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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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J Infect Dis 2007 Oct 1;196(7):1026-32

Antibodies to the A27 Protein of Vaccinia Virus Neutralize and Protect against Infection but Represent a Minor Component of Dryvax Vaccine-Induced Immunity.

He Y, Manischewitz J, Meseda CA, Merchlinsky M, Vassell RA, Sirota L, Berkower I, Golding H, Weiss CD

Weiss CD (reprint author), US FDA, CBER, 1401 Rockville PIke, Rockville, MD 20852 USA US FDA, CBER, Rockville, MD 20852 USA


The smallpox vaccine Dryvax, which consists of replication-competent vaccinia virus, elicits antibodies that play a major role in protection. Several vaccinia proteins generate neutralizing antibodies, but their importance for protection is unknown. We investigated the potency of antibodies to the A27 protein of the mature virion in neutralization and protection experiments and the contributions of A27 antibodies to Dryvax-induced immunity. Using a recombinant A27 protein (rA27), we confirmed that A27 contains neutralizing determinants and that vaccinia immune globulin (VIG) derived from Dryvax recipients contains reactivity to A27. However, VIG neutralization was not significantly reduced when A27 antibodies were removed, and antibodies elicited by an rA27 enhanced the protection conferred by VIG in passive transfer experiments. These findings demonstrate that A27 antibodies do not represent the major fraction of neutralizing activity in VIG and suggest that immunity may be augmented by vaccines and immune globulins that include strong antibody responses to A27.

Category: Journal Article
PubMed ID: #17763325
Includes FDA Authors from Scientific Area(s): Biologics
Entry Created: 2011-10-04 Entry Last Modified: 2012-08-29