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Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2004 Aug;4(8):1295-305.

West Nile virus vaccines.

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Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia.


West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that is emerging as a global pathogen. In the last decade, virulent strains of the virus have been associated with significant outbreaks of human and animal disease in Europe, the Middle East and North America. Efforts to develop human and veterinary vaccines have taken both traditional and novel approaches. A formalin-inactivated whole virus vaccine has been approved for use in horses. DNA vaccines coding for the structural WNV proteins have also been assessed for veterinary use and have been found to be protective in mice, horses and birds. Live attenuated yellow fever WNV chimeric vaccines have also been successful in animals and are currently undergoing human trials. Additional studies have shown that immunisation with a relatively benign Australian variant of WNV, the Kunjin virus, also provides protective immunity against the virulent North American strain. Levels of efficacy and safety, as well as logistical, economic and environmental issues, must all be carefully considered before vaccine candidates are approved and selected for large-scale manufacture and distribution.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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