A novel E2 glycoprotein subunit marker vaccine produced in plant is able to prevent classical swine fever virus vertical transmission after double vaccination
The efficacy of a novel subunit vaccine candidate, based in the CSFV E2 glycoprotein produced in plants to prevent classical swine fever virus (CSFV) vertical transmission, was evaluated. A Nicotiana benthamiana tissue culture system was used to obtain a stable production of the E2-glycoprotein fused to the porcine Fc region of IgG. Ten pregnant sows were divided into three groups: Groups 1 and 2 (four sows each) were vaccinated with either 100 μg/dose or 300 μg/dose of the subunit vaccine at 64 days of pregnancy. Group 3 (two sows) was injected with PBS. Groups 1 and 2 were boosted with the same vaccine dose. At 10 days post second vaccination, the sows in Groups 2 and 3 were challenged with a highly virulent CSFV strain. The vaccinated sows remained clinically healthy and seroconverted rapidly, showing efficient neutralizing antibodies. The fetuses from vaccinated sows did not show gross lesions, and all analyzed tissue samples tested negative for CSFV replication. However, fetuses of non-vaccinated sows had high CSFV replication in tested tissue samples. The results suggested that in vaccinated sows, the plant produced E2 marker vaccine induced the protective immunogenicity at challenge, leading to protection from vertical transmission to fetuses.