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Virology. 2010 Dec 20;408(2):232-40. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2010.09.013. Epub 2010 Oct 18.

The identification of HLA class II-restricted T cell epitopes to vaccinia virus membrane proteins.

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Mayo Vaccine Research Group, Mayo Clinic, Rochester MN 55905, USA.


Three decades after the eradication of smallpox, the threat of bioterrorism and outbreaks of emerging diseases such as monkeypox have renewed interest in the development of safe and effective next-generation poxvirus vaccines and biodefense research. Current smallpox vaccines contain live virus and are contraindicated for a large percentage of the population. Safer, yet still effective inactivated and subunit vaccines are needed, and epitope identification is an essential step in the development of these subunit vaccines. In this study we focused on 4 vaccinia membrane proteins known to be targeted by humoral responses in vaccinees. In spite of the narrow focus of the study we identified 36T cell epitopes, and provide additional support for the physical linkage between T and B epitopes. This information may prove useful in peptide and protein-based subunit vaccine development as well as in the study of CD4 responses to poxviruses.

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