Immunogenicity of rVSVΔG-ZEBOV-GP Ebola vaccination in exposed and potentially exposed persons in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Nicole A. Hoff, Anna Bratcher, J. Daniel Kelly, Kamy Musene, Jean Paul Kompany, Michel Kabamba, Placide Mbala-Kingebeni, Bonnie Dighero-Kemp, Gregory Kocher, Elizabeth Elliott, Cavan Reilly, Megan Halbrook, Benoit Ilunga Kebela, Adva Gadoth, Guillaume Ngoie Mwamba, Merly Tambu, David R. McIlwain, Patrick Mukadi, Lisa E. Hensley, Steve Ahuka-MundekeGeorge W. Rutherford, Jean Jacques Muyembe-Tamfum, Anne W. Rimoin

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Abstract

Despite more than 300,000 rVSVΔG-ZEBOV-glycoprotein (GP) vaccine doses having been administered during Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) between 2018 and 2020, seroepidemiologic studies of vaccinated Congolese populations are lacking. This study examines the antibody response at 21 d and 6 mo postvaccination after single-dose rVSVΔG-ZEBOV-GP vaccination among EVD-exposed and potentially exposed populations in the DRC. We conducted a longitudinal cohort study of 608 rVSVΔG-ZEBOV-GP-vaccinated individuals during an EVD outbreak in North Kivu Province, DRC. Participants provided questionnaires and blood samples at three study visits (day 0, visit 1; day 21, visit 2; and month 6, visit 3). Anti-GP immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody titers were measured in serum by the Filovirus Animal Nonclinical Group anti-Ebola virus GP IgG enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Antibody response was defined as an antibody titer that had increased fourfold from visit 1 to visit 2 and was above four times the lower limit of quantification at visit 2; antibody persistence was defined as a similar increase from visit 1 to visit 3. We then examined demographics for associations with follow-up antibody titers using generalized linear mixed models. A majority of the sample, 87.2%, had an antibody response at visit 2, and 95.6% demonstrated antibody persistence at visit 3. Being female and of young age was predictive of a higher antibody titer postvaccination. Antibody response and persistence after Ebola vaccination was robust in this cohort, confirming findings from outside of the DRC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2118895119
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume119
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 8 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS. We thank the Ebola responders for their heroic efforts during these Ebola outbreaks in the DRC. We thank all our supervisors, interviewers, the laboratory team, and other local collaborators, especially the vaccination teams from the EPI and WHO. We thank all study participants for their willingness to participate and availability during follow-up visits. We also thank Fisher Scientific and Thermo Scientific for their generous donation of materials for sample collection and ensuring that we had all materials for correct storage. This work was supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) Grant OPP1195609. This work was funded by US FDA Medical Countermeasures Initiative Contract HHSF223201610018C and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (K23 Grant AI135037 and R01 Grant GM130900 to J.D.K.). These funding sources had no role in the writing of the manuscript or the decision for publication. The article reflects the views of the authors and does not represent views or policies of the FDA, BMGF, or the Integrated Research Facility/NIH.

Funding Information:
We thank the Ebola responders for their heroic efforts during these Ebola outbreaks in the DRC. We thank all our supervisors, interviewers, the laboratory team, and other local collaborators, especially the vaccination teams from the EPI and WHO. We thank all study participants for their willingness to participate and availability during follow-up visits. We also thank Fisher Scientific and Thermo Scientific for their generous donation of materials for sample collection and ensuring that we had all materials for correct storage. This work was supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) Grant OPP1195609. This work was funded by US FDA Medical Countermeasures Initiative Contract HHSF223201610018C and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (K23 Grant AI135037 and R01 Grant GM130900 to J.D.K.). These funding sources had no role in the writing of the manuscript or the decision for publication. The article reflects the views of the authors and does not represent views or policies of the FDA, BMGF, or the Integrated Research Facility/NIH.

Publisher Copyright:
© This open access article is distributed under Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (CC BY).

Keywords

  • Democratic republic of the Congo
  • Ebola vaccine
  • Ebola virus disease
  • Immunogenicity
  • RVSVΔG-ZEBOV-GP

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