The Murine Intravaginal HSV-2 Challenge Model for Investigation of DNA Vaccines

Methods Mol Biol. 2020;2060:429-454. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-9814-2_27.


DNA vaccines have been licensed in veterinary medicine and have promise for humans. This format is relatively immunogenic in mice and guinea pigs, the two principle HSV-2 animal models, permitting rapid assessment of vectors, antigens, adjuvants, and delivery systems. Limitations include the relatively poor immunogenicity of naked DNA in humans and the profound differences in HSV-2 pathogenesis between host species. Herein, we detail lessons learned investigating candidate DNA vaccines in the progesterone-primed female mouse vaginal model of HSV-2 infection as a guide to investigators in the field.

Keywords: Animal model; Antibody; DNA vaccine; Dorsal root ganglia; Herpes simplex virus; Latency; Polymerase chain reaction.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intravaginal
  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Herpes Genitalis / immunology*
  • Herpes Genitalis / prevention & control
  • Herpes Simplex Virus Vaccines / immunology*
  • Herpesvirus 2, Human / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Vaccines, DNA / immunology*
  • Vagina* / immunology
  • Vagina* / virology


  • Herpes Simplex Virus Vaccines
  • Vaccines, DNA