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1. WO2018009603 - CHIMERIC WEST NILE/ZIKA VIRUSES AND METHODS OF USE

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CLAIMS

1. A nucleic acid chimera comprising:

a first nucleic acid molecule comprising a 5' non-coding region, a nucleic acid encoding a capsid (C) protein and non-structural proteins, and a 3' non-coding region, each from a West Nile virus genome, wherein the C protein comprises a portion of a premembrane (prM) signal sequence from the West Nile virus genome and a portion of a prM signal sequence from a Zika virus genome; and

a second nucleic acid molecule operably linked to the first nucleic acid molecule, encoding a prM protein and an envelope (E) protein from the Zika virus genome.

2. The nucleic acid chimera of claim 1, wherein the portion of the prM signal sequence from the West Nile virus genome comprises the first 15 amino acids of the West Nile virus prM signal sequence and the portion of the prM signal sequence from the Zika virus genome comprises the last three amino acids of the Zika virus prM signal sequence.

3. The nucleic acid chimera of claim 2, wherein the first 15 amino acids of the West Nile virus prM signal sequence comprises amino acids 106-120 of SEQ ID NO: 2 or SEQ ID NO: 4.

4. The nucleic acid chimera of claim 2 or claim 3, wherein the last three amino acids of the Zika virus prM signal sequence comprises AMA.

5. The nucleic acid chimera of claim 1, wherein the portion of the prM signal sequence from the West Nile virus genome comprises the first 13 amino acids of the West Nile virus prM signal sequence and the portion of the prM signal sequence from the Zika virus genome comprises the last five amino acids of the Zika virus prM signal sequence.

6. The nucleic acid chimera of claim 5, wherein the first 13 amino acids of the West Nile virus prM signal sequence comprises amino acids 106-118 of SEQ ID NO: 6.

7. The nucleic acid chimera of claim 5 or claim 6, wherein the last five amino acids of the Zika virus prM signal sequence comprises amino acids 119-123 of SEQ ID NO: 6.

8. The nucleic acid chimera of claim 1, wherein the portion of the prM signal sequence from the West Nile virus genome comprises the first three amino acids of the West Nile virus prM signal sequence and the portion of the prM signal sequence from the Zika virus genome comprises the last 15 amino acids of the Zika virus prM signal sequence.

9. The nucleic acid chimera of claim 8, wherein the first three amino acids of the West Nile virus prM signal sequence comprises amino acids GGK (amino acids 106-108 of SEQ ID NO: 8).

10. The nucleic acid chimera of claim 8 or claim 9, wherein the last 15 amino acids of the Zika virus prM signal sequence comprises amino acids 109-123 of SEQ ID NO: 8.

11. The nucleic acid chimera of any one of claims 1-10, wherein the West Nile virus is strain NY99.

12. The nucleic acid chimera of any one of claims 1-11, wherein the Zika virus is strain SPH2015, PRVABC59 or R103451.

13. The nucleic acid chimera of any one of claims 1-12, comprising a nucleic acid sequence at least 95% identical to SEQ ID NO: 1, SEQ ID NO: 3, SEQ ID NO: 5 or SEQ ID NO: 7.

14. The nucleic acid chimera of claim 13, comprising the nucleic acid sequence of SEQ ID NO: 1, SEQ ID NO: 3, SEQ ID NO: 5 or SEQ ID NO: 7.

15. The nucleic acid chimera of any one of claims 1-14, wherein the nucleic acid chimera encodes an amino acid sequence at least 95% identical to SEQ ID NO: 2, SEQ ID NO: 4, SEQ ID NO: 6 or SEQ ID NO: 8.

16. The nucleic acid chimera of claim 15, wherein the nucleic acid chimera encodes the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO: 2, SEQ ID NO: 4, SEQ ID NO: 6 or SEQ ID NO: 8.

17. An immunogenic composition comprising an inactivated virus comprising the nucleic acid chimera of any one of claims 1-16 and a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier.

18. The immunogenic composition of claim 17, further comprising one or more adjuvants.

19. The immunogenic composition claim 17 or claim 18, wherein the inactivated virus is purified.

20. The immunogenic composition of any one of claims 17-19, wherein the inactivated virus is inactivated by one or more of chemical treatment, physical treatment and irradiation.

21. A method of eliciting an immune response against Zika virus in a subject, comprising administering to the subject the immunogenic composition of any one of claims 17-20.

22. The method of claim 21, comprising administering one to five doses of the immunogenic composition to the subject.

23. The method of claim 21 or claim 22, further comprising administering one or more adjuvants to the subject.

24. A method, comprising inactivating a virus comprising a nucleic acid chimera of any one of claims 1-16.

25. The method of claim 24, wherein inactivating the virus comprises treating the virus with a chemical inactivation agent, high pressure, ultraviolet irradiation, gamma irradiation, or any combination thereof.

26. The method of claim 24 or claim 25, further comprising purifying the inactivated virus.

27. The method of any one of claims 24-26, further comprising administering the inactivated virus to a subject.

28. The nucleic acid chimera of any one of claims 1-12, further comprising a reporter gene.

29. The nucleic acid chimera of claim 28, wherein the reporter gene encodes a fluorescent protein or a bioluminescent protein.

30. The nucleic acid chimera of claim 29, wherein the fluorescent protein is a green fluorescent protein.

31. The nucleic acid chimera of any one of claims 28-30, wherein the reporter gene is human codon optimized.

32. The nucleic acid chimera of any one of claims 28-31, comprising a nucleic acid sequence at least 95% identical to SEQ ID NO: 9, SEQ ID NO: 11 or SEQ ID NO: 19.

33. The nucleic acid chimera of claim 32, comprising the nucleic acid sequence of SEQ ID NO: 9, SEQ ID NO: 11 or SEQ ID NO: 19.

34. A chimeric virus, comprising the nucleic acid chimera of any one of claims 1-16 and

28-33.

35. A method of detecting Zika virus-specific antibodies in a sample, comprising: contacting the sample with the chimeric virus of claim 34 under conditions sufficient to form virus-antibody complexes if Zika virus antibodies are present in the sample; and

detecting the virus-antibody complexes, thereby detecting Zika virus-specific antibodies in the sample.

36. A method of detecting Zika virus-specific antibodies in a sample, comprising: contacting the sample with the chimeric virus of claim 34 to form a virus-sample mixture, wherein virus-antibody complexes are formed in the virus-sample mixture if Zika virus-specific antibodies are present in the sample;

inoculating a cell culture with the virus-sample mixture under conditions sufficient to allow plaque formation or micro-focus formation in the cell culture; and

detecting a decrease in plaque formation or micro-focus formation in the cell culture as compared to a control cell culture, thereby detecting a Zika virus-specific antibody in the sample.

37. A method of detecting Zika virus-specific antibodies in a sample, comprising: providing the chimeric virus of claim 34 bound to a solid support;

contacting the chimeric virus-bound solid support with the sample under conditions sufficient to form virus-antibody complexes if Zika virus-specific antibodies are present in the sample;

contacting the virus-antibody complexes with a secondary antibody; and

detecting binding of the secondary antibody to the virus-antibody complexes, thereby detecting Zika virus-specific antibodies in the sample.

38. A method of detecting Zika virus-specific antibodies in a sample, comprising: providing a secondary antibody bound to a solid support;

contacting the secondary antibody-bound solid support with the sample under conditions sufficient to allow binding of the secondary antibody to any Zika virus-specific antibodies present in the sample, thereby forming antibody-antibody complexes;

contacting the antibody-antibody complexes with the chimeric virus of claim 34 under conditions sufficient for the chimeric virus to bind the Zika virus-specific antibodies, thereby forming immune complexes; and

detecting the presence of the immune complexes, thereby detecting Zika virus-specific antibodies in the sample.

39. The method of claim 38, wherein detecting the presence of the immune complexes comprises contacting the immune complexes with an antibody that specifically binds the chimeric virus and comprises a detectable label.

40. A method of detecting Zika virus-specific antibodies in a sample, comprising: providing a Zika virus-specific antibody bound to a solid support;

contacting the antibody-bound solid support with the chimeric virus of claim 34 under conditions sufficient for the chimeric virus to bind the Zika virus-specific antibody to form antibody-virus complexes;

contacting the antibody-virus complexes with the sample to allow binding of any Zika virus-specific antibodies present in the sample to the chimeric virus, thereby forming immune complexes;

contacting the immune complexes with a secondary antibody; and

detecting binding of the secondary antibody to the immune complexes, thereby detecting Zika virus-specific antibodies present in the sample.

41. The method of any one of claims 37-40, wherein the secondary antibody comprises an anti-IgM antibody.

42. The method of any one of claims 37-40, wherein the secondary antibody comprises an anti-IgG antibody.

43. The method of claim 36-42, wherein the sample comprises a biological fluid sample.

44. The method of claim 43, wherein the biological fluid sample comprises serum, blood or plasma.