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Virology. 2005 Dec 5;343(1):128-40. Epub 2005 Sep 13.

Identification and preliminary characterization of vaccinia virus (Dryvax) antigens recognized by vaccinia immune globulin.

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Laboratory of DNA Viruses, Division of Viral Products, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, HFM-457, 1401 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852-1448, USA.


Using vaccinia immune globulin (VIG), a high-titer antibody preparation from immunized subjects, we demonstrate that the humoral immune response in humans is directed against numerous antigens in the Dryvax vaccine strain. Western blot and immunoprecipitation analyses revealed highly antigenic proteins associated with both the extracellular enveloped virus and intracellular mature virus forms. The modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA), a new generation smallpox vaccine that is attenuated for replication in humans, expresses most, but not all, of the major vaccinia antigens recognized by antibodies in VIG, lacking the highly antigenic protein corresponding to the A-type inclusion body protein. Since new-generation smallpox vaccines such as MVA will require extensive comparison to traditional smallpox vaccines in animal models of immunogenicity and protection, we compared the vaccinia virus antigens recognized by VIG to those recognized by sera from Dryvax and MVA immunized mice. The humoral immune response in immunized mice is qualitatively similar to that in humans.

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