The New York City Board of Health (NYCBH) vaccinia virus (VACV) vaccine strain was deleted for the immune evasion gene, E3L, and tested for its pathogenicity and ability to protect mice from heterologous challenge with ectromelia virus (ECTV). NYCBHΔE3L was found to be highly attenuated for pathogenicity in a newborn mouse model and showed a similar attenuated phenotype as the NYVAC strain of vaccinia virus. Scarification with one or two doses of the attenuated NYCBHΔE3L was able to protect mice equally as well as NYCBH from death, weight loss, and viral spread to visceral organs. A single dose of NYCBHΔE3L resulted in low poxvirus-specific antibodies, and a second dose increased levels of poxvirus-specific antibodies to a level similar to that seen in animals vaccinated with a single dose of NYCBH. However, similar neutralizing antibody titers were observed following one or two doses of NYCBHΔE3L or NYCBH. Thus, NYCBHΔE3L shows potential as a candidate for a safer human smallpox vaccine since it protects mice from challenge with a heterologous poxvirus.
- Ectromelia virus
- Vaccinia virus
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases