Novel Viral-Vectors Having Enhanced Effectiveness with Dramatically Reduced Virulence

Bertram Jacobs (Inventor)

Research output: Patent


The vaccinia virus, when used for various clinical applications, is quite versatile and potentially very beneficial to human health. In addition to its utilization as a smallpox vaccine, the vaccinia virus is extensively used as an effective expression vector since it is easy to isolate, can accommodate vast amounts of exogenous DNA and has a wide host range. Foreign genetic material, which is incorporated into the vaccinia genome, may encode for antigens and other useful molecules, including anticancer agents. Unfortunately, while the vaccinia virus has many potentially valuable applications, the form of the vaccinia virus currently in use poses certain dangers to human health including the risk of a life-threatening vaccinia infection. Researchers at Arizona State University have developed a novel form of vaccinia virus with certain genetic modifications that confer decreased risk of viral infection. The genetic modifications involve deletion of the region encoding an N-terminal portion of the E3L gene products, which inhibits interferon activating kinases and reduces a host-cells ability to fight off infection. This form of the virus can be recombined with and used to deliver foreign genetic material for the purposes of immunization or other useful molecule delivery or it can be used in its given form to elicit an immune response in mammals that will protect against the smallpox disease. The modified vaccinia virus, with its low virulence but increased efficacy, has numerous applications especially owing to the wide variety of foreign DNA that can be recombined with the virus. Potential Applications Smallpox Vaccine Delivery vector for anticancer therapeutics and other medically useful molecules Immunization for a variety of diseases Gene TherapyBenefits and Advantages Reduced Pathogenicity - reduced chance of host infection and excessive immune response Incread Efficacy - the modified virus may has sustained in vivo activity, thus allowing for greater immune response or higher production of therapeutics molecules Wide host range Maintenance of active protein expressionDownload Original PDFFor more information about the inventor(s) and their research, please see Dr. Jacob's directory webpage
Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Jul 10 1999


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