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Vaccine. 2008 Feb 13;26(7):933-46. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2007.11.095. Epub 2007 Dec 26.

Immune responses to the smallpox vaccine given in combination with ST-246, a small-molecule inhibitor of poxvirus dissemination.

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SIGA Technologies, 4575 SW Research Way, Suite 230, Corvallis, OR 97333, United States.


The re-emerging threat of smallpox and the emerging threat of monkeypox highlight the need for effective poxvirus countermeasures. Currently approved smallpox vaccines have unacceptable safety profiles and, consequently, the general populace is no longer vaccinated, leading to an increasingly susceptible population. ST-246, a small-molecule inhibitor of poxvirus dissemination, has been demonstrated in various animal models to be safe and effective in preventing poxviral disease. This suggests that it may also be used to improve the safety of the traditional smallpox vaccine provided that it does not inhibit vaccine-induced protective immunity. In this study, we compared the immune responses elicited by the smallpox vaccine alone or in combination with ST-246 in mice. Normal lesion formation following dermal scarification with the attenuated New York City Board of Health strain (Dryvax), commonly referred to as a vaccine "take", was not inhibited although severe lesions and systemic disease due to vaccination with the virulent Western Reserve (VV-WR) strain were prevented. The vaccine given with ST-246 did not affect cellular immune responses or neutralizing antibody titers although anti-vaccinia ELISA titers were slightly reduced. Vaccination in combination with ST-246 provided equivalent short- and long-term protection against lethal intranasal challenge with VV-WR when compared to vaccine alone. These results suggest that ST-246 does not compromise protective immunity elicited by the vaccine and provide the basis for future studies examining the efficacy of ST-246 in preventing or treating adverse events due to vaccination.

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