Modified Vaccinia Virus Ankara Immunization Protects against Lethal Challenge with Recombinant Vaccinia Virus Expressing Murine Interleukin-4

Vaccine Research Center/NIAID/NIH, 40 Convent Drive, MSC 3017, Building 40, Room 2502, Bethesda, MD 20892-3017, USA.
Journal of Virology (Impact Factor: 4.44). 12/2004; 78(22):12471-9. DOI: 10.1128/JVI.78.22.12471-12479.2004
Source: PubMed


Recent events have raised concern over the use of pathogens, including variola virus, as biological weapons. Vaccination with Dryvax is associated with serious side effects and is contraindicated for many people, and the development of a safer effective smallpox vaccine is necessary. We evaluated an attenuated vaccinia virus, modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA), by use of a murine model to determine its efficacy against an intradermal (i.d.) or intranasal (i.n.) challenge with vaccinia virus (vSC8) or a recombinant vaccinia virus expressing murine interleukin-4 that exhibits enhanced virulence (vSC8-mIL4). After an i.d. challenge, 15 of 16 mice who were inoculated with phosphate-buffered saline developed lesions, one dose of intramuscularly administered MVA was partially protective (3 of 16 mice developed lesions), and the administration of two or three doses of MVA was completely protective (0 of 16 mice developed lesions). In unimmunized mice, an i.n. challenge with vSC8 caused a significant but self-limited illness, while vSC8-mIL4 resulted in lethal infections. Immunization with one or two doses of MVA prevented illness and reduced virus titers in mice who were challenged with either vSC8 or vSC8-mIL4. MVA induced a dose-related neutralizing antibody and vaccinia virus-specific CD8+-T-cell response. Mice immunized with MVA were fully protected from a low-dose vSC8-mIL4 challenge despite a depletion of CD4+ cells, CD8+ cells, or both T-cell subsets or an antibody deficiency. CD4+- or CD8+-T-cell depletion reduced the protection against a high-dose vSC8-mIL4 challenge, and the depletion of both T-cell subsets was associated with severe illness and higher vaccinia virus titers. Thus, MVA induces broad humoral and cellular immune responses that can independently protect against a molecularly modified lethal poxvirus challenge in mice. These data support the continued development of MVA as an alternative candidate vaccine for smallpox.

Download full-text


Available from: Teresa R. Johnson
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Concerns have arisen recently about the possible use of smallpox for a bioterrorism attack. Routine smallpox vaccination was discontinued in Japan in 1976; however, it is uncertain exactly how long vaccination-induced immunity lasts. We sought to evaluate the seroprevalence and intensity of anti-smallpox immunity among representatives of the present Japanese population. The subjects included 876 individuals who were born between 1937 and 1982. Vaccinia virus-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and 152 of 876 samples were also tested for the presence of neutralizing antibodies. Of the subjects who were born before 1962, between 1962 and 1968, and between 1969 and 1975, 98.6, 98.6, and 66.0%, respectively, still retained the vaccinia virus-specific IgG with ELISA values for optical density at 405 nm (OD(405)) of > or = 0.10. The corresponding figures for retained IgGs with OD405 values of > or = 0.30 were 91.0, 90.3, and 58.2%, respectively. Neutralizing antibodies were also maintained. The sera with OD(405) values of > or = 0.30 showed 89% sensitivity and a 93% positive predictive value for detection of neutralizing antibodies (> or = 4). Thus, approximately 80% of persons born before 1969 and 50% of those born between 1969 and 1975 were also found to have maintained neutralizing antibodies against smallpox. A considerable proportion of the previous vaccinated individuals still retain significant levels of antiviral immunity. This long-lasting immunity may provide some protective benefits in the case of reemergence of smallpox, and the disease may not spread as widely and fatally as generally expected.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2005 · Clinical and Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Members of the Poxviridae family are particularly adept at avoiding the host immune system, encoding a plethora of immunomodulatory proteins that subvert host defense. With their large genome, poxviruses are also useful for studying the effect of exogenous genes on virus-host interactions and immune responses. The insertion of the Th2 cytokine interleukin-4 (IL-4) into several poxviruses significantly increases the efficiency of the recombinant virus as a pathogen by directly inhibiting the development of Th1 immunity, which is crucial for viral clearance. In an age in which the fear of genetically modified weaponized pathogens exists, the understanding of how to make viruses more pathogenic further blurs the distinction between fundamental academic research and bioweapons development. Here, the extent of immune evasion by IL-4-expressing poxviruses will be explored, as will the consequences of this increased pathogenicity on protective immune responses.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2005 · Trends in Immunology
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Current smallpox vaccines are live vaccinia viruses that replicate in the vaccinee inducing immunity against the deadly disease smallpox. Replication resulting in virus spread within the host, however, is the major cause of severe postvaccinal adverse events. Therefore, attenuated strains such as modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA) or LC16m8 are candidates as next generation vaccines. These strains are usually grown in primary cells in which mass production is difficult and have an unknown protective potential in humans. Proven vaccine strains of defined origin and modern production techniques are therefore desirable. In this study, defective vaccinia virus (dVV) lacking a gene essential for replication (derived from the Lister vaccine in a complementing cell line) was compared with the Wyeth smallpox vaccine strain and with MVA in mouse animal models using cowpox and ectromelia virus challenge. Similar to MVA, prime-boost immunizations with defective vaccinia induced robust long-term immunity, suggesting it as a promising next generation smallpox vaccine.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2005 · Virology
Show more