Efficacy of a Human Anthrax Vaccine in Guinea Pigs, Rabbits, and Rhesus Macaques Against Challenge by Bacillus Anthracis Isolates of Diverse Geographical Origin

Vaccine. 2001 Apr 30;19(23-24):3241-7. doi: 10.1016/s0264-410x(01)00021-4.


The efficacy of a licensed human anthrax vaccine (Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed (AVA)) was tested in guinea pigs, rabbits, and rhesus macaques against spore challenge by Bacillus anthracis isolates of diverse geographical origin. Initially, groups of Hartley guinea pigs were vaccinated at 0 and 4 weeks with AVA, then challenged intramuscularly at 10 weeks with spores from 33 isolates of B. anthracis. Survival among the vaccinated groups varied from 6 to 100%, although there were no differences in mean time to death among the groups. There was no correlation between isolate virulence and variable number tandem repeat category or protective antigen genotype identified. New Zealand white rabbits were then vaccinated with AVA at 0 and 4 weeks, and challenged at 10 weeks by aerosol with spores from six of the isolates that were highly virulent in vaccinated guinea pigs. AVA completely protected the rabbits from four of the isolates, and protected 90% of the animals from the other two isolates. Subsequently, two of these six isolates were then used to challenge rhesus macaques, previously vaccinated with AVA at 0 and 4 weeks, and challenged at 10 weeks by aerosol. AVA protected 80 and 100% of the animals from these two isolates. These studies demonstrated that, although AVA confers variable protection against different B. anthracis isolates in guinea pigs, it is highly protective against these same isolates in both rabbits and rhesus macaques.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anthrax / immunology
  • Anthrax / prevention & control
  • Anthrax Vaccines / pharmacology*
  • Bacillus anthracis / immunology*
  • Bacillus anthracis / isolation & purification*
  • Female
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Humans
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Male
  • Rabbits
  • Species Specificity
  • Spores, Bacterial / immunology


  • Anthrax Vaccines