Vaccination with Venezuelan equine encephalitis replicons encoding cowpox virus structural proteins protects mice from intranasal cowpox virus challenge.
An anti-poxvirus vaccine based on replicon particles of Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VRP) is being developed. The cowpox virus genes encoding structural proteins corresponding to vaccinia virus proteins A33, B5, and A27 were each expressed from VRP. High serum IgG titers against these proteins were generated in BALB/c mice vaccinated with each of these VRP. VRP induced both IgG1 and IgG2a with a strong predominance of IgG2a production. The response is long-lasting, as evidenced by the retention of high anti-B5 serum IgG titers through at least 50 weeks after priming immunization. Mice vaccinated with B5-, A33- or A27-VRP individually or together survived intranasal challenge with cowpox virus, with the multivalent vaccine formulation providing more effective protection from weight loss and clinical signs of illness than the monovalent vaccines. These results demonstrate that VRP may provide an effective alternative to vaccinia virus vaccines against poxvirus infection.
Thornburg, NJ; Ray, CA; Collier, ML; Liao, H-X; Pickup, DJ; Johnston, RE
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