Zika virus (ZIKV) has become a serious public health concern because of its link to brain damage in developing human fetuses. Recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (rVSV) was shown to be a highly effective and safe vector for the delivery of foreign immunogens for vaccine purposes. In this study, we generated rVSVs (wildtype and attenuated VSV with mutated matrix protein [VSVm] versions) that express either the full length ZIKV envelope protein (ZENV) alone or include the ZENV precursor to themembrane protein upstream of the envelope protein, and our rVSV-ZIKV constructs showed efficient immunogenicity in murine models. We also demonstrated maternal protective immunity in challenged newborn mice born to female mice vaccinated with VSVm-ZENV containing the transmembrane domain. Our data indicate that rVSVm may be a suitable strategy for the design of effective vaccines against ZIKV.
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