Generation and Production of Modified Vaccinia Virus Ankara (MVA) as a Vaccine Vector

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1581:97-119. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-6869-5_6.


The smallpox vaccine based on the vaccinia virus was successfully used to eradicate smallpox, but although very effective, it was a very reactogenic vaccine and responsible for the deaths of one to two people per million vaccinated. Modified Vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) is an attenuated derivative, also used in the smallpox eradication campaign and now being developed as a recombinant viral vector to produce vaccines against infectious diseases and cancer. MVA can encode one or more foreign antigens and thus can function as a multivalent vaccine. The vector can be used at biosafety level 1, has intrinsic adjuvant properties, and induces humoral and cellular immune responses. Many clinical trials of these new vaccines have been conducted, and the safety of MVA is now well documented. Immunogenicity is influenced by the dose and vaccination regimen, and information on the efficacy of MVA-vectored vaccines is now beginning to accumulate. In this chapter, we provide protocols for generation, isolation, amplification, and purification of recombinant MVA for preclinical and clinical evaluation.

Keywords: Clinical trials; Large-scale production; Modified vaccinia virus Ankara; Non-replicative viral vector; Recombinant vaccines.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Chick Embryo
  • Cricetinae
  • Fibroblasts / cytology
  • Fibroblasts / virology*
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Vaccines, Attenuated
  • Vaccines, DNA
  • Viral Vaccines / genetics
  • Viral Vaccines / immunology*


  • MVA vaccine
  • Vaccines, Attenuated
  • Vaccines, DNA
  • Viral Vaccines