Easy and efficient protocols for working with recombinant vaccinia virus MVA

Methods Mol Biol. 2012:890:59-92. doi: 10.1007/978-1-61779-876-4_4.


Modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) is a highly attenuated and replication-deficient strain of vaccinia virus that is increasingly used as vector for expression of recombinant genes in the research laboratory and in biomedicine for vaccine development. Major benefits of MVA include the clear safety advantage compared to conventional vaccinia viruses, the longstanding experience in the genetic engineering of the virus, and the availability of established procedures for virus production at an industrial scale. MVA vectors can be handled under biosafety level 1 conditions, and a multitude of recombinant MVA vaccines has proven to be immunogenic and protective when delivering various heterologous antigens in animals and humans. In this chapter we provide convenient state-of-the-art protocols for generation, amplification, and purification of recombinant MVA viruses. Importantly, we include methodology for rigid quality control to obtain best possible vector viruses for further investigations including clinical evaluation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Chick Embryo
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Containment of Biohazards
  • Cricetinae
  • Culture Media, Serum-Free
  • DNA, Viral / genetics
  • DNA, Viral / isolation & purification
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Genetic Vectors
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / genetics
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Quality Control
  • Rabbits
  • Recombinant Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Recombinant Proteins / genetics
  • Vaccinia virus / genetics*
  • Vaccinia virus / growth & development
  • Vaccinia virus / isolation & purification
  • Viral Load
  • Viral Plaque Assay
  • Virus Cultivation


  • Culture Media, Serum-Free
  • DNA, Viral
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins