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Vaccine. 2007 Oct 16;25(42):7459-69. Epub 2007 Aug 30.

RiVax, a recombinant ricin subunit vaccine, protects mice against ricin delivered by gavage or aerosol.

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The Cancer Immunobiology Center and the Department of Microbiology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Dallas, TX 75390-8576, USA.


Ricin is a plant toxin that is a CDC level B biothreat. Our recombinant ricin A chain vaccine (RiVax), which contains mutations in both known toxic sites, has no residual toxicity at doses at least 800 times the immunogenic dose. RiVax without adjuvant given intramuscularly (i.m.) protected mice against intraperitoneally administered ricin. Furthermore the vaccine without alum was safe and immunogenic in human volunteers. Here we describe the development of gavage and aerosol ricin challenge models in mice and demonstrate that i.m. vaccination protects mice against ricin delivered by either route. Also RiVax protects against aerosol-induced lung damage as determined by histology and lung function tests.

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