Protection against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) elicited in mice by plasmid DNA immunisation encoding a secreted RSV G protein-derived antigen


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Plasmid vectors encoding two different variants, one cytoplasmic and one secreted version, of a candidate vaccine BBG2Na to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), were constructed and evaluated in a nucleic acid vaccination study. The two different vectors, which employed the Semliki Forest virus gene amplification system, were found to express BBG2Na appropriately in in vitro cell cultures. Immunisation of mice with the plasmid vectors elicited significant serum anti-BBG2Na IgG responses only in the mice receiving the plasmid encoding the secreted version of BBG2Na. Consistent with antibody induction data, sterilising lung protection against RSV-A challenge was also only observed in this group. These results indicate that the targeting of antigen expression (intracellular versus secreted) would be an important factor to consider in the design of nucleic acid vaccines.