Expression of rabies virus glycoprotein from a recombinant vaccinia virus

M. P. Kieny*, R. Lathe, R. Drillien, D. Spehner, S. Skory, D. Schmitt, T. Wiktor, H. Koprowski, J. P. Lecocq

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rabies is one of the oldest diseases known to man, but its successful control has remained elusive. Although effective vaccines of tissue culture origin against rabies do exist1, such preparations are expensive. Live vaccinia virus (VV) recombinants expressing influenza or hepatitis B antigens have recently been used to immunize against these diseases 2-4. We have now used this approach to produce a novel rabies vaccine. We first altered the rabies glycoprotein cDNA5 by site-directed mutagenesis and removed the poly(dG) tail. We then aligned the modified cDNA with an early VV promoter sequence inserted within a cloned copy of the vaccinia thymidine kinase gene and transfected this plasmid into VV-infected cells. Recombination between the virus and the plasmid resulted in a recombinant virus harbouring the rabies glycoprotein cDNA. Inoculation of rabbits with the live recombinant virus induced high titres of rabies virus-neutralizing antibodies, and scarification with the recombinant VV protected mice against challenge with street rabies virus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-166
Number of pages4
Issue number5990
Publication statusPublished - 1984


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