Research ArticleVACCINES

Nucleoside-modified mRNA encoding HSV-2 glycoproteins C, D, and E prevents clinical and subclinical genital herpes

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Science Immunology  20 Sep 2019:
Vol. 4, Issue 39, eaaw7083
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aaw7083

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Hinting at a herpes vaccine

Currently, a vaccine for genital herpes does not exist despite the prevalence of this sexually transmitted disease. Previous attempts to make vaccines against herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) included trials with protein subunit vaccine candidates that delayed vaccine onset but were not protective. Awasthi et al. describe a vaccine candidate that is composed of nucleoside-modified mRNA in lipid nanoparticles that encodes the HSV-2 glycoproteins C, D, and E. This trivalent vaccine protected mice and guinea pigs from developing genital lesions and reduced viral shedding. Neutralizing antibody and CD4+ T cell responses were detected in immunized mice. These results suggest that an mRNA-based HSV-2 vaccine may have potential for further preclinical development.

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