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Vaccine. 2007 Oct 10;25(41):7132-44. Epub 2007 Aug 21.

Alphavirus replicon particles encoding the fusion or attachment glycoproteins of respiratory syncytial virus elicit protective immune responses in BALB/c mice and functional serum antibodies in rhesus macaques.

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  • 1Wyeth Research, 401 N. Middletown Road, Pearl River, NY 10965, USA.


Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a major cause of acute respiratory tract disease in humans. Towards development of a prophylactic vaccine, we genetically engineered Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV) replicons encoding the fusion (Fa) or attachment (Ga or Gb) proteins of the A or B subgroups of RSV. Intramuscular immunization with a formulation composed of equal amounts of each replicon particle (3vRSV replicon vaccine) generated serum neutralizing antibodies against A and B strains of RSV in BALB/c mice and rhesus macaques. When contrasted with purified natural protein or formalin-inactivated RSV formulated with alum, the 3vRSV replicon vaccine induced balanced Th1/Th2 T cell responses in mice. This was evident in the increased number of RSV-specific IFN-gamma(+) splenocytes following F or G peptide stimulation, diminished quantity of eosinophils and type 2 T cell cytokines in the lungs after challenge, and increased in vivo lysis of RSV peptide-loaded target cells. The immune responses in mice were also protective against intranasal challenge with RSV. Thus, the replicon-based platform represents a promising new strategy for vaccines against RSV.

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