Safety and Immunogenicity of DNA Vaccines Encoding Ebolavirus and Marburgvirus Wild-Type Glycoproteins in a Phase I Clinical Trial

Publication Type
Journal Article
Year of Publication
Sarwar, U; Costner, P; Enama, M; Berkowitz, N; Hu, Z; Hendel, C; Sitar, S; Plummer, S; Mulangu, S; Bailer, R; Koup, R; Mascola, J; Nabel, G; Sullivan, N; Graham, B; Ledgerwood, JE; The VRC 206 Study Team
J Infect Dis
Start Page
Date Published
Antibodies; Cytokines/blood; DNA; Ebola Vaccines; Ebola virus; filovirus; immunology; Marburg virus; Viral/blood/immunology
BACKGROUND: Ebolavirus and Marburgvirus cause severe hemorrhagic fever with high mortality and are potential bioterrorism agents. There are no available vaccines or therapeutic agents. Previous clinical trials evaluated transmembrane-deleted and point-mutation Ebolavirus glycoproteins (GPs) in candidate vaccines. Constructs evaluated in this trial encode wild-type (WT) GP from Ebolavirus Zaire and Sudan species and the Marburgvirus Angola strain expressed in a DNA vaccine. METHODS: The VRC 206 study evaluated the safety and immunogenicity of these DNA vaccines (4 mg administered intramuscularly by Biojector) at weeks 0, 4, and 8, with a homologous boost at or after week 32. Safety evaluations included solicited reactogenicity and coagulation parameters. Primary immune assessment was done by means of GP-specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. RESULTS: The vaccines were well tolerated, with no serious adverse events; 80% of subjects had positive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay results (>/=30) at week 12. The fourth DNA vaccination boosted the immune responses. CONCLUSIONS: The investigational Ebolavirus and Marburgvirus WT GP DNA vaccines were safe, well tolerated, and immunogenic in this phase I study. These results will further inform filovirus vaccine research toward a goal of inducing protective immunity by using WT GP antigens in candidate vaccine regimens.