The poxvirus vectors MVA and NYVAC as gene delivery systems for vaccination against infectious diseases and cancer

Curr Gene Ther. 2008 Apr;8(2):97-120. doi: 10.2174/156652308784049363.


Recombinants based on poxviruses have been used extensively as gene delivery systems to study many biological functions of foreign genes and as vaccines against many pathogens, particularly in the veterinary field. Based on safety record, efficient expression and ability to trigger specific immune responses, two of the most promising poxvirus vectors for human use are the attenuated modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) and the Copenhagen derived NYVAC strains. Because of the scientific and clinical interest in these two vectors, here we review their biological characteristics, with emphasis on virus-host cell interactions, viral immunomodulators, gene expression profiling, virus distribution in animals, and application as vaccines against different pathogens and tumors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cancer Vaccines / genetics*
  • Cancer Vaccines / immunology*
  • Communicable Diseases / immunology*
  • Communicable Diseases / microbiology
  • Communicable Diseases / parasitology
  • Communicable Diseases / virology
  • Gene Transfer Techniques*
  • Genetic Vectors / genetics
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Poxviridae / genetics*
  • Poxviridae / immunology
  • Poxviridae / physiology
  • Viral Vaccines / genetics*
  • Viral Vaccines / immunology


  • Cancer Vaccines
  • NYVAC vaccine
  • Viral Vaccines