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J Virol. 2005 Aug;79(15):9854-61.

Characterization of immune responses induced by intramuscular vaccination with DNA vaccines encoding measles virus hemagglutinin and/or fusion proteins.

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Center for Vaccine Development, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, 21201, USA.


Measles virus (MV) hemagglutinin (MV-H) and fusion (MV-F) proteins induce plaque reduction neutralizing (PRN) antibodies and cell-mediated immune responses that protect against clinical measles. DNA vaccines that encode MV-H and MV-F are being investigated as a new generation of measles vaccine to protect infants too young to receive currently licensed attenuated measles vaccines. However, it is unclear whether DNA vaccines encoding both MV-H and MV-F act synergistically to induce stronger immunity than immunization with plasmids encoding MV-H or MV-F alone. To address this question, we generated Sindbis virus-based pSINCP DNA vaccines that encode either MV-H or MV-F alone or bicistronic or fusion system vectors that encode both MV-H and MV-F (to mimic MV infection where both MV-H and MV-F proteins are expressed by the same mammalian cell). Mice immunized with DNA vaccine encoding MV-H alone developed significantly greater PRN titers than mice immunized with bicistronic constructs. Interestingly, the presence of MV-F in the bicistronic constructs stimulated serum MV-specific immunoglobulin G of reduced avidity. By contrast, mice immunized with bicistronic constructs induced equivalent or higher levels of MV-specific gamma interferon responses than mice immunized with DNA vaccine encoding MV-H alone. These data will help guide the design of DNA-based MV vaccines to be used early in life in a heterologous prime-boost strategy.

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