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Maedi-visna virus (MVV) is an ovine retrovirus of the Lentivirus genus, responsible for a chronic and progressive disease of sheep with a high prevalence all over the world. Therefore, measures aiming at the control of MVV infection are necessary, and the development of DNA vaccines may be the ideal approach. A DNA vaccine is an antigen-encoding bacterial plasmid designed to mimic infections safely, with ability to generate both humoral and cellular long-lasting immune responses once it is delivered to the host.Here, we describe the development and evaluation of DNA vaccines against ovine maedi-visna virus. The first step is the design of the vaccines, including the choice of the backbone vector and the nucleotide sequences to use as antigen-encoding sequences. Once constructed, the vaccines may be produced with high quality for use in in vitro and in vivo tests. In vitro assays are performed through transfection of animal cells to confirm the expression of the protein, while in vivo tests are carried out by mouse and/or sheep immunization in order to check humoral and cellular responses to the vaccines and conclude about their efficiency. Several approaches may be later performed in order to enhance the effectiveness of the vaccines, such as the introduction of targeting sequences, the use of a prime-boost strategy, the administration of a combined vaccine, and the use of liposomes as delivery vehicle.


Ana M Henriques, Miguel Fevereiro, Gabriel A Monteiro. DNA Vaccines Against Maedi-Visna Virus. Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.). 2016;1404:59-76

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PMID: 27076290

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