We have previously described the design of stable and immunogenic polio virus-like particles (VLPs) (Fox, 2017) as an alternative approach to vaccine production. Unlike current polio vaccines, recombinantly-expressed VLP vaccines are non-infectious so would pose no risk of accidental escape from production plants, threatening eradication. To do this we devised a pipeline for the identification of stabilising mutations which could then be combined in a single construct to produce suitable particles; this strategy may have applications for other enterovirus vaccines.

Enterovirus 71 (EV71) is one of causative agents of hand, foot and mouth disease which is usually mild but in some cases neurological and systemic complications may occur. Recently there have been several outbreaks with significant mortality in South East Asia as well as increasing numbers of reports of outbreaks in Europe. VLP vaccines might be a useful alternative to inactivated vaccines currently in use or development.

EV71, like poliovirus, produces empty particles that are antigenically different from the virion. If, like poliovirus, these empty particles are less immunogenic than the virion, it would be necessary to stabilise them in the native conformation. We are attempting to do this (1) by incorporating modifications that proved successful in the context of poliovirus and (2) by identifying new candidate mutations using an analogous pipeline. Here we will report the characterisation of a range of different modifications that have stabilising and de-stabilising effects on EV71 particles as well as unexpected effects on morphogenesis.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Most cited this month Most Cited RSS feed

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error