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Virology. 2008 Jun 20;376(1):165-72. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2008.03.002. Epub 2008 Apr 8.

SARS vaccine based on a replication-defective recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus is more potent than one based on a replication-competent vector.

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Department of Pathology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510, USA.


A SARS vaccine based on a live-attenuated vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) recombinant expressing the SARS-CoV S protein provides long-term protection of immunized mice from SARS-CoV infection (Kapadia, S.U., Rose, J. K., Lamirande, E., Vogel, L., Subbarao, K., Roberts, A., 2005. Long-term protection from SARS coronavirus infection conferred by a single immunization with an attenuated VSV-based vaccine. Virology 340(2), 174-82.). Because it is difficult to obtain regulatory approval of vaccine based on live viruses, we constructed a replication-defective single-cycle VSV vector in which we replaced the VSV glycoprotein (G) gene with the SARS-CoV S gene. The virus was only able to infect cells when pseudotyped with the VSV G protein. We measured the effectiveness of immunization with the single-cycle vaccine in mice. We found that the vaccine given intramuscularly induced a neutralizing antibody response to SARS-CoV that was approximately ten-fold greater than that required for the protection from SARS-CoV infection, and significantly greater than that generated by the replication-competent vector expressing SARS-CoV S protein given by the same route. Our results, along with earlier studies showing potent induction of T-cell responses by single-cycle vectors, indicate that these vectors are excellent alternatives to live-attenuated VSV.

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