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Keywords:

  • cytomegalovirus;
  • DNA vaccine;
  • CpG ODN;
  • adjuvant

Abstract

A human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) glycoprotein B (gpUL55) DNA vaccine has been evaluated in BALB/c mice. Intramuscular immunization of these mice with pRc/CMV2-gB resulted in the generation of high levels of gpUL55-specific antibody (geometric mean titer [GMT] 1:8900) and neutralizing antibody (GMT 1:74) after 2 booster doses given 5 and 10 weeks after primary inoculation. Emulsifying the construct with the aluminum phosphate gel adjuvant Adju-Phos before immunization enhanced gpUL55-specific antibody responses (GMT 1:17800, P = 0.04). Co-immunization with CpG oligodeoxynucleotides was shown to enhance levels of neutralizing antibodies generated by immunization of mice with a pRc/CMV2-gB/Adju-Phos emulsion (P = 0.04). The results provide a rationale for evaluating combinations of other HCMV proteins for incorporation into a multi-target DNA vaccine, and for the optimization of adjuvant usage, to elicit enhanced levels of neutralizing antibodies. J. Med. Virol. 70:86–90, 2003. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.