A single immunization with a rhabdovirus-based vector expressing severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) S protein results in the production of high levels of SARS-CoV-neutralizing antibodies

Milosz Faber, Elaine W Lamirande, Anjeanette Roberts, Amy B Rice, Hilary Koprowski, Bernhard Dietzschold, Matthias J Schnell
Journal of General Virology 2005, 86 (Pt 5): 1435-40
Foreign viral proteins expressed by rabies virus (RV) have been shown to induce potent humoral and cellular immune responses in immunized animals. In addition, highly attenuated and, therefore, very safe RV-based vectors have been constructed. Here, an RV-based vaccine vehicle was utilized as a novel vaccine against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV). For this approach, the SARS-CoV nucleocapsid protein (N) or envelope spike protein (S) genes were cloned between the RV glycoprotein G and polymerase L genes. Recombinant vectors expressing SARS-CoV N or S protein were recovered and their immunogenicity was studied in mice. A single inoculation with the RV-based vaccine expressing SARS-CoV S protein induced a strong SARS-CoV-neutralizing antibody response. The ability of the RV-SARS-CoV S vector to confer immunity after a single inoculation makes this live vaccine a promising candidate for eradication of SARS-CoV in animal reservoirs, thereby reducing the risk of transmitting the infection to humans.

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