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J Virol. 2000 Feb;74(3):1114-23.

Horizontal transmissible protection against myxomatosis and rabbit hemorrhagic disease by using a recombinant myxoma virus.

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  • 1Centro de Investigación en Sanidad Animal, Valdeolmos, 28130 Madrid, Spain.


We have developed a new strategy for immunization of wild rabbit populations against myxomatosis and rabbit hemorrhagic disease (RHD) that uses recombinant viruses based on a naturally attenuated field strain of myxoma virus (MV). The recombinant viruses expressed the RHDV major capsid protein (VP60) including a linear epitope tag from the transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV) nucleoprotein. Following inoculation, the recombinant viruses induced specific antibody responses against MV, RHDV, and the TGEV tag. Immunization of wild rabbits by the subcutaneous and oral routes conferred protection against virulent RHDV and MV challenges. The recombinant viruses showed a limited horizontal transmission capacity, either by direct contact or in a flea-mediated process, promoting immunization of contact uninoculated animals.

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