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Vaccine. 2006 Mar 6;24(10):1490-500. Epub 2005 Oct 21.

Characterisation of CTL and IFN-gamma synthesis in ponies following vaccination with a NYVAC-based construct coding for EHV-1 immediate early gene, followed by challenge infection.

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Animal Health Trust, Centre for Preventive Medicine, Lanwades Park, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 7UU, UK.


Equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) is a ubiquitous pathogen of horses, which continues to cause respiratory and neurological disease and abortion, despite the widespread use of vaccines. Cell mediated immunity (CMI) is thought to play a major role in protection against infection with EHV-1. The aim of this study was to characterise the virus-specific CMI response in ponies vaccinated with vP1014, a vaccinia-based construct (NYVAC) coding for the immediate early gene (gene 64) of EHV-1. This gene product is a CTL target protein for an equine MHC class I allele expressed on the A3 haplotype. EHV-primed yearling ponies expressing this haplotype were vaccinated once (n = 1), three (n = 1), or four times (n = 2), and one pony was kept as an unvaccinated control. Cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) activity and interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) synthesis were measured before and after vaccination and challenge infection with EHV-1. Multiple immunisations with vP1014 resulted in increased CTL activity and IFN-gamma synthesis specific for EHV-1 compared with unvaccinated or singly vaccinated ponies. The phenotype of EHV-1 specific T-cells synthesising IFN-gamma was also modified by immunisation. In the unvaccinated pony, the predominant population synthesising IFN-gamma after EHV-1 stimulation was CD8alpha+. In contrast, multiply vaccinated ponies demonstrated an increased proportion of CD8alpha- T-cells synthesising IFN-gamma. The results demonstrated that vaccination with a NYVAC-based construct coding for gene 64 stimulated CMI. This immune response alone did not protect against challenge infection. However, the study does illustrate that vaccinia-based vaccines can stimulate CMI in the horse and may therefore contribute to protection against disease caused by EHV-1.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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