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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Genetic immunization against herpes simplex virus. Protection is mediated by CD4+ T lymphocytes.

Plasmid DNA encoding proteins represent a convenient novel approach to vaccination. We have investigated this "genetic immunization" approach as a means to protect against herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection using a mouse zosteriform model that mimics several aspects of reactivated HSV infection of humans. After i.m. immunization with plasmid DNA-encoding glycoprotein B ( gB), (pc- gB), 80% of BALB/c mice were completely protected and lesions were delayed in the remaining animals. Upon pc- gB vaccination, the animals developed both gB- and HSV-specific IgG Ab response and the isotype examination revealed a predominance of IgG2a. These mice also have low levels (1/16) of HSV-neutralizing Abs. Immune splenocytes obtained from pc-gB-immunized mice, when restimulated in vitro with HSV resulted in production of type 1 cytokines. Evidence for CD(8+)-mediated cytotoxic T lymphocyte response was equivocal. Protection could be adoptively transferred to nude mice recipients by CD4+ T cells from pc-gB-immunized mice but not by CD8+ T cells. Our results demonstrate that genetic immunization is a potent means of inducing protection against HSV and that the mechanism of immunity responsible for clearing virus from cutaneous sites is principally by CD4+ T cells. It is likely that these cells are Th1 cells because type 1 cytokines were the major cytokines detected upon in vitro Ag stimulation.[1]


  1. Genetic immunization against herpes simplex virus. Protection is mediated by CD4+ T lymphocytes. Manickan, E., Rouse, R.J., Yu, Z., Wire, W.S., Rouse, B.T. J. Immunol. (1995) [Pubmed]
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