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Vaccine. 2009 Nov 27;27(51):7214-8. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2009.09.031.

Enhancing comparative rabies DNA vaccine effectiveness through glycoprotein gene modifications.

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Poxvirus and Rabies Branch, Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.


Enhancing DNA vaccine effectiveness remains a challenge, especially if the desired goal is immunization efficacy after a single dose. The glycoprotein gene from the rabies virus Evelyn-Rokitnicki-Abelseth (ERA) strain was modified by mutation at amino acid residue 333 from arginine to glutamine. The modified and original unmodified glycoprotein genes were cloned separately and developed as DNA vaccines for immunization in mice. The intramuscular (IM) route using a single dose (100 microg) of a modified DNA vaccine showed virus neutralizing antibody induction by d30, and 80% of the mice survived a challenge in which 100% of unvaccinated controls succumbed. Similar results were obtained using a single dose (10 microg) by the intradermal (ID) route with one-tenth amount of the DNA administered. Administration of single dose of DNA vaccine with unmodified G did not result in the production of detectable levels of virus neutralizing antibody by d30. The results of the IM and the ID routes of administration were statistically significant (P<0.01). Based on these preliminary results, a modified glycoprotein gene from the ERA rabies virus strain may be an ideal candidate for DNA vaccine efficacy enhancement.

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