Method to Create Vaccines for the Prevention of Flavivirus Infections by Targeting Micro-RNA

There are more than seventy (70) single-stranded, positive-sense RNA viruses in the arthropod-borne flavivirus genus of the Flaviviridae family, many of which are important human pathogens that cause a devastating and often fatal neuroinfection. Flaviviruses are transmitted in nature to various mammals and birds through the bite of an infected mosquito or tick; they are endemic in many regions of the world and include mosquito-borne yellow fever (YFV), Japanese encephalitis (JEV), West Nile (WNV), St. Louis encephalitis (SLEV), dengue viruses (DEN) and the tick-borne encephalitis viruses (TBEV). During the past two decades, both mosquito-borne and tick-borne flaviviruses have emerged in new geographic areas of the world where previously they were not endemic and have caused outbreaks of diseases in humans and domestic animals.

Long-term experience with the only two successful live attenuated flavivirus vaccines has demonstrated that live attenuated virus vaccines are an efficient approach to prevent diseases caused by virulent flaviviruses because, in most cases, just a single dose of the vaccine provides a long-lasting protective immunity in humans that mimics the immune response following natural infection.

This application claims recombinant attenuated neurotropic flaviviruses comprising nucleic acid sequences complementary to the target sequences of microRNAs. The application also claims live attenuated chimeric flaviviruses, where the first flavivirus is a different flavivirus from the second flavivirus.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • Vaccines for the prevention of multiple flavivirus infections
  • Use of human clinically-tested live attenuated dengue vector
  • Novel vaccine candidate
  • Rapid production time
  • Low manufacturing cost

Alexander Pletnev (NIAID)
Brian Heiss (NIAID)

Intellectual Property:
US Application No. 61/455,261
PCT Application No. PCT/US2011/056280

Licensing Contact:
Peter Soukas , J.D.
NIH Office of Technology Transfer
Phone: 301-435-4646

OTT Reference No: E-197-2010/0

Updated: Aug-02-2011