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Vaccine. 2011 Apr 5;29(16):3074-82. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2011.01.075. Epub 2011 Feb 12.

Immunization of knock-out α/β interferon receptor mice against lethal bluetongue infection with a BoHV-4-based vector expressing BTV-8 VP2 antigen.

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Dipartimento di Salute Animale, Facoltà di Medicina Veterinaria, Università di Parma, via del Taglio 10, 43100 Parma, Italy.


New effective tools for vaccine strategies are necessary to limit the spread of bluetongue, an insect-transmitted viral disease of domestic and wild ruminants. In the present study, BoHV-4-based vector cloned as a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) was engineered to express the bluetongue virus (BTV) immune-dominant glycoprotein VP2 provided of a heterologous signal peptide to its amino terminal and a trans-membrane domain to its carboxyl terminal (IgK-VP2gDtm), to allow the VP2 expression targeting to the cell membrane fraction. Based on adult α/β interferon receptor knockout (IFNAR(-/-)) mice, a newly generated bluetongue laboratory animal model, a pre-challenge experiment was performed to test BoHV-4 safety on such immune-compromised animal. BoHV-4 infected IFNAR(-/-) mice did not show clinical signs even following the inoculation of BoHV-4 intra-cerebrally, although many areas of the brain got transduced. IFNAR(-/-) mice intraperitoneally inoculated twice with BoHV-4-A-IgK-VP2gDtm at different time points developed serum neutralizing antibodies against BTV and showed a strongly reduced viremia and a longer survival time when challenged with a lethal dose of BTV-8. The data acquired in this pilot study validate BoHV-4-based vector as a safe and effective heterologous antigen carrier/producer for the formulation of enhanced recombinant immunogens for the vaccination against lethal bluetongue.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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