Immunization of mice with poliovirus replicons expressing the C-fragment of tetanus toxin protects against lethal challenge with tetanus toxin

Academic Article


  • In this study, we describe the construction of poliovirus genomes or 'replicons' which contain the C fragment gene of tetanus toxin substituted for the poliovirus P1 capsid. Upon transfection of replicon RNA into cells, we immunoprecipitated a protein corresponding to the C-fragment of tetanus toxin using tetanus-specific antibodies. Using a recombinant vaccinia virus expressing poliovirus P1 capsid protein (VV-P1) to provide P1 protein, the replicon RNA was encapsidated; stocks of the replicons were generated by passage with VV-P1. The immunogenicity of the replicons was determined by immunization of transgenic mice which are susceptible to poliovirus. A serum antibody response to poliovirus and tetanus toxoid was detected in all of the immunized mice. Protection against a lethal dose of tetanus toxin generally correlated with the levels of serum anti-tetanus antibodies. To address whether pre-existing antibodies to poliovirus limit the effectiveness of the replicon as a vaccine vector, mice were first immunized with the inactivated poliovirus vaccine followed by immunization with the replicons expressing C-fragment protein. Anti-tetanus antibodies were detected in these mice after a single administration of the replicon; these antibodies conferred protection upon challenge with tetanus toxin. These results demonstrate the potential use of poliovirus replicons encoding foreign proteins to induce a protective antibody response, even in the presence of pre-existing antibodies to poliovirus.
  • Published In

  • Vaccine  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Porter DC; Wang J; Moldoveanu Z; McPherson S; Morrow CD
  • Start Page

  • 257
  • End Page

  • 264
  • Volume

  • 15
  • Issue

  • 3