Patients recruited in virus-based cancer clinical trials and immunocompromised individuals in need of vaccination would profit from viral strains with defined attenuation mechanisms. We generated measles virus (MV) strains defective for the expression of either the V protein, a modulator of the innate immune response, or the C protein, which has multiple functions. The virulence of these strains was compared with that of the parental wild-type MY in a natural host, Macaca mulatta. Skin rash, viremia, and the strength of the innate and adaptive immune responses were characterized in groups of six animals. Replication of V- or C-protein-defective viruses was short-lived and reached lower levels in peripheral blood mononuclear cells and lymphatic organs compared to the wild-type virus; none of the mutants reverted to the wild type. The neutralizing antibody titers and MV-specific T-cell responses were equivalent in monkeys infected with the viral strains tested, documenting strong adaptive immune responses. In contrast, the inflammatory response was better controlled by wild-type MV, as revealed by inhibition of interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha transcription. The interferon response was also better controlled by the wild-type virus than by the defective viruses. Since V- and C-defective MVs induce strong adaptive immune responses while spreading less efficiently, they may be developed as vaccines for immunocompromised individuals. Moreover, MV unable to interact with single innate immunity proteins may be developed for preferential replication in tumors with specific contexts of vulnerability.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science