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Vaccine. 2010 Aug 31;28(38):6191-8. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2010.07.016. Epub 2010 Jul 23.

Optimized recombinant dense bodies of human cytomegalovirus efficiently prime virus specific lymphocytes and neutralizing antibodies without the addition of adjuvant.

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Institute for Virology, University Medical Centre, Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Obere Zahlbacher Str. 67, D-55101 Mainz, Germany.


Control of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection correlates with the reconstitution of antiviral T lymphocytes in haematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients. A vaccine to foster this reconstitution and to ameliorate the severe consequences of HCMV reactivation is yet unavailable. This work focused on providing a rationale for the amendment of the yields and the antigenic composition of a vaccine, based on subviral dense bodies (DB) of HCMV. Modified DB were generated that contained the HLA-A2 presented IE1 model peptide TMYGGISLL, integrated at different positions in the major DB protein pp65. Insertion at position W175 of pp65 allowed efficient formation of recDB in the cytoplasm of infected cells and resulted in considerable yields of these particles. Even in the absence of adjuvant, these particles proved to be highly immunogenic with respect to CD8 and CD4 T cell and neutralizing antibody responses.

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