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Vaccine. 2000 Jul 1;18(26):2937-44.

Immunization of rabbits with cottontail rabbit papillomavirus E1 and E2 genes: protective immunity induced by gene gun-mediated intracutaneous delivery but not by intramuscular injection.

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Jake Gittlen Cancer Research Institute, Department of Pathology, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, 500 University Drive, Hershey, PA 17033, USA.


We previously demonstrated that gene gun-based intracutaneous vaccination of rabbits with a combination of, but not with individual papillomavirus E1, E2, E6 and E7 genes provided complete protection against cottontail rabbit papillomavirus (CRPV) infection. In the present study, we tested whether vaccination of inbred and outbred rabbits with a combination of CRPV E1 and E2 genes could provide complete protection against virus infection. In the first experiment, gene gun-based intracutaneous vaccination with E1 and E2 genes prevented papilloma formation in the majority of inbred rabbits and promoted systemic papilloma regression in one non-protected rabbit. In contrast, needle-mediated intramuscular injection of E1 and E2 genes did not prevent papilloma formation nor promoted systemic papilloma regression, indicating an absence of strong protective immunity. In the second experiment, six outbred rabbits were immunized by gene gun-based intracutaneous administration of the E1 and E2 genes. Prevention of papilloma formation or systemic papilloma regression was observed in three vaccinated rabbits. Papillomas persisted on the remaining three rabbits, but were significantly smaller than that on control rabbits. These results suggested that gene gun-based intracutaneous vaccination with the combination of papillomavirus E1 and E2 genes induced strong protective antivirus immunity but may be insufficient for complete protection in an outbred population.

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