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Virology. 2006 Dec 5-20;356(1-2):23-34. Epub 2006 Sep 1.

Cell-mediated immune responses to COPV early proteins.

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Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge CB2 1QP, UK.


Cell-mediated immunity plays a key role in the regression of papillomavirus-induced warts and intra-epithelial lesions but the target antigens that induce this response are not clear. Canine oral papillomavirus (COPV) infection of the oral cavity in dogs is a well-characterized model of mucosal papillomavirus infection that permits analysis of the immune events during the infectious cycle. In this study we show that during the COPV infectious cycle, systemic T cell responses to peptides of several early proteins particularly the E2 protein, as assayed by delayed type hypersensitivity, lymphoproliferation and IFN-gamma ELISPOT, can be detected. The maximal response occurs in a narrow time window that coincides with maximal viral DNA replication and wart regression: thereafter, systemic T cell responses to early proteins decline quite rapidly. Vaccination using particle-mediated immunotherapeutic delivery (PMID) of codon-modified COPV E2 and E1 genes induces strong antigen-specific cell-mediated immune responses in the vaccinated animals. These data show that therapeutic immunization by PMID with codon-modified E2 is completely effective, that to E1 is partially protective, that this correlates with the intensity of antigen-specific cell-mediated immune responses and, further, they emphasize the importance of these responses and the route of immunization in the generation of protective immunity.

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