Smallpox vaccines induce antibodies to the immunomodulatory, secreted vaccinia virus complement control protein

J Gen Virol. 2009 Nov;90(Pt 11):2604-2608. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.008474-0. Epub 2009 Jul 8.


Vaccination with Dryvax elicits a broad humoral response against many viral proteins. Human vaccinia immune globulin was used to screen the secreted proteins from cells infected with Dryvax or the candidate smallpox vaccine LC16m8 to determine whether the protective humoral response included antibodies against secreted viral proteins. Many proteins were detected, with the primary band corresponding to a band of 28 or 30 kDa in cells infected with Dryvax or LC16m8, respectively. This was identified as the vaccinia virus complement protein (VCP), which migrated more slowly in LC16m8-infected cells due to post-translational glycosylation. Vaccinia virus deleted in VCP, vVCPko, protected mice from a lethal intranasal challenge of vaccinia Western Reserve strain. Mice vaccinated with purified VCP demonstrated a strong humoral response, but were not protected against a moderate lethal challenge of vaccinia virus, suggesting that the humoral response against VCP is not critical for protection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology*
  • Gene Deletion
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Smallpox / prevention & control*
  • Smallpox Vaccine / immunology*
  • Survival Analysis
  • Vaccinia virus / genetics
  • Vaccinia virus / immunology
  • Viral Proteins / genetics
  • Viral Proteins / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Smallpox Vaccine
  • Viral Proteins
  • complement-control protein, Vaccinia virus