Protective immunity against lethal HSV-1 challenge in mice by nucleic acid-based immunisation with herpes simplex virus type-1 genes specifying glycoproteins gB and gD

J Med Microbiol. 2002 Apr;51(4):350-357. doi: 10.1099/0022-1317-51-4-350.


DNA-based vaccines were employed to assess protective immunity against herpes simplex virus in experimental infections of hairless (strain SKH1) and BALB/c mice. Mice were vaccinated with plasmids containing the herpes simplex virus type-1 (HSV-1) glycoprotein B (gB) or D (gD) genes under the human cytomegalovirus immediate-early promoter control. Vaccines were injected intramuscularly (i.m.) or intraperitoneally (i.p.) as purified DNA alone or as formulations supplemented with different non-ionic block copolymers. Antibody responses were assessed by immunofluorescence and radio-immunoprecipitation assays. Mice inoculated with either gB or gD plasmid, alone or with non-ionic block copolymers CRL 1029 and CRL 1190, produced high levels of antibodies specific for gB or gD. Three weeks after the last vaccination, mice were challenged with a clinical HSV-1 isolate (ABGK-1) by inoculation of a shaved and subsequently scarified area between the third and fourth lumbar vertebrae. Mice immunised with either gD or gB plasmid alone or mixed with copolymers were protected against lethal HSV-1 challenge when immunisation was performed via the i.m. route. Immunisations given via the i.p. route induced humoral responses in some mice and protected the animals against lethal HSV-1 challenge only when the formulations contained copolymers. The BALB/c mouse model was shown to be as good a model as the hairless mouse model.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect
  • Herpes Simplex / prevention & control*
  • Herpes Simplex Virus Vaccines* / administration & dosage
  • Herpes Simplex Virus Vaccines* / immunology
  • Herpesvirus 1, Human / genetics
  • Herpesvirus 1, Human / immunology*
  • Herpesvirus Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Herpesvirus Vaccines / immunology
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intramuscular
  • Injections, Intraperitoneal
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Hairless
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Radioimmunoprecipitation Assay
  • Vaccines, DNA* / administration & dosage
  • Vaccines, DNA* / immunology
  • Vero Cells
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / genetics*
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / immunology


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Herpes Simplex Virus Vaccines
  • Herpesvirus Vaccines
  • Vaccines, DNA
  • Viral Envelope Proteins
  • glycoprotein B, Simplexvirus
  • glycoprotein D, Human herpesvirus 1
  • herpes simplex virus-1 glycoprotein D vaccine