The immunogenicity and protective efficacy of a nucleic acid vaccine encoding the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) glycoprotein D (gD) gene under the control of the CMV immediate early gene promoter was examined. Mice immunized three times by intramuscular injection with the vaccine developed an HSV specific IgG but not IgA antibody response detectable in both serum and vaginal secretions, In addition, antigen-specific cellular immune responses were detected in splenic lymphocytes isolated from DNA immunized animals. Immunization reduced virus replication in the genital tract following a lethal intravaginal HSV-2 challenge. Furthermore, symptomatic genital HSV disease was reduced in immunized mice and the animals were completely protected from death. We conclude that a nucleic acid vaccine expressing HSV-1 gD induced both humoral and cell mediated immune responses in mice which proved highly protective against disease following virus challenge.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by Grants AI-22667, AI-23482A, I-01276 and AI-45252f rom the National Insti-tuteso f Health. The authorsw ould like to thank Alisa Reece, Krystyn Zimmer, Frances Childs and Jennifer Hardy for excellentt echnicala ssistancea nd Dr Adam Geballe for the gift of the plasmidp EQ 176.
- DNA vaccine
- Genital herpes
- Herpes simplex virus