Coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3), is commonly implicated in myocarditis, which can lead to dilated cardiomyopathy, in addition to causing acute pancreatitis and meningitis. Yet, no vaccines are currently available to prevent this infection. Here, we describe the derivation of a live attenuated vaccine virus, termed mutant (Mt) 10, encoding a single amino acid substitution H790A within the viral protein 1, that prevents CVB3 infection in mice and protects from both myocarditis and pancreatitis in challenge studies. We noted that animals vaccinated with Mt 10 developed virus-neutralizing antibodies, predominantly containing IgG2a and IgG2b, and to a lesser extent IgG3 and IgG1. Furthermore, by using major histocompatibility complex class II dextramers and tetramers, we demonstrated that Mt 10 induces antigen-specific T cell responses that preferentially produce interferon-γ. Finally, neither vaccine recipients nor those challenged with the wild-type virus revealed evidence of autoimmunity or cardiac injury as determined by T cell response to cardiac myosin and measurement of circulating cardiac troponin I levels, respectively. Together, our data suggest that Mt 10 is a vaccine candidate that prevents CVB3 infection through the induction of neutralizing antibodies and antigen-specific T cell responses, the two critical components needed for complete protection against virus infections in vaccine studies.
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