Crimean-congo hemorrhagic fever virus subunit vaccines induce high levels of neutralizing antibodies but no protection in STAT1 knockout mice

Kortekaas, Jeroen; Vloet, Rianka P.M.; Mcauley, Alexander J.; Shen, Xiaoli; Bosch, Berend Jan; Vries, Laura De; Moormann, Rob J.M.; Bente, Dennis A.


Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus is a tick-borne bunyavirus of the Nairovirus genus that causes hemorrhagic fever in humans with high case fatality. Here, we report the development of subunit vaccines and their efficacy in signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1) knockout mice. Ectodomains of the structural glycoproteins Gn and Gc were produced using a Drosophila insect cell-based expression system. A single vaccination of STAT129 mice with adjuvanted Gn or Gc ectodomains induced neutralizing antibody responses, which were boosted by a second vaccination. Despite these antibody responses, mice were not protected from a CCHFV challenge infection. These results suggest that neutralizing antibodies against CCHFV do not correlate with protection of STAT1 knockout mice.