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    Tagging of the vaccinia virus protein F13 with mCherry causes aberrant virion morphogenesis.
    J Gen Virol 2017 Sep 20. Epub 2017 Sep 20.
    Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge CB2 1QP, UK.
    Vaccinia virus produces two distinct infectious virions; the single-enveloped intracellular mature virus (IMV), which remains in the cell until cell lysis, and the double-enveloped extracellular enveloped virus (EEV), which mediates virus spread. The latter is derived from a triple-enveloped intracellular enveloped virus (IEV) precursor, which is transported to the cell periphery by the kinesin-1 motor complex. This transport involves the viral protein A36 as well as F12 and E2. Read More

    Heparan sulfate as a receptor for poxvirus infections and as a target for antiviral agents.
    J Gen Virol 2017 Sep 21. Epub 2017 Sep 21.
    2​Cancer and Vascular Biology Group, ACRF Department of Cancer Biology and Therapeutics, The John Curtin School of Medical Research, The Australian National University, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia.
    To establish the importance of virus-heparan sulfate (HS) interactions in virus infectivity, the poxvirus vaccinia virus (VACV) was used, as it binds HS and has both enveloped virus (EV) and non-enveloped mature virus (MV) forms. Initial studies showed that heparin inhibited plaque formation by both MV-rich WR and EV-rich IHD-J strains of VACV, with the EV-rich strain also losing trademark 'comet'-shaped plaques. However, using GFP-tagged EV and MV forms of VACV, based on IC50 values, heparin was 16-fold more effective at inhibiting the infectivity of the EV form compared to the MV form. Read More

    Temozolomide resistant human brain tumor stem cells are susceptible to recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus and double-deleted Vaccinia virus in vitro.
    Biomed Pharmacother 2017 Sep 16;95:1201-1208. Epub 2017 Sep 16.
    Department of Neurosurgery, Qilu Hospital of Shandong University, Qingdao 266035, Shandong, China. Electronic address:
    Background: Malignant glioma still has a poor prognosis and remains incurable. Although temozolomide (TMZ) has demonstrated antitumor activity, its use recently has been halted because of some patients' resistance to this drug. New treatments are desperately needed. Read More

    The RAB2B-GARIL5 Complex Promotes Cytosolic DNA-Induced Innate Immune Responses.
    Cell Rep 2017 Sep;20(12):2944-2954
    Division of Inflammation Biology, Institute for Enzyme Research, Tokushima University, Tokushima 770-8503, Japan; Laboratory of Host Defense, World Premier International Research Center Immunology Frontier Research Center, Osaka University, Osaka 565-0871, Japan; Department of Host Defense, Research Institute for Microbial Diseases, Osaka University, Osaka 565-0871, Japan. Electronic address:
    Cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS) is a cytosolic DNA sensor that induces the IFN antiviral response. However, the regulatory mechanisms that mediate cGAS-triggered signaling have not been fully explored. Here, we show the involvement of a small GTPase, RAB2B, and its effector protein, Golgi-associated RAB2B interactor-like 5 (GARIL5), in the cGAS-mediated IFN response. Read More

    Comparative Interactomes of VRK1 and VRK3 with Their Distinct Roles in the Cell Cycle of Liver Cancer.
    Mol Cells 2017 Aug 31. Epub 2017 Aug 31.
    Department of Life Science.
    Vaccinia-related kinase 1 (VRK1) and VRK3 are members of the VRK family of serine/threonine kinases and are principally localized in the nucleus. Despite the crucial roles of VRK1/ VRK3 in physiology and disease, the molecular and functional interactions of VRK1/VRK3 are poorly understood. Here, we identified over 200 unreported VRK1/VRK3-interacting candidate proteins by affinity purification and LC-MS/MS. Read More

    Sequential administration of MVA-based vaccines and PD-1/PD-L1-blocking antibodies confers measurable benefits on tumor growth and survival: preclinical studies with MVA-βGal and MVA-MUC1 (TG4010) in a murine tumor model.
    Hum Vaccin Immunother 2017 Sep 19. Epub 2017 Sep 19.
    a Transgene S.A.,Parc d'Innovation , 400 Boulevard Gonthier d'Andernach CS80166 , 67405 Illkirch-Graffenstaden Cedex , France.
    TG4010, a Modified Vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) expressing human mucin1 (MUC1) has demonstrated clinical benefit for patients suffering from advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in combination with chemotherapy. To support its development, preclinical experiments were performed with either TG4010 or β-galactosidase-encoding MVA vector (MVA-βgal) in mice presenting tumors in the lung. Tumor growth was obtained after intravenous injection of CT26 murine colon cancer cells, engineered to express either MUC1 or βgal. Read More

    Characterization of a PKR inhibitor from the pathogenic ranavirus, Ambystoma tigrinum virus, using a heterologous vaccinia virus system.
    Virology 2017 Sep 14. Epub 2017 Sep 14.
    School of Life Sciences, and The Biodesign Institute, Center for Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-5001, USA. Electronic address:
    Ambystoma tigrinum virus (ATV) (family Iridoviridae, genus Ranavirus) was isolated from diseased tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum stebbinsi) from the San Rafael Valley in southern Arizona, USA in 1996. Genomic sequencing of ATV, as well as other members of the genus, identified an open reading frame that has homology to the eukaryotic translation initiation factor, eIF2α (ATV eIF2α homologue, vIF2αH). Therefore, we asked if the ATV vIF2αH could also inhibit PKR. Read More

    Glucose elicits serine/threonine kinase VRK1 to phosphorylate nuclear pregnane X receptor as a novel hepatic gluconeogenic signal.
    Cell Signal 2017 Sep 11. Epub 2017 Sep 11.
    Pharmacogenetics Section, Reproductive and Developmental Biology Laboratory, National Institute of Environmental Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, United States. Electronic address:
    Low glucose stimulated phosphorylation of pregnane X receptor (PXR) at Ser(350) in correlation with an increased gluconeogenesis in human hepatoma-derived HepG2 cells. Only glucose, but neither insulin nor glucagon, stimulated this phosphorylation. Here, serine/threonine kinase, vaccinia related kinase 1 (VRK1)-mediated phosphorylation of PXR is now defined as this glucose-elicited novel signal. Read More

    Polymicrobial sepsis impairs bystander recruitment of effector cells to infected skin despite optimal sensing and alarming function of skin resident memory CD8 T cells.
    PLoS Pathog 2017 Sep 14;13(9):e1006569. Epub 2017 Sep 14.
    Interdisciplinary Program in Immunology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, United States of America.
    Sepsis is a systemic infection that enhances host vulnerability to secondary infections normally controlled by T cells. Using CLP sepsis model, we observed that sepsis induces apoptosis of circulating memory CD8 T-cells (TCIRCM) and diminishes their effector functions, leading to impaired CD8 T-cell mediated protection to systemic pathogen re-infection. In the context of localized re-infections, tissue resident memory CD8 T-cells (TRM) provide robust protection in a variety of infectious models. Read More

    Epstein Barr virus Latent Membrane Protein-1 enhances dendritic cell therapy lymph node migration, activation, and IL-12 secretion.
    PLoS One 2017 14;12(9):e0184915. Epub 2017 Sep 14.
    Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Miami Center for AIDS Research and the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, United States of America.
    Dendritic cells (DC) are a promising cell type for cancer vaccines due to their high immunostimulatory capacity. However, improper maturation of DC prior to treatment may account for the limited efficacy of DC vaccine clinical trials. Latent Membrane Protein-1 (LMP1) of Epstein-Barr virus was examined for its ability to mature and activate DC as a gene-based molecular adjuvant for DC vaccines. Read More

    Vaccinia virus encodes a novel inhibitor of apoptosis that associates with the apoptosome.
    J Virol 2017 Sep 13. Epub 2017 Sep 13.
    Department of Microbiology, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, USA
    Apoptosis is an important anti-viral host defense mechanism. Here we report the identification of a novel apoptosis inhibitor encoded by the vaccinia virus (VACV) M1L gene. M1L is absent in the attenuated MVA strain of VACV, a strain that stimulates apoptosis in several types of immune cells. Read More

    Autism-like behavior caused by deletion of vaccinia-related kinase 3 is improved by TrkB stimulation.
    J Exp Med 2017 Sep 12. Epub 2017 Sep 12.
    Department of Life Sciences, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang, Republic of Korea
    Vaccinia-related kinases (VRKs) are multifaceted serine/threonine kinases that play essential roles in various aspects of cell signaling, cell cycle progression, apoptosis, and neuronal development and differentiation. However, the neuronal function of VRK3 is still unknown despite its etiological potential in human autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Here, we report that VRK3-deficient mice exhibit typical symptoms of autism-like behavior, including hyperactivity, stereotyped behaviors, reduced social interaction, and impaired context-dependent spatial memory. Read More

    Re-Assembly and Analysis of an Ancient Variola Virus Genome.
    Viruses 2017 Sep 8;9(9). Epub 2017 Sep 8.
    Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC V8W 3P6, Canada.
    We report a major improvement to the assembly of published short read sequencing data from an ancient variola virus (VARV) genome by the removal of contig-capping sequencing tags and manual searches for gap-spanning reads. The new assembly, together with camelpox and taterapox genomes, permitted new dates to be calculated for the last common ancestor of all VARV genomes. The analysis of recently sequenced VARV-like cowpox virus genomes showed that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and amino acid changes in the vaccinia virus (VACV)-Cop-O1L ortholog, predicted to be associated with VARV host specificity and virulence, were introduced into the lineage before the divergence of these viruses. Read More

    Oncolytic Viral Therapy for Mesothelioma.
    Front Oncol 2017 24;7:179. Epub 2017 Aug 24.
    Hematology-Oncology-Transplant, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, United States.
    The limited effectiveness of conventional therapy for malignant pleural mesothelioma demands innovative approaches to this difficult disease. Even with aggressive multimodality treatment of surgery, radiation, and/or chemotherapy, the median survival is only 1-2 years depending on stage and histology. Oncolytic viral therapy has emerged in the last several decades as a rapidly advancing field of immunotherapy studied in a wide spectrum of malignancies. Read More

    Effect of Modified Vaccinia Ankara-5T4 and Low-Dose Cyclophosphamide on Antitumor Immunity in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer: A Randomized Clinical Trial.
    JAMA Oncol 2017 Sep 7:e172579. Epub 2017 Sep 7.
    Division of Infection and Immunity, Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales.
    Importance: The success of immunotherapy with checkpoint inhibitors is not replicated in most cases of colorectal cancer; therefore, different strategies are urgently required. The oncofetal antigen 5T4 is expressed in more than 90% of cases of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). Preliminary data using modified vaccinia Ankara-5T4 (MVA-5T4) in mCRC demonstrated that it safely induced serologic and T-cell responses. Read More

    Improvement of in vivo expression of genes delivered by self-amplifying RNA using Vaccinia Virus immune evasion proteins.
    Hum Gene Ther 2017 Sep 6. Epub 2017 Sep 6.
    TRON - Translational Oncology at the University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany.
    Among nucleic acid based delivery platforms, self-amplifying RNA (saRNA) vectors are of increasing interest for applications such as transient expression of recombinant proteins and vaccination. saRNA is safe and, due to its capability to amplify intracellularly high protein levels, can by produced from even minute amounts of transfected templates. It is an obstacle to full exploitation of this platform, though, that saRNA induces a strong innate host immune response. Read More

    Active dissemination of cellular antigens by DCs facilitates CD8(+) T-cell priming in lymph nodes.
    Eur J Immunol 2017 Sep 5. Epub 2017 Sep 5.
    Department of Immunology and Veterinary Services, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, 76100, Israel.
    Antigen (Ag)-specific activation of naïve T cells by migrating dendritic cells (DCs) is a highly efficient process, although the chances for their co-localization in lymph nodes (LNs) appear low. Ag presentation may be delegated from Ag-donor DCs to the abundant resident DCs, but the routes of Ag transfer and how it facilitates T-cell activation remain unclear. We visualized CD8(+) T cell-DC interactions to study the sites, routes and cells mediating Ag transfer in mice. Read More

    VIROTHERAPY RESEARCH IN GERMANY - FROM ENGINEERING TO TRANSLATION A Review as contribution to the Combined Annual Meeting of the German and European Societies of Gene (and Cell) Therapy 2017.
    Hum Gene Ther 2017 Sep 4. Epub 2017 Sep 4.
    German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) , Im Neuenheimer Feld 280 , Heidelberg, Germany , 69120.
    Virotherapy is a unique modality for treatment of cancer with oncolytic viruses (OVs) that selectively infect and lyse tumor cells, spread within tumors, and activate anti-tumor immunity. Different viruses are being developed as OVs preclinically and clinically, several of them engineered to encode therapeutic proteins for tumor-targeted gene therapy. Scientists and clinicians in Germany have made significant contributions to OV research and development, which are highlighted in this review article. Read More

    Novel viral vectors in infectious diseases.
    Immunology 2017 Sep 4. Epub 2017 Sep 4.
    The Jenner Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.
    Since the development of Vaccinia virus as a vaccine vector in 1984, the utility of numerous viruses in vaccination strategies has been explored. In recent years, key improvements to existing vectors such as those based on adenovirus have led to significant improvements in immunogenicity and efficacy. Furthermore, exciting new vectors that exploit viruses such as cytomegalovirus (CMV) and vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) have emerged. Read More

    Phase I Study of a Poxviral TRICOM-Based Vaccine Directed Against the Transcription Factor Brachyury.
    Clin Cancer Res 2017 Aug 30. Epub 2017 Aug 30.
    Genitourinary Malignancies Branch, National Cancer Institute
    Purpose: The transcription factor brachyury has been shown in preclinical studies to be a driver of the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and resistance to therapy of human tumor cells. This study describes the characterization of a Modified Vaccinia Ankara (MVA) vector-based vaccine expressing the transgenes for brachyury and three human costimulatory molecules (B7.1, ICAM-1, and LFA-3, designated TRICOM) and a phase I study with this vaccine. Read More

    The 5'-poly(A) leader of poxvirus mRNA confers a translational advantage that can be achieved in cells with impaired cap-dependent translation.
    PLoS Pathog 2017 Aug 30;13(8):e1006602. Epub 2017 Aug 30.
    Division of Biology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, United States of America.
    The poly(A) leader at the 5'-untranslated region (5'-UTR) is an unusually striking feature of all poxvirus mRNAs transcribed after viral DNA replication (post-replicative mRNAs). These poly(A) leaders are non-templated and of heterogeneous lengths; and their function during poxvirus infection remains a long-standing question. Here, we discovered that a 5'-poly(A) leader conferred a selective translational advantage to mRNA in poxvirus-infected cells. Read More

    Test methods for estimating the efficacy of the fast-acting disinfectant peracetic acid on surfaces of personal protective equipment.
    J Appl Microbiol 2017 Aug 29. Epub 2017 Aug 29.
    Centre for Biological Threats and Special Pathogens.
    Aims: The work aimed at developing and evaluating practically relevant methods for testing of disinfectants on contaminated personal protective equipment (PPE).

    Methods And Results: Carriers were prepared from PPE fabrics and contaminated with B. subtilis spores. Read More

    Modified Vaccinia virus Ankara-based vaccines in the era of personalized immunotherapy of cancer.
    Hum Vaccin Immunother 2017 Aug 28:1-7. Epub 2017 Aug 28.
    a Transgene SA , Illkirch-Graffenstaden , France.
    While interest in immunotherapies is renewed by the successful introduction of immune checkpoint blocking agent in the clinic, advances in genome sequencing are opening new possibilities in the design of increasingly personalized vaccines. Personalization of medicine can now be realistically contemplated at the single patient level. Unlike the previous generation of cancer vaccines, neoantigen directed vaccines would target truly specific tumor antigens resulting from acquired tumor genome mutations. Read More

    Immunogenicity and efficacy of DNA/MVA HIV vaccines in rhesus macaque models.
    Expert Rev Vaccines 2017 Oct 4;16(10):973-985. Epub 2017 Sep 4.
    a Emory Vaccine Center, Department of Microbiology and Immunology , Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University , Atlanta , GA , USA.
    Introduction: Despite 30 years of research on HIV, a vaccine to prevent infection and limit disease progression remains elusive. The RV144 trial showed moderate, but significant protection in humans and highlighted the contribution of antibody responses directed against HIV envelope as an important immune correlate for protection. Efforts to further build upon the progress include the use of a heterologous prime-boost regimen using DNA as the priming agent and the attenuated vaccinia virus, Modified Vaccinia Ankara (MVA), as a boosting vector for generating protective HIV-specific immunity. Read More

    Efficient and stable production of Modified Vaccinia Ankara virus in two-stage semi-continuous and in continuous stirred tank cultivation systems.
    PLoS One 2017 24;12(8):e0182553. Epub 2017 Aug 24.
    Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems, Magdeburg, Germany.
    One important aim in cell culture-based viral vaccine and vector production is the implementation of continuous processes. Such a development has the potential to reduce costs of vaccine manufacturing as volumetric productivity is increased and the manufacturing footprint is reduced. In this work, continuous production of Modified Vaccinia Ankara (MVA) virus was investigated. Read More

    The De Novo Synthesis of Horsepox Virus: Implications for Biosecurity and Recommendations for Preventing the Reemergence of Smallpox.
    Health Secur 2017 Aug 24. Epub 2017 Aug 24.
    In March 2017, the American biotech company Tonix announced that a Canadian scientist had synthesized horsepox virus as part of a project to develop a safer vaccine against smallpox. The first de novo synthesis of an orthopoxvirus, a closely related group of viruses that includes horsepox and the variola virus that causes smallpox, crosses an important Rubicon in the field of biosecurity. The synthesis of horsepox virus takes the world one step closer to the reemergence of smallpox as a threat to global health security. Read More

    Revisiting Jenner's mysteries, the role of the Beaugency lymph in the evolutionary path of ancient smallpox vaccines.
    Lancet Infect Dis 2017 Aug 18. Epub 2017 Aug 18.
    Instituto de Biofísica Carlos Chagas Filho, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Electronic address:
    In 1796, Edward Jenner developed the smallpox vaccine consisting of pustular material obtained from lesions on cows affected by so-called cow-pox. The disease, caused by cowpox virus, confers crossprotection against smallpox. However, historical evidence suggests that Jenner might have used vaccinia virus or even horsepox virus instead of cowpox virus. Read More

    Modified Vaccinia Virus Ankara Preferentially Targets Antigen Presenting Cells In Vitro, Ex Vivo and In Vivo.
    Sci Rep 2017 Aug 17;7(1):8580. Epub 2017 Aug 17.
    Department of Viroscience, Postgraduate School of Molecular Medicine, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
    Modified Vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) is a promising vaccine vector with an excellent safety profile. However, despite extensive pre-clinical and clinical testing, surprisingly little is known about the cellular tropism of MVA, especially in relevant animal species. Here, we performed in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo experiments with recombinant MVA expressing green fluorescent protein (rMVA-GFP). Read More

    A synthetic human cytomegalovirus pp65-IE1 fusion antigen efficiently induces and expands virus specific T cells.
    Vaccine 2017 Sep 14;35(38):5131-5139. Epub 2017 Aug 14.
    Institute for Infectious Diseases and Zoonoses, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Veterinärstr. 13, 80539 Munich, Germany; German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), Germany. Electronic address:
    Infection with human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) can cause severe complications in newborns and immunocompromised patients, and a prophylactic or therapeutic vaccine against HCMV is not available. Here, we generated a HCMV vaccine candidate fulfilling the regulatory requirements for GMP-compliant production and clinical testing. A novel synthetic fusion gene consisting of the coding sequences of HCMV pp65 and IE1 having a deleted nuclear localization sequence and STAT2 binding domain was introduced into the genome of the attenuated vaccinia virus strain MVA. Read More

    Cellular interactome analysis of vaccinia virus K7 protein identifies three transport machineries as binding partners for K7.
    Virus Genes 2017 Aug 16. Epub 2017 Aug 16.
    MOH Key Laboratory of Systems Biology of Pathogens, Institute of Pathogen Biology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, 100730, China.
    Identification of viral-host interacting proteins will contribute to understanding of how poxvirus exploits the host cellular machinery. The vaccinia virus gene K7R encodes a conserved protein K7 in most orthopoxviruses. To gain insight into the biology of K7, we investigated the cellular interactome of K7 by GST pulldown coupled with mass spectrometry. Read More

    Comparison of homologous and heterologous prime-boost vaccine approaches using Modified Vaccinia Ankara and soluble protein to induce neutralizing antibodies by the human cytomegalovirus pentamer complex in mice.
    PLoS One 2017 16;12(8):e0183377. Epub 2017 Aug 16.
    Department of Experimental Therapeutics, Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope, Duarte, CA, United States of America.
    Since neutralizing antibodies (NAb) targeting the human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) pentamer complex (PC) potently block HCMV host cell entry, anti-PC NAb induction is thought to be important for a vaccine formulation to prevent HCMV infection. By developing a vaccine strategy based on soluble PC protein and using a previously generated Modified Vaccinia Ankara vector co-expressing all five PC subunits (MVA-PC), we compared HCMV NAb induction by homologous immunization using prime-boost vaccine regimen employing only PC protein or MVA-PC and heterologous immunization using prime-boost combinations of PC protein and MVA-PC. Utilizing a recently isolated anti-PC NAb, we produced highly pure soluble PC protein that displayed conformational and linear neutralizing epitopes, interfered with HCMV entry, and was recognized by antibodies induced by HCMV during natural infection. Read More

    Efficacy and Safety of Doubly-Regulated Vaccinia Virus in a Mouse Xenograft Model of Multiple Myeloma.
    Mol Ther Oncolytics 2017 Sep 22;6:57-68. Epub 2017 Jul 22.
    Division of Molecular Therapy, Advanced Clinical Research Center, The Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo, 4-6-1 Shirokanedai, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8639, Japan.
    Multiple myeloma is a malignancy of plasma cells of the bone marrow. Although the prognosis is variable, no curative therapy has been defined. Vaccinia virus infects cancer cells and kills such cells in a variety of ways. Read More

    Recombinant LCMV Vectors Induce Protective Immunity following Homologous and Heterologous Vaccinations.
    Mol Ther 2017 Jul 20. Epub 2017 Jul 20.
    Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Endocrinology, Hannover Medical School, 30625 Hannover, Germany. Electronic address:
    Successful vaccination against cancer and infectious diseases relies on the induction of adaptive immune responses that induce high-titer antibodies or potent cytoxic T cell responses. In contrast to humoral vaccines, the amplification of cellular immune responses is often hampered by anti-vector immunity that either pre-exists or develops after repeated homologous vaccination. Replication-defective lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) vectors represent a novel generation of vaccination vectors that induce potent immune responses while escaping recognition by neutralizing antibodies. Read More

    Droplet digital PCR for rapid enumeration of viral genomes and particles from cells and animals infected with orthopoxviruses.
    Virology 2017 Aug 9;511:19-22. Epub 2017 Aug 9.
    Laboratory of Viral Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, United States. Electronic address:
    Droplet digital polymerase chain reaction (ddPCR) was adapted for quantifying the number of orthopoxviral genomes in purified virus samples, infected cell lysates and tissues of infected animals. In contrast to the more commonly used qPCR, the newer ddPCR provides absolute numbers of DNA copies in samples without need for standard curves and has the ability to detect rare mutants in a population. The genome/infectious unit ratio for several sucrose gradient-purified orthopoxviruses varied from 5 to 10, which correlated well with values obtained using the Virocyt, a dedicated fluorescence flow cytometer. Read More

    Progress in genome-wide association studies of schizophrenia in Han Chinese populations.
    NPJ Schizophr 2017 Aug 10;3(1):24. Epub 2017 Aug 10.
    Institute of Mental Health, the Sixth Hospital, Peking University, 100191, Beijing, China.
    Since 2006, genome-wide association studies of schizophrenia have led to the identification of numerous novel risk loci for this disease. However, there remains a geographical imbalance in genome-wide association studies, which to date have primarily focused on Western populations. During the last 6 years, genome-wide association studies in Han Chinese populations have identified both the sharing of susceptible loci across ethnicities and genes unique to Han Chinese populations. Read More

    Systemic virotherapy for multiple myeloma.
    Expert Opin Biol Ther 2017 Aug 10:1-13. Epub 2017 Aug 10.
    a Myeloma Unit, Division of Hematology , University of Torino, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Città della Salute e della Scienza di Torino , Torino , Italy.
    Introduction: The multiple myeloma (MM) treatment scenario has changed considerably over the past few years. Several novel targeted therapies are currently under consideration including oncolytic virotherapy. Areas covered: This review provides an analysis of the mechanisms of action of virotherapy, and summarizes the preclinical and clinical studies of systemic virotherapy developed for the treatment of MM. Read More

    HIV-1-neutralizing antibody induced by simian adenovirus- and poxvirus MVA-vectored BG505 native-like envelope trimers.
    PLoS One 2017 9;12(8):e0181886. Epub 2017 Aug 9.
    The Jenner Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.
    Rabbits and monkeys immunized with HIV type 1 (HIV-1) native-like BG505 SOSIP.664 (BG505s) glycoprotein trimers are known to induce antibodies that can neutralize the autologous tier-2 virus. Here, we assessed the induction of HIV-1 trimer binding and neutralizing antibody (nAb) titres when BG505s trimers were also delivered by non-replicating simian (chimpanzee) adenovirus and non-replicating poxvirus modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) vaccine vectors. Read More

    Structural characterization of human Vaccinia-Related Kinases (VRK) bound to small-molecule inhibitors identifies different P-loop conformations.
    Sci Rep 2017 Aug 8;7(1):7501. Epub 2017 Aug 8.
    Structural Genomics Consortium, Universidade Estadual de Campinas - UNICAMP, Campinas, SP, Brazil.
    The human genome encodes two active Vaccinia-related protein kinases (VRK), VRK1 and VRK2. These proteins have been implicated in a number of cellular processes and linked to a variety of tumors. However, understanding the cellular role of VRKs and establishing their potential use as targets for therapeutic intervention has been limited by the lack of tool compounds that can specifically modulate the activity of these kinases in cells. Read More

    Poxviruses Utilize Multiple Strategies to Inhibit Apoptosis.
    Viruses 2017 Aug 8;9(8). Epub 2017 Aug 8.
    Department of Biological Sciences, Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ 07039, USA.
    Cells have multiple means to induce apoptosis in response to viral infection. Poxviruses must prevent activation of cellular apoptosis to ensure successful replication. These viruses devote a substantial portion of their genome to immune evasion. Read More

    Monocytes Phenotype and Cytokine Production in Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 Infected Patients Receiving a Modified Vaccinia Ankara-Based HIV-1 Vaccine: Relationship to CD300 Molecules Expression.
    Front Immunol 2017 21;8:836. Epub 2017 Jul 21.
    Immunopathology Group, BioCruces Health Research Institute, Barakaldo, Spain.
    A modified vaccinia Ankara-based HIV-1 vaccine clade B (MVA-B) has been tested for safety and immunogenicity in low-risk human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-uninfected individuals and as a therapeutic vaccine in HIV-1-infected individuals on combined antiretroviral therapy (cART). As a therapeutic vaccine, MVA-B was safe and broadly immunogenic; however, patients still showed a viral rebound upon treatment interruption. Monocytes are an important part of the viral reservoir and several studies suggest that they are partly responsible for the chronic inflammation observed in cART-treated HIV-infected people. Read More

    Ecological niche modeling to determine potential niche of Vaccinia virus: a case only study.
    Int J Health Geogr 2017 Aug 7;16(1):28. Epub 2017 Aug 7.
    Poxvirus and Rabies Branch, Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology (DHCPP), National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID), US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA.
    Background: Emerging and understudied pathogens often lack information that most commonly used analytical tools require, such as negative controls or baseline data; thus, new analytical strategies are needed to analyze transmission patterns and drivers of disease emergence. Zoonotic infections with Vaccinia virus (VACV) were first reported in Brazil in 1999, VACV is an emerging zoonotic Orthopoxvirus, which primarily infects dairy cattle and farmers in close contact with infected cows. Prospective studies of emerging pathogens could provide critical data that would inform public health planning and response to outbreaks. Read More

    Comprehensive definition of human immunodominant CD8 antigens in tuberculosis.
    NPJ Vaccines 2017 3;2. Epub 2017 Apr 3.
    Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, USA.
    Despite widespread use of the Bacillus Calmette-Guerin vaccine, tuberculosis, caused by infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. As CD8(+) T cells are critical to tuberculosis host defense and a phase 2b vaccine trial of modified vaccinia Ankara expressing Ag85a that failed to demonstrate efficacy, also failed to induce a CD8(+) T cell response, an effective tuberculosis vaccine may need to induce CD8(+) T cells. However, little is known about CD8, as compared to CD4, antigens in tuberculosis. Read More

    A modified vaccinia Ankara vaccine vector expressing a mosaic H5 hemagglutinin reduces viral shedding in rhesus macaques.
    PLoS One 2017 3;12(8):e0181738. Epub 2017 Aug 3.
    Department of Pathobiological Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Veterinary Medicine, Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America.
    The rapid antigenic evolution of influenza viruses requires frequent vaccine reformulations. Due to the economic burden of continuous vaccine reformulation and the threat of new pandemics, there is intense interest in developing vaccines capable of eliciting broadly cross-reactive immunity to influenza viruses. We recently constructed a "mosaic" hemagglutinin (HA) based on subtype 5 HA (H5) and designed to stimulate cellular and humoral immunity to multiple influenza virus subtypes. Read More

    Immune Protection by a Cytomegalovirus Vaccine Vector Expressing a Single Low-Avidity Epitope.
    J Immunol 2017 Sep 2;199(5):1737-1747. Epub 2017 Aug 2.
    Research Group Immune Aging and Chronic Infections, Department of Vaccinology, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany;
    Experimental CMV-based vaccine vectors expressing a single MHC class I-restricted high-avidity epitope provided strong, T cell-dependent protection against viruses or tumors. In this study we tested the low-avidity epitope KCSRNRQYL, and show that a mouse CMV (MCMV) vector provides complete immune control of recombinant vaccinia virus expressing the same epitope if KCSRNRQYL is expressed within the immediate-early MCMV gene ie2 The same epitope expressed within the early M45 gene provided no protection, although MCMV vectors expressing the high-avidity epitope SSIEFARL induced protective immunity irrespective of gene expression context. Immune protection was matched by Ag-induced, long-term expansion of effector memory CD8 T cells, regardless of epitope avidity. Read More

    Intratumoral delivery of inactivated modified vaccinia virus Ankara (iMVA) induces systemic antitumor immunity via STING and Batf3-dependent dendritic cells.
    Sci Immunol 2017 May;2(11)
    Dermatology Service, Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10065, USA.
    Advanced cancers remain a therapeutic challenge despite recent progress in targeted therapy and immunotherapy. Novel approaches are needed to alter the tumor immunosuppressive microenvironment and to facilitate the recognition of tumor antigens that leads to antitumor immunity. Poxviruses, such as modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA), have potential as immunotherapeutic agents. Read More

    Intramuscularly injected neurotropin reduced muscular mechanical hyperalgesia induced by repeated cold stress in rats.
    Behav Pharmacol 2017 Jul 31. Epub 2017 Jul 31.
    aDepartment of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, Mejiro University, Saitama bDepartment of Physical Therapy, College of Life and Health Sciences, Chubu University, Kasugai, Japan.
    An extract of rabbit skin inflamed by inoculation with the vaccinia virus, neurotropin [by intravenous, oral, and intramuscular (i.m.) administration], has been used in China and Japan for the treatment of chronic pain. Read More

    Preparation of Cell Cultures and Vaccinia Virus Stocks.
    Curr Protoc Protein Sci 2017 Aug 1;89:5.12.1-5.12.18. Epub 2017 Aug 1.
    Laboratory of Viral Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.
    The culturing of cell lines used with vaccinia virus, both as monolayer and in suspension, is described. The preparation of chick embryo fibroblasts (CEF) is presented for use in the production of the highly attenuated and host range-restricted modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) strain of vaccinia virus. Protocols for the preparation, titration, and trypsinization of vaccinia virus stocks, as well as viral DNA preparation and virus purification methods are also included. Read More

    Generation of Recombinant Vaccinia Viruses.
    Curr Protoc Protein Sci 2017 Aug 1;89:5.13.1-5.13.18. Epub 2017 Aug 1.
    Laboratory of Viral Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.
    This unit describes how to infect cells with vaccinia virus and then transfect them with a plasmid-transfer vector or PCR fragment to generate a recombinant virus. Selection and screening methods used to isolate recombinant viruses and a method for the amplification of recombinant viruses are described. Finally, a method for live immunostaining that has been used primarily for detection of recombinant modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) is presented. Read More

    Modified Vaccinia Virus Ankara Vector Induces Specific Cellular and Humoral Responses in the Female Reproductive Tract, the Main HIV Portal of Entry.
    J Immunol 2017 Sep 31;199(5):1923-1932. Epub 2017 Jul 31.
    Immunologie des Infections Virales et des Maladies Auto-immunes (ImVA)/Infrastructure Nationale pour la Modélisation des Maladies Infectieuses Humaines et les Thérapies Innovantes (IDMIT)/Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives (CEA)/Direction de la Recherche Fondamentale (DRF)/Institut des Maladies Emergentes et des Traitements Innovants (IMETI), Université Paris-Sud, INSERM U1184, 92265 Fontenay-Aux-Roses, France;
    The female reproductive tract (FRT) is one of the major mucosal invasion sites for HIV-1. This site has been neglected in previous HIV-1 vaccine studies. Immune responses in the FRT after systemic vaccination remain to be characterized. Read More

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