Tetravalent dengue DNA vaccine is not immunogenic when delivered by retrograde infusion into salivary glands

Guy El Helou*, Todd A. Ponzio, Joseph F. Goodman, Maria Blevins, David L. Caudell, Kanakatte S. Raviprakash, Daniel Ewing, Maya Williams, Kevin R. Porter, John W. Sanders

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction and background: A tetravalent DNA vaccine for Dengue virus is under development but has not yet achieved optimal immunogenicity. Salivary glands vaccination has been reported efficacious in rodents and dogs. We report on a pilot study testing the salivary gland as a platform for a Dengue DNA vaccine in a non-human primate model. Materials and methods: Four cynomolgus macaques were used in this study. Each macaque was pre-medicated with atropine and sedated with ketamine. Stensen's duct papilla was cannulated with a P10 polyethylene tube, linked to a 500ul syringe. On the first two infusions, all macaques were infused with 300ul of TVDV mixed with 2 mg of zinc. For the 3rd infusion, to increase transfection into salivary tissue, two animals received 100uL TVDV mixed with 400uL polyethylenimine 1μg/ml (PEI) and the other two animals received 500uL TVDV with zinc. Antibody titers were assessed 4 weeks following the second and third infusion. Results and conclusions: SGRI through Stensen's duct is a well-tolerated, simple and easy to reproduce procedure. TVDV infused into macaques salivary glands elicited a significantly weaker antibody response than with different delivery methods.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10
JournalTropical Diseases, Travel Medicine and Vaccines
Issue number1
StatePublished - 3 Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • DNA vaccine
  • Non-human primate
  • Salivary gland infusion
  • Tetravalent dengue vaccine


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