genus of the Reoviridae family consists of seven serotypes, in which emerging serotypes pose an increasing risk either regionally or globally, due to the insect vectors. To date, no vaccine against EHDV is commercially available, apart from the live-attenuated vaccine for EHDV-2 (IBAV). In this study, Virus-Like Particles (VLPs) of EHDV-1 and heterologous VLPs of EHDV-2 were generated using baculovirus multigene expression system for the synthesis of the two outer and two inner capsid proteins, essential for the formation of VLPs. The assembly of EHDV-1 recombinant structural proteins into Core-Like particles (CLPs, two proteins) and (VLPs, four proteins) was confirmed by EM analysis. The biological activity of the raised antisera to neutralise EHDV-1 was efficiently confirmed by neutralisation assay at 1:64 dilution. Cross neutralising activities were also detected against EHDV-2 and EHDV-6 serotypes at 1:8 dilution. Results presented in this study validate the potential efficacy of the VLP as a neutralising vaccine and strongly suggest its use as vaccine candidate. Additionally, an alternative approach was also initiated in this research to develop a rational vaccine against EHDV-2 using the reverse genetics system (RG). Towards this, it was first established that in vitro synthesised transcripts from purified EHDV-2 cores could generate infectious virus upon cell transfection. Note that both the generation of core transcripts and recovery of infectious virus of EHDV were not demonstrated previously. Subsequently a complete set of 10 T7 transcripts was synthesised, however, it was not possible to recover any infectious virus, likely to be some unwarranted mutations. Nevertheless, these transcripts will be further investigated for future RG studies.

Item Type: Thesis
Thesis Type: Doctoral
Thesis Name: PhD
Contributors: Roy, P (Thesis advisor);
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Pathogen Molecular Biology
Funders: Boehringer Ingelheim
Copyright Holders: Kinda AlShaikhahmed


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