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Virology. 2007 Sep 15;366(1):73-83. Epub 2007 May 16.

DNA/MVA HIV-1/AIDS vaccine elicits long-lived vaccinia virus-specific immunity and confers protection against a lethal monkeypox challenge.

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Emory Vaccine Center, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, 954 Gatewood Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30329, USA.


Modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA) is being tested in humans as an alternative to the current smallpox vaccine Dryvax. Here, we compare the magnitude and longevity of protective immune responses elicited by a DNA/MVA HIV-1 vaccine with those elicited by Dryvax using a monkeypox virus/macaque model. The DNA/MVA vaccine elicited similar levels of vaccinia virus (VV)-specific antibody and 5-10-fold lower levels of VV-specific cellular responses than Dryvax. This MVA-elicited cellular and humoral immunity was long-lived. A subset of the DNA/MVA- and Dryvax-vaccinated macaques were subjected to a lethal monkeypox virus challenge at 3 years after vaccination. All of the vaccinated monkeys survived, whereas the unvaccinated controls succumbed to monkeypox. The viral control correlated with early postchallenge levels of monkeypox-specific neutralizing antibody but not with VV-specific cellular immune response. Thus, our results demonstrate the elicitation of long lasting protective immunity for a lethal monkeypox challenge by a DNA/MVA HIV-1 vaccine.

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