VennVax, a DNA-prime, peptide-boost multi-T-cell epitope poxvirus vaccine, induces protective immunity against vaccinia infection by T cell response alone

Vaccine. 2011 Jan 10;29(3):501-11. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2010.10.064. Epub 2010 Nov 4.


The potential for smallpox to be disseminated in a bioterror attack has prompted development of new, safer smallpox vaccination strategies. We designed and evaluated immunogenicity and efficacy of a T-cell epitope vaccine based on conserved and antigenic vaccinia/variola sequences, identified using bioinformatics and immunological methods. Vaccination in HLA transgenic mice using a DNA-prime/peptide-boost strategy elicited significant T cell responses to multiple epitopes. No antibody response pre-challenge was observed, neither against whole vaccinia antigens nor vaccine epitope peptides. Remarkably, 100% of vaccinated mice survived lethal vaccinia challenge, demonstrating that protective immunity to vaccinia does not require B cell priming.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte / genetics
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte / immunology
  • Immunization, Secondary / methods*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Smallpox / prevention & control
  • Smallpox Vaccine / administration & dosage
  • Smallpox Vaccine / immunology*
  • Survival Analysis
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Vaccination / methods*
  • Vaccines, DNA / administration & dosage
  • Vaccines, DNA / immunology*
  • Vaccines, Synthetic / administration & dosage
  • Vaccines, Synthetic / immunology
  • Vaccinia / prevention & control*


  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte
  • Smallpox Vaccine
  • Vaccines, DNA
  • Vaccines, Synthetic