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OBJECTIVES: To report 5-year persistence and avidity of antibodies produced by the live-attenuated recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (rVSV) expressing the Zaire Ebolavirus (ZEBOV) glycoprotein (GP), known as rVSV-ZEBOV (Ervebo®). METHODS: Healthy adults vaccinated with 300,000 or 10-50 million plaque-forming units of rVSV-ZEBOV in the WHO-coordinated trials of 2014-2015 were followed for up to 4 (Lambaréné, Gabon) and 5 (Geneva, Switzerland) years. We report seropositivity rates, geometric mean titres (GMTs), and population distribution of ZEBOV-GP ELISA IgG antibodies, neutralizing antibodies (pseudovirus and live-virus neutralization) and antibody avidity; the primary outcome was ZEBOV-GP ELISA IgG GMTs at 4 or 5 years compared with 1 year (Y1) after immunization. RESULTS: Among the 168 eligible vaccinees (Geneva: 97 and Lambaréné: 71) enrolled 1 year post-immunization, 146 (87%) remained enrolled at 4 years (Geneva: n = 88, Lambaréné: n = 58), and 84 (87%, Geneva) at 5 years post-vaccination. ZEBOV-GP ELISA IgG GMTs plateaued, with no declining trend from 1 year through the last time point assessed (1147.8 [95% CI 874.3-1507.0] at Y1 versus 1548.1 [95% CI 1136.6-2108.5] at Y5 in Geneva volunteers receiving ≥10 million plaque-forming units of rVSV-ZEBOV), their avidity matching that of ZEBOV convalescents. Live-virus neutralizing antibodies were detected for shorter periods and in fewer vaccinees (53/95 [56%] at Y1 versus 35/84 [42%] at Y5 in Geneva volunteers, all dose levels). DISCUSSION: Titres at Y1 emerged as a correlate of antibody persistence at Y5. The findings of persistent ZEBOV-GP ELISA IgG titres yet shorter-lasting, lower titres of live-virus neutralizing antibodies suggest the contribution of antibody-mediated protective mechanisms other than neutralization. Long-term clinical efficacy of rVSV-ZEBOV, however, requires further study.

Original publication




Journal article


Clin Microbiol Infect

Publication Date



Antibody avidity, Antibody persistence, Ebola virus disease, Immunogenicity, Neutralizing antibodies, Vaccine