[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Infection of rabbits with aerosolized rabbitpox virus (RPXV) produces a disease similar to monkeypox and smallpox in humans and provides a valuable, informative model system to test medical countermeasures against orthopoxviruses. Due to the eradication of smallpox, the evaluation of the efficacy of new-generation smallpox vaccines depends on relevant well-developed animal studies for vaccine licensure. In this study, we tested the efficacy of IMVAMUNE [modified vaccinia Ankara-Bavarian Nordic (MVA-BN)] for protecting rabbits against aerosolized RPXV. Rabbits were vaccinated with either phosphate-buffered saline (PBS), Dryvax, a single low dose of IMVAMUNE, a single high dose of IMVAMUNE, or twice with a high dose of IMVAMUNE. Aerosol challenge with a lethal dose of RPXV was performed 4 weeks after the last vaccination. All PBS control animals succumbed to the disease or were euthanized because of the disease within 7 days postexposure. The rabbits vaccinated with Dryvax, a low dose of IMVAMUNE, or a single high dose of IMVAMUNE showed minimal to moderate clinical signs of the disease, but all survived the challenge. The only clinical sign displayed by rabbits that had been vaccinated twice with a high dose of IMVAMUNE was mild transient anorexia in just two out of eight rabbits. This study shows that IMVAMUNE can be a very effective vaccine against aerosolized RPXV.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Orthopoxviruses, such as variola and monkeypox viruses, can cause severe disease in humans when delivered by the aerosol route, and thus represent significant threats to both military and civilian populations. Currently, there are no antiviral therapies approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat smallpox or monkeypox infection. In this study, we showed that administration of the antiviral compound ST-246 to rabbits by oral gavage, once daily for 14 days beginning 1h postexposure (p.e.), resulted in 100% survival in a lethal aerosolized rabbitpox model used as a surrogate for smallpox. Furthermore, efficacy of delayed treatment with ST-246 was evaluated by beginning treatment on days 1, 2, 3, and 4 p.e. Although a limited number of rabbits showed less severe signs of the rabbitpox disease from the day 1 and day 2 p.e. treatment groups, their illness resolved very quickly, and the survival rates for these group of rabbits were 88% and 100%, respectively. But when the treatment was started on days 3 or 4 p.e., survival was 67% and 33%, respectively. This work suggests that ST-246 is a very potent antiviral compound against aerosolized rabbitpox in rabbits and should be investigated for further development for all orthopoxvirus diseases.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2008 · Antiviral Research