Attenuated Mengo Virus: a New Vector for Live


Several features make Mengo virus an excellent candidate for use as a vaccine vector. The virus has a wide host range, including rodents, pigs, monkeys, and most likely humans, and expresses its genome exclusively in the cytoplasm of the infected cell. Stable attenuated strains exist which are deleted for part of the 5 * noncoding region of the genome. Here we report an attenuated Mengo virus recombinant, vLCMG4, that encodes an immunodominant cytotoxic T-lymphocyte epitope of the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) nucleo-protein. vLCMG4 induced protective immunity against lethal LCMV infection after a single, low-dose immu-nization in BALB/c mice and elicited an LCMV-specific CD81 cytotoxic T lymphocyte response. This demon-strates the potential of recombinant Mengo virus vaccines to confer protection against infectious diseases by the induction of cellular immune responses. With the advent of molecular biology, the engineering of efficacious live recombinant viral vaccines has become pos-sible. These recombinant vaccines are constructed with atten-uated strains of otherwise pathogenic viruses, e.g., adeno-virus (12, 16) and poliovirus (4, 7, 11), or viruses with relatively mild pathogenicity, such as the poxviruses (17, 24), huma

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