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Vaccine. 2013 Sep 23;31(41):4569-77. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2013.07.057. Epub 2013 Aug 6.

Attenuation and immunogenicity of host-range extended modified vaccinia virus Ankara recombinants.

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  • 1Laboratory of Viral Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, United States.


Modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) is being widely investigated as a safe smallpox vaccine and as an expression vector to produce vaccines against other infectious diseases and cancer. MVA was isolated following more than 500 passages in chick embryo fibroblasts and suffered several major deletions and numerous small mutations resulting in replication defects in human and most other mammalian cells as well as severe attenuation of pathogenicity. Due to the host range restriction, primary chick embryo fibroblasts are routinely used for production of MVA-based vaccines. While a replication defect undoubtedly contributes to safety of MVA, it is worth considering whether host range and attenuation are partially separable properties. Marker rescue transfection experiments resulted in the creation of recombinant MVAs with extended mammalian cell host range. Here, we characterize two host-range extended rMVAs and show that they (i) have acquired the ability to stably replicate in Vero cells, which are frequently used as a cell substrate for vaccine manufacture, (ii) are severely attenuated in immunocompetent and immunodeficient mouse strains following intranasal infection, (iii) are more pathogenic than MVA but less pathogenic than the ACAM2000 vaccine strain at high intracranial doses, (iv) do not form lesions upon tail scratch in mice in contrast to ACAM2000 and (v) induce protective humoral and cell-mediated immune responses similar to MVA. The extended host range of rMVAs may be useful for vaccine production.

Published by Elsevier Ltd.


Attenuated live vaccines; Recombinant vaccinia virus; Virus pathogenesis; Virus vectors

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
[Available on 2014/9/23]
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