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Candidate influenza vaccines based on recombinant modified vaccinia virus Ankara.

Recombinant modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) is attractive and promising as a novel viral vector for the expression of foreign genes of interest because it possesses unique properties. In particular, its excellent safety profile and the availability of versatile vector technologies have frequently made MVA the vaccinia virus of choice for preclinical and clinical studies. Owing to its avirulence and deficiency to productively replicate after in vivo inoculation, MVA can be used under biosafety level 1 conditions. In addition to a better safety profile than replication competent vaccinia viruses, the use of MVA leads to similar levels of gene expression and has better immunostimulatory properties and improved efficacy as a recombinant vaccine. In animal models, recombinant MVA vaccines were immunogenic and induced protective immunity against various infectious agents, including viruses, bacteria and parasites. Here we review the progress that has been made in the development of recombinant MVA as a viral vector and candidate pandemic influenza H5N1 vaccine. Specifically, we will focus on the preclinical evaluation of recombinant MVA vector as pandemic influenza A/H5N1 vaccine candidates and discuss the possible future approaches for the use of these novel MVA-based vaccines.

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