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Nature. 1986 Apr 10-16;320(6062):537-40.

Expression of AIDS virus envelope gene in recombinant vaccinia viruses.


Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) is an infectious disease characterized by severe impairment of the patient's cell-mediated immune system. Several lines of evidence have indicated that the aetiological agent of AIDS is a group of T-lymphotropic retroviruses, variously known as lymphadenopathy-associated virus (LAV), human T-lymphotropic virus type III (HTLV-III) and AIDS-associated retrovirus (ARV). Serological surveys have indicated that as many as one million people in the United States may have been infected by LAV/HTLV-III, and the spread of AIDS has become a global concern. The need for a better understanding of the viral immunology and for a vaccine against AIDS is self-evident. To this end, we have constructed recombinant vaccinia viruses containing the envelope (env) gene of LAV, and demonstrate here that cells infected with these viruses express immunoreactive proteins similar to those present on LAV virions. Experimental animals infected with these recombinant viruses elicited antibodies that specifically recognized LAV envelope proteins.

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