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Int J Med Microbiol. 2008 Jan;298(1-2):127-34. Epub 2007 Sep 25.

Recombinant coxsackievirus vectors for prevention and therapy of virus-induced heart disease.

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Institute of Virology and Antiviral Therapy, Medical Center, Friedrich Schiller University, Hans-Knöll-Strasse 2, D-07745 Jena, Germany.


Cardiovascular diseases are the major cause of human death and have been linked to many different risk factors. Among them, coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3), as a member of the enterovirus group, is one of the most important infectious agents of virus-induced myocarditis. Despite the fact that the molecular structure of this pathogen has been characterized very precisely, there is no virus-specific preventive or therapeutic procedure against CVB3-induced heart disease in clinical use today. A promising approach to prevent CVB3-caused myocarditis represents the mutation of the viral genome in a way that coding sequences of cytokines are integrated into the viral RNA. Recombinant cytokine-expressing CVB3 variants were established to increase the local cytokine concentration and to modulate TH1-/TH2-specific immune responses. Especially protective against CVB3-induced murine myocarditis is the application of an interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma)-expressing recombinant coxsackievirus variant. The local and simultaneous expression of an immuno-relevant cytokine by the virus itself induces a strong and long-lasting immune response which protects laboratory animals against lethal infections.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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