U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases Frederick United States
Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus VEEV is a New World alphavirus. There is no licensed vaccine for prophylaxis against VEEV. VEEV is highly infectious in aerosolized form and has been identified as a bio-terrorism agent. The current IND vaccine is poorly immunogenic and does not protect against an aerosol challenge with virulent VEEV. We have previously shown that VEEV inactivated by 1,5 iodonaphthy azide INA protects against footpad challenge with virulent VEEV. In this study, we inactivated an attenuated strain of VEEV, V3526, with INA and evaluated its protective efficacy against aerosol challenge with virulent VEEV. We demonstrated that among three routes of immunization, intramuscular immunization with INA-inactivate V3526 provided complete protection against aerosol challenge with virulent VEEV. Our data suggests that INA-inactivated V3526 may be explored further for specific development as an effective vaccine candidate against aerosol challenge of virulent VEEV.