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J Virol. Apr 1997; 71(4): 2606–2614.
PMCID: PMC191381

A large-scale evaluation of peptide vaccines against foot-and-mouth disease: lack of solid protection in cattle and isolation of escape mutants.


A large-scale vaccination experiment involving a total of 138 cattle was carried out to evaluate the potential of synthetic peptides as vaccines against foot-and-mouth disease. Four types of peptides representing sequences of foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) C3 Argentina 85 were tested: A, which includes the G-H loop of capsid protein VP1 (site A); AT, in which a T-cell epitope has been added to site A; AC, composed of site A and the carboxy-terminal region of VP1 (site C); and ACT, in which the three previous capsid motifs are colinearly represented. Induction of neutralizing antibodies, lymphoproliferation in response to viral antigens, and protection against challenge with homologous infectious virus were examined. None of the tested peptides, at several doses and vaccination schedules, afforded protection above 40%. Protection showed limited correlation with serum neutralization activity and lymphoproliferation in response to whole virus. In 12 of 29 lesions from vaccinated cattle that were challenged with homologous virus, mutant FMDVs with amino acid substitutions at antigenic site A were identified. This finding suggests the rapid generation and selection of FMDV antigenic variants in vivo. In contrast with previous studies, this large-scale vaccination experiment with an important FMDV host reveals considerable difficulties for vaccines based on synthetic peptides to achieve the required levels of efficacy. Possible modifications of the vaccine formulations to increase protective activity are discussed.

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Selected References

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