Development of Antigenic Chimeric St. Louis Encephalitis Virus/Dengue Virus Type Four Recombinant Viruses (SLEV/DEN4) as Vaccine Candidates for the Prevention of Disease Caused by SLEV

St. Louis Encephalitis Virus (SLEV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that is endemic in the Americas and causes sporadic outbreaks of disease in humans. SLEV is a member of the Japanese encephalitis virus serocomplex and is closely related to West Nile Virus (WNV). St. Louis encephalitis is found throughout North, Central, and South America, and the Caribbean, but is a major public health problem mainly in the United States. Prior to the outbreak of West Nile virus in 1999, St. Louis encephalitis was the most common human disease caused by mosquitoes in the United States. Since 1964, there have been about 4,440 confirmed cases of St. Louis encephalitis, with an average of 130 cases per year. Up to 3,000 cases have been reported during epidemics in some years. Many more infections occur without symptoms and go undiagnosed. At present, a vaccine or FDA approved antiviral therapy is not available.

The inventors have previously developed a WNV/Dengue4Delta30 antigenic chimeric virus as a live attenuated virus vaccine candidate that contains the WNV premembrane and envelope (prM and E) proteins on a dengue virus type 4 (DEN4) genetic background with a thirty nucleotide deletion (Delta30) in the DEN4 3’-UTR. Using a similar strategy, the inventors have generated an antigenic chimeric virus, SLE/DEN4Delta30. Preclinical testing results indicate that chimerization of SLE with DEN4Delta30 decreased neuroinvasiveness in mice, did not affect neurovirulence in mice, and appeared to overattenuate the virus for non-human primates. Modifications of the SLE/DEN4Delta30 vaccine candidate are underway to improve its immunogenicity.

This application claims live attenuated chimeric SLE/DEN4Delta30 vaccine compositions and bivalent WNV/SLE/DEN4Delta30 vaccine compositions. Also claimed are methods of treating or preventing SLEV infection in a mammalian host, methods of producing a subunit vaccine composition, isolated polynucleotides comprising a nucleotide sequence encoding a SLEV immunogen, methods for detecting SLEV infection in a biological sample and infectious chimeric SLEV.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
Immunization against SLEV or SLEV and WNV 

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.


Joseph Blaney (NIAID)  ➽ more inventions...

Brian Murphy (NIAID)  ➽ more inventions...

Alexander Pletnev (NIAID)  ➽ more inventions...

Stephen Whitehead (NIAID)  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:
PCT Pat: - issued -
US Application No. 60/934,730 filed on 2007-06-14
US Application No. 12/664,293 filed on 2009-12-11

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 St. Louis encephalitis virus. Please contact Dr. Whitehead at 301-496-7692 for more information.

Licensing Contact:
Admin. Licensing Specialist (ALS),

OTT Reference No: E-240-2007-0
Updated: Feb 28, 2011