Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne disease that causes periodic but explosive epidemics of acute disease throughout the tropical world. Vaccine development against chikungunya virus (CHIKV) has been hampered by an inability to conduct efficacy trials due to the unpredictability of CHIKV outbreaks. Therefore, immune correlates are being explored to gain inference into vaccine-induced protection. This study is an in-depth serological characterization of Fab- and Fc-mediated antibody responses in selected phase II clinical trial participants following immunization with the recombinant measles-vectored CHIKV vaccine, MV-CHIK. Antibody comparisons were conducted between participants who received prime and those who received prime-boost vaccine regimens. MV-CHIK vaccination elicited potent Fab-mediated antibody responses (such as CHIKV-specific IgG, neutralization, and avidity), including dominant IgG3 responses, which translated into strong antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity and antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis. At 1 month, prime-boost immunization led to significantly greater responses in every measured Fab and Fc antibody parameter. Interestingly, prime-boost-elicited antibodies decreased rapidly over time, until at 6 months both vaccine regimens displayed similar antibody profiles. Nonetheless, antibody avidity and antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis remained significantly greater following boost immunization. Our observations suggest that a prime-boost administration of MV-CHIK will be more appropriate for CHIKV-endemic regions, while a prime-only regimen may be sufficient for travel purposes or outbreak situations.


Roland Tschismarov, Raphaël M. Zellweger, Min Jie Koh, Yan Shan Leong, Jenny G. Low, Eng Eong Ooi, Christian W. Mandl, Katrin Ramsauer, Ruklanthi de Alwis


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