Live Attenuated Virus Vaccines for La Crosse Virus and Other Bunyaviridae

La Crosse virus (LACV), family Bunyaviridae, is a mosquito-borne pathogen endemic in the United States. LACV infection results in 70-130 clinical cases a year and is the major cause of pediatric arboviral encephalitis in North America. LACV was first identified as human pathogen in 1960 after its isolation from a 4 year-old girl from Minnesota who suffered meningoencephalitis and later died in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The majority of LACV infections are mild and never reported, however serologic studies estimate annual infection rates of 10-30/100,000 in endemic areas. LACV is a member of the California serogroup of viruses in the genus Orthobunyavirus. The serogroup contains members found on five continents that include human pathogens such as La Crosse, Snowshoe hare, and Jamestown Canyon viruses in North America; Guaroa virus in North and South America; Inkoo and Tahyna viruses in Europe; and Lumbo virus in Africa. Children who recover from severe La Crosse encephalitis may have significantly lower IQ scores than expected and a high prevalence (60% of those tested) of attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder. Seizure disorders are also common in survivors. LACV can also cause encephalitis in immunosuppressed adults. Projected lifelong economic costs associated with neurologic sequelae range from $48,775-3,090,398 per case. At present, a vaccine or FDA approved antiviral therapy is not available.

This application principally claims live attenuated LACV vaccine compositions, but also includes subunit vaccine compositions including California encephalitis virus (CEV) serogroup immunogens, attenuated and inactivated CEV serogroup and chimeric Bunyaviridae. Also claimed are methods of treating or preventing CEV serogroup infection in a mammalian host, methods of producing a subunit vaccine composition, isolated polynucleotides comprising a nucleotide sequence encoding a CEV serogroup immunogen, methods for detecting LACV infection in a biological sample and infectious chimeric Bunyaviridae.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • Immunization against Bunyaviridae.

Development Stage:
Live attenuated vaccine candidates are currently being developed and preclinical studies in mice and monkeys are in progress. Suitable vaccine candidates will then be evaluated in clinical studies.


Stephen Whitehead (NIAID)  ➽ more inventions...

Brian Murphy (NIAID)  ➽ more inventions...

Richard Bennett (NIAID)  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:
US Pat: 9,255,252 issued 2016-02-09
US Pat: 9,884,104 issued 2018-02-06
PCT Pat: 8,298,541 issued 2012-10-30
US Pat: 10,206,995 issued 2019-02-19
US Pat: 10,561,724 issued 2020-02-18
US Application No. 16/240,222 filed on 2019-01-04
US Application No. 16/750,437 filed on 2020-01-23

Bennett RS, et al. PMID 17488515

Collaboration Opportunity:

The NIAID Laboratory of Infectious Diseases is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate, or commercialize live attenuated virus vaccine candidates for La Crosse virus and other Bunyaviridae. Please contact Dr. Whitehead at 301-496-7692 for more information.

Licensing Contact:
Peter Soukas, J.D.
Phone: 301-496-2644

OTT Reference No: E-158-2007-3
Updated: Jul 1, 2014